- I am a lawyer in Dallas and have worked for a couple of prestigious, large downtown
firms. At one of these, I had the pleasure of working for two of the foulest male
specimens I have ever encountered. "Reginald" was the lead trial attorney on a
high-profile personal injury case. He was only able to refer to anyone of the female
persuasion by the terms "bitch," "slut," "whore," and
"cunt." Once, as we were in the courtroom preparing for a pretrial conference,
he cleared his sinuses and spat whatever came up onto the floor of the courtroom right in
front of the judge! Another time, as we went to get some materials on the case from the
file room, Reginald asked the file clerk, "How's it going?" She answered,
"I'm fine, Reginald. How are you?" He stared at her and then said, "I don't
give a fuck how YOU are! How are my FILES?" One of our paralegals was 7 1/2 months
pregnant by the time we got to trial. Reginald forced her to carry files boxes behind him,
and then would let the door slam in her face as he trotted through first! The other
delight with whom I worked, "Johnny," picked his nose almost every time I was in
his office discussing a case. And I mean, these were first knuckle digs. He later picked
up the lovely habit of dipping, so in between nose picks, he would spit tobacco juice into
his trash can. These are the same guys that are being billed out at $250 an hour! On my
first day of work, Johnny called a meeting for our group (all males, except for me) and
announced "Now, we've met our quota! Don't have to worry about sex discrimination
anymore!" I thought suing wasn't even worth the effort on such lame brains.
my new law firm has a little more class. I recently was appalled, however, after the women
in my firm gave a joint baby shower for three female lawyers. Each of the female attorneys
in the firm (and there are about 45 of us) was asked to give about $25 for the shower and
gifts. I was happy to give that and would have been happy to contribute more. Friday
morning after the Thursday night shower, each of the honorees sent out a group e-mail to
the attendees basically saying "Thanks for the loot." Yeah, well, thanks for the
thanks. Sorry, that my contribution wasn't worth a personal note and 33 cents to you.
- Found your page and LOVED it. I have a boss to add to your business tacky.
for a large, prominant, non-profit health organization. Our director had a rather big idea
of himself. At our regular Monday morning meeting we were all required to give a report of
what we had done the week before and what our plans for the week were. This was his
regular place to "perform." We could expect any of the following to occur every
1. He demanded we all be there at 8AM sharp under penalty of being fired. He would then
sit in his office until 8:30 or so, reading a magazine, leaving us all sitting at a
conference table waiting on him.
2. He'd bring in the newspaper and as soon as he'd given his weekly report, he would
flip open the paper, turn it to the comics and then sit and chuckle to himself while the
rest of us presented our reports.
3. He'd bring in his personal mail from the week before, open it all, then sort it and
read it, complete with verbal comments, while the rest of us gave our reports.
4. He would give his report and then, in the middle of someone else's report, he'd pick
up the phone and make a personal call, right there at the table.
5. He'd simply get up and walk out while someone was giving their report.
He was a gem. I'm not sure how I managed 3 years with that group.
- Hello! Your "Etiquette Hell" page is hysterical!
My story is about a baby
shower held at my office. First, we were told instead of gifts, the mom-to-be wanted
money. An envelope was passed around to donate money for a money tree. The day before the
shower, the shower planner, (let's call her Bev) walked around the office to all of the
women who had not signed the envelope (not donated money) and stood there while they all
On the day of the shower, it was understood by management that if you attended the
shower, you had to forfeit your lunch hour. People also had to bring food, because nothing
but decorations was provided. After the shower, the women who did not attend for whatever
reason were told that they were not team players, and were chastised for not going.
The thank you note was just the tackiest thing. The mom-to-be had ONE preprinted thank
you card, signed her name, then passed it around the office. You were "thanked"
as long as you saw the card, initialed it, and passed it around to the next person.
So basically the women of the office were forced to give money, bring food, help set up
and clean up, loose a lunch hour, and thank themselves for the shower. If you didn't, you
were not a team player, and got in trouble.
How's that for a "fun" shower??!
Thanks for letting me share my story!
- A couple of years ago, a department in our company decided to have a staff breakfast.
Everyone was asked to bring an item - juice, eggs, bacon, bread, hashbrowns, etc. When
everyone began to sit down to eat - one of the coordinators came around to collect money.
One employee - and also appalled - asked why they were collecting money when he had
donated food - namely very expensive bacon. "Oh, everyone has to pay - this is a
fundraiser for [name any office charity]. To top it off, the coordinators also began to
approach other workers in other departments to ask them to come back and eat breakfast.
All in an effort to trap them in the fundraiser.
- Right after graduating from college I took the first (short lived) job that was offered
to me - as an event coordinator for a small, small company that planned fundraisers for
non-profit organizations. My boss ran the business out of her home and we all worked in a
cramped "office" family room. My boss knew no etiquette boundaries -- we were in
home office hell! Clients would be forced to wait for meetings while she'd blow dry her
hair in the bathroom. She'd pull her employees into her bedroom for fashion consultations
before getting dressed (I really DIDN'T need to see her in her underwear!!) She even told
us to take the portable phone to her if she was using the restroom and received a call!
She had two small dogs that peed on everything, and had free range of the office and
clients' portfolios. But, her home office hell turned on her one day during an important
meeting. She had just settled the clients in at her dining room, ummm, conference table,
when her littlest dog came running out of her bedroom -- with a pair of her lacy hot pink
underwear stuck to his head! As he raced wildly around the room she started screaming for
us to chase him down. It was hilarious, and the clients, while they didn't hire a new
event coordinator, at least got a good laugh.