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Funny Work Stories


Prolific Member
Local time
Today, 07:30
Dec 12, 2009
Today I sorta shit talked something my boss asked me to do, within his earshot, to a colleague of mine and I regret doing it but that's not the funny story.

I work in IT and my boss asked me to get a quote on five-to-six logitech webcams and five-to-six logitech webcams on stalks with microphones (boss speak for a conference phone) and get an estimate on how long it will take them to arrive. Now in public service IT we don't just go out and buy shit we have to go through approved suppliers, this makes a lot more sense when you're buying shit in bulk and you want more-or-less direct from manufacturer prices, big departments have big buying power and can demand hefty discounts but I digress.

How this works is that I send an email to the supplier and they acting like a concierge go out and look for the manufacturer of the thing I'm asking about and get a quote which goes through the supplier back to me and back to my boss for approval from his boss. Now my boss won't be specific or rather he wants specifically wants five-to-six of each item and he's that special kind of asshole who if I give him a quote for six will ask me what the price is for five, but to be fair on expensive items it can make a difference.

So when writing my email I have to carefully consider exactly what he's asking for and formulate a request that will get me all that information or more, this is where it gets funny. Because some poor bastard got an email today requesting two separate quotes for five and six of the same two items, which is only something an asshole would ask for, and to add the shit cherry on the asshole cake I also asked for an approximate date of delivery, an approximation based on items that haven't even been quoted yet. This means the supplier has to find the manufacturer and pass on my bullshit request and until the quote is approved the manufacturer has no idea who's purchasing this shit and absolutely no idea how long it's going to take to arrive, so they just have to confidently bend over and pull a date out of their ass.

But wait it gets better because when the manufacturer sends their quotes and bullshit date back to the supplier who sends it back to me so I can send it to my boss so he can get approval from his boss it's entirely possible that neither quote will be approved because he'll want five of one thing and six of the other which makes my boss look bad so he grills me and makes me start the whole fucking process all over again.

So what's your funny work story?


Local time
Today, 13:30
Mar 3, 2020
Similar theme. 1982, a one-page document had to be on the West Coast, original only, the next morning. Easy, I go to FEDEX and send it for $8 or so. NO. Government employee, I must put out a request for bids and give everybody three days to respond. That's the Federal Acquisition Regulation. In three days it will be two days late, so I said I was headed to the FEDEX office and would pay for it myself. NO. No one is allowed to purchase anything on behalf of the US Government without an approved purchase order, takes two days.

Solution: Buy airline ticket using government discount, fly to West Coast, rent car using government discount, overnight at a hotel using government discount, return to airport, fly home. Kudos for saving money using government discounts, cost about $1,100. Nobody ever noted that another $1,092 was left on the table. Your tax dollars at work.
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