is My Co-worker.
BY JOHN MOE
[Originally published August 11, 2004.]
Maureen brought the new guy around who’s going to be working in our group. After the Jason fiasco, we really could use someone with a little bit of a brain who can keep up on things. This guy’s named Winnie and, I don’t know, I just have a bad feeling.
I’ve been training Winnie for three days now and I’m ready to kill him. I showed him how the spreadsheets are updated on the network, and he just stared at me with this blank expression. I tried to demonstrate the copy machine, but he somehow got his head stuck in one of the slots. I heard his muffled cry of “Oh, bother!” as five of us worked on getting him out. Honestly, is this the best that recruiting could do? Kirk thinks Winnie might be someone’s cousin or something. Not a bad explanation, except that we don’t have any other yellow bears working here.
Although he’s worthless, everyone loves Winnie. The girls from marketing come by at least a couple of times a day to hang around his cubicle and talk to him. It’s not like they respect his work, since he doesn’t do any. And I don’t think they even respect him. They’re just there to be, like, amused. If he were to make a move on one of them, they’d shoot him down so fast. I mean, I don’t respect Winnie, either, but at least I keep my distance.
I gave Winnie this file of research material on Crawford & Horowitz, because I thought he might want to read up on it before the group meeting tomorrow. I’m doing him a favor, right? So I go to get it back from him after lunch and find Winnie sitting on the floor, his hand in a honey jar, and all this paperwork, including the file I need, smeared with thick honey. It’s unusable now. I might as well throw it away. Trying not to just go off on the bear, I asked him what the hell happened. He looked all confused and mumbled something about needing “a little post-lunch snack.” Jesus. Have a freakin’ apple, dude.
Turns out Winnie got honey all over his keyboard as well. So what happens? They bring him a whole new computer. Top of the line machine, too. Here I’ve been pounding away on this ancient piece of crap for years, and Mr. Honeypot gets a whole new setup. The tech guy who came by said it looked like Winnie had never even turned the old machine on.
Winnie’s friends came by to take him out for lunch today: a little pig, a pissed-off-looking rabbit, an adolescent kangaroo, and a tiger that had to be on coke. Kirk said he saw them at Sbarro eating their slices and looking scared out of their minds. I guess they live way out in the country or something, so I bet the big city blew their minds. Winnie was really happy around them, though. I guess that’s good, since he’s just been sitting around here moping all the time and staring out the window. He should just leave and spend all his time with them.
Three times this week, Winnie’s asked if I want to join him for a picnic or maybe an adventure. No thanks, I tell him very pointedly, I have a lot of work to do. He just sighs and walks off on his own. Silly old bear.
It’s Robin. Walt Robin, the V.P. of finance. That’s how Winnie got the job. Apparently, Winnie has some sort of relationship with Robin’s grandson or nephew or something. That’s what Kirk told me, and he knows someone in H.R. Frankly, I wonder if that’s going to be enough to let Winnie stick around. He showed up three hours late today and gave this long story about being chased by bees. Then he brought out another honey pot (his cubicle is covered with empty ones), ate the honey with his hands for a while, and passed out on his desk. I mean, it’s so far beyond just not contributing to the workload at this point. It’s unhygienic for us, and he’s so clearly not healthy. Someone should do something. The little bitch Tami from marketing came by to rub his tummy. Unbelievable.
Winnie hasn’t shown up in three days. I figured he called in sick, but I guess no one’s heard anything. He has no phone, so no one’s been able to reach him.
H.R. asked me to drive out to Winnie’s house, since I’m his best friend at the company (sad). I followed the directions and found him in this hollowed-out tree where he apparently lives. He must have offered me honey like 12 times. I have to admit, he looked happier than he ever did at work. I asked if he was planning on coming back to work, but he just said that the office was “quite an adventure” but that he was “glad to be home.” He really is a nice guy, but I think it’s better for everyone that it’s over. He told me to come back and visit sometime and I lied and said I would.
SUGGESTED READSList: Nicknames for Some of My Coworkers
by Lauren Spisak (6/10/2002)
Black Shoe Diary: The Daily Musings Of Shuruku Umezawa: Junior Salesman, Ninja— Installment Three
by Eric Feezell (6/27/2007)
As I Sat Writing — From the Autobiography of William Faulkner
by Stephen B. Wood, Jr. (9/8/2010)
RECENTLYFull Disclosure Form for Fiction Writing Workshop Submission
by Anita Gill (10/27/2016)
Monologue: Rick Bayless’s Wife Weighs In On Tonight’s Dinner Plans
by Spencer Ham (10/27/2016)
List: If Bruce Springsteen Wrote About Adjuncts
by Shannon Reed (10/27/2016)
POPULARIf Women Wrote Men the Way Men Write Women
by Meg Elison (10/25/2016)
A Brutally Honest Social Media Job Interview
by Sarah Fader (10/21/2016)
When My Grandkids Ask Me What I Did to Fight American Fascism, I’ll Proudly Tell Them I Tweeted a Few Times
by Sam Spero (10/19/2016)