When You Work with People, You’ve Gotta Laugh

It was the middle of the night and something was ringing, ringing, ringing. At first, Sam thought it was his alarm clock. He slammed his hand on the snooze button. The ringing didn’t stop. He cursed and hit it again. The fog on his brain lifted enough for him to realize it was the phone. At this hour, a phone call never brought good news!  

He answered and a voice he didn’t recognize said, Is this Mr. Granger, the human resources manager of Qwerty Company?”  

“Yes. Who is this? Has something happened?” 

Mr. Granger, this is Jim Thomas. Last week you interviewed me for a job in your company. I have a problem, and I called to ask you, if you hire me, can I get an advance on my salary? 


Sam got to work at eight, carrying his fourth cup of coffee, almost enough to make him feel up to tackling his day.  

But there wasn’t enough coffee in the world to make him feel up to a confrontation with Hazel, the office busybody this morning. Helen was marching toward him, her face full of purpose and self-righteousness. He ran and ducked into the men’s room, but that didn’t deter her. She was waited him out. She had her tale to tattle, and wasn’t leaving till it was done. 

“Sam, you have a serious problem! It’s the janitor. I’ve been keeping my eye on him. I was almost sure he was slacking off. So I tested him. Every night last week I dropped a couple pieces of paper behind the trash can in the garage. At least half the time, he did not pick up the paper. He’s clearly not doing his job! You need to discipline him!” 

Sam thanked her for her diligence, then stopped by the kitchen for aspirin. There he ran into Marie, the vice president of marketing, whose assistant he had just replaced. 

Sam, I meant to stop by your office later to talk about my new assistant. The good news is she is so much faster than Betty was. She can make 5 mistakes in the time it took Betty to make just one. 

Marie sure had a better sense of humor than Helen. 

Sam went to his office and closed the door. He had emails to answer. But first he had to delete the dozen spam mails that offered sex aids, and the one from a helpful fellow who said he found mistakes on the company website and offered to correct them, if Sam would just send the passwords. After the spam, came complaints.  

  • “Someone ate my apple! You need to send out an email telling people not to eat other people’s food.” 
  • “My computer is too slow and tech won’t return my calls. You have to do something about them.”  
  • “I’m the only person in the company who ever has to relieve the receptionist. I think you should assign the executive assistants turns at the front desk. 

*It was from George, the office support person and backup receptionist. 


There was a knock on the door. It was a happy employee coming to thank him for his good work. (Just kidding!) It was a sobbing executive assistant, tears and mascara running down her face.  

“My boss told me if I didn’t have something intelligent to say to never speak to her again. Then she mumbled behind my back, ‘I’ll enjoy the everlasting silence.’ She hates me!”  

He consoled her and made a note to counsel the boss, and it was time for lunch. Sam took a walk. He had to come back because he had two candidates scheduled to interview for a job supporting the company’s attorneys.  

Both candidates had good resumes, and the first interview started strong. Then, the candidate explained why he left his last job as legal secretary in a law firm.  

“It was the pressure. There were strict deadlines. It stresses me out when I have strict deadlines.” 

Oh, well. He still had the second candidate. She had brought evidence to prove her qualifications.  

I have great organizational skills. I organized my closet by types of clothing, purpose, and color. Here. Look at this. I took a picture with my iPhone to show you! See?” 

It’s true, he thought. Attorneys always need a good organizer, but he wondered if a neat closet would impress them. 

 Sam went home, laughing all the way. 

April 9, 2019