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At the Office


THE chief clerk was kneeling in front of the safe, stowing his ledgers, as I left the office for lunch. When I returned he was still in the same position, his hands clasped in apparent supplication. "Whatever are you doing down there?" I asked, completely mystified. "Praying for your return," he replied acidly. The safe's self-locking door had slammed shut and caught both ends of his tie. The keys were on the desk behind him - just out of reach.

AT THE office we were discussing Christmas gift giving. One of my co-workers told us that she was planning to buy her husband a 29-inch colour television. Several of us commented on her generous choice. "Yes," she continued, "he doesn't have to make the first payment till February."

MY BOSS dreads staff meetings. After a few of them, I noticed that his secretary would interrupt from time to time to give him a message. Usually he'd read the note and nod, crumple it and put it in an ashtray. Occasionally he would excuse himself from the meeting. The pressures on him seemed intense. I was gathering up my things after one meeting and saw he had left a pile of notes behind. Curious, I opened one. It was blank. They all were!

OUR business practice is to send letters in duplicate, requesting the recipient to acknowledge receipt by signing and returning one copy. Once we sent our office-rental check attached to the usual duplicated letter but, due to a typographical error, asked our landlord to acknowledge it by "singing and returning" a copy of the letter. The duplicate was duly returned with the following acknowledgment: "TRA-LA-LA-LA-LA!"

MY SISTER'S work consists of conducting opinion polls and she obtains information by telephone. If the person who answers the phone refuses to answer the questions, she asks if the spouse would be agreeable to do so. One woman who answered said, "I'm sorry. I don't have time. I'm in the middle of stuffing a chicken." My sister asked, "Well, can your husband do it?" "Oh, no," replied the woman. "He doesn't know anything about chickens."

FOR my fourth, and what I hoped would be final, interview for a job, I was invited to lunch with the director of marketing. Because I wanted to present myself in the best possible light, I sought the advice of my daughter, who had taken a business interviewing class in college. After she had gone on at some length about stressing good points, management potential, five-year goals, etc., I asked if she could sum it all up. She thought for a moment and then replied, "Don't order spaghetti."

A VERY inventive public-relations man told me that some of his best ideas come to him in his sleep, rousing him enough to scribble them down. Sometimes, he said, he maps out a whole PR campaign before dawn. Later, he goes over the idea at breakfast, and if it still appeals to him he uses it. Not all of his night time ideas work out, however. "Some of them," he told me, "are real vampires." "Vampires?" I asked. "Yes. They work in the middle of the night, but they can't stand the light of day."

A FRIEND of mine went into work very excited about her birthday present: earrings that were big, round, working clocks!  She proudly showed them to everyone.  At lunchtime, she was alone in the office when a man entered and asked what time it was.  A big grin spread across her face. She stepped close to the man, looked him in the eye and shook her head so he would notice her new time pieces.  The man's eyes grew large, he stammered a thank-you and quickly left.  My friend then saw her new earrings Iaying in the middle of her desk. She had taken them off while talking on the phone.

A FRIEND of mine had breezed through two preliminary interviews for an executive position on Wall Street when she learned that the third meeting would be with the president. She would be reporting to him if she got the job. Having prepared herself thoroughly, she spoke confidently of her accomplishments abilities and desire for more responsibility. All went well until the president noted that my friend's requested salary was at the extreme upper end of the range. He asked her to comment on this. Undaunted, she replied, "Just think of me as a quality, blue chip stock - and not some speculative issue." She got the Job.

I ONCE worked in a company where I was responsible for hiring temporary staff. The agencies I dealt with were very competitive, and they'd often send me pens or key chains imprinted with their names, hoping that I would call them first. One week a few of the agencies sent me flowers. On Monday I got carnations, on Tuesday a fern, on Wednesday a spring bouquet. Then on Friday I was surprised by a bunch of daisies with this card enclosed: "Whatever you're doing, keep it up!" It was from the flower shop.

I DIDN'T realize how much I had pampered my former boss over the years until one day he put a stack of work on my desk and at the same time asked for a cup of coffee. I was extremely busy, I pointed out, and anyway he passed the coffeepot on his way to his office. Seeing my point, he started towards the coffee and his office. But my typing was interrupted when he asked, "How do I take my coffee?"

I WAS amused when an office-supply company sent me this note along with my order: "If we've goofed lately, please let us know. You'll get it out of your system, and we'll get it out of ours."

OUR company sent out a form letter asking delinquent customers to please keep their accounts "currant." The form was returned by one customer with the spelling error underlined and this note appended: "A remittance will be coming as soon as I get out of my financial jam. Grapefully yours."

A FURNITURE company sent this letter about an outstanding account:

"Dear Mr. Jones,

What would your neighbors think if we had to send a truck out to your house to repossess your furniture because you have not met your payments?"

The company received this reply:

"Dear Sir,

I have discussed the matter you wrote about with my neighbors to see what they would think. They all think it would be a mean, low down, dirty trick."

I WAS working at an employment centre and a man asked me how to fill in the employment-history section on the application form. I explained that he should start with his present job and work backward. Noting the puzzled look on his face, I made up some examples. "You might write that from February 1985 to present you have been unemployed. And from January 1982 to February 1985 you were a baker's assistant. From January 1980 to January 1982, you were a messenger. And so on." Minutes later he was at my desk again. "Where did you say I was in 1 980?"

As A member of the internal-audit division of a large organization, I had to study various departments to make sure that employees were following proper procedures. Depending on the size of the department, this could be very time consuming. I hadn't realized how much so until I placed a call to the section I was currently reviewing and heard the receptionist tell her supervisor, "It's that guy from eternal audit."

MY FATHER always enjoyed working late, claiming he could get more work done without the usual office bustle to distract him. However, while working in Japan, he found this practice impossible. He was in charge of a large office, and because of the Japanese respect for hierarchy, none of his staff would leave before he did. Finally an idea hit him. One afternoon at five, he donned his coat, said his good-byes in a loud voice and took a leisurely stroll around the block. When he returned to the office, it was empty.

In the men's room at work, the Boss had placed a sign directly above the sink. It had a single word on it -- "Think!"

The next day, when he went to the men's room, he looked at the sign and right below, immediately above the soap dispenser, someone had carefully lettered another sign which read -- "Thoap!"

   The manager of a large office noticed a new man one day and told him to come into his office.
   "What's your name?" he asked the new guy.
   "John," the new guy replied.
   The manager scowled, "Look... I don't know what kind of a namby-pamby place you worked before, but I don't call anyone by their first name. It breeds familiarity and that leads to a breakdown in authority. I refer to my employees by their last name only ... Smith, Jones, Baker ... That's all. I am to be referred to only as Mr. Robertson. Now that we got that straight, what is your last name?"
   The new guy sighed, "Darling. My name is John Darling.

I called a company and asked to speak to Bob. The person who answered said, "Bob is on vacation.  Would you like to hold?"

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Last updated September 27, 2015 by Becquet Enterprises