Hey, You, Comrade!

We began running our popular "Hey You!" series back in 1998, and over the years, the missives we've received from anonymous readers have most often dealt with three common experiences—driving, love and work (a surprising number deal with inappropriate farting and vomiting). We've already run a retrospective of driving "Hey You!"s—which garnered us a Pulitzer and a Daytime Emmy—and we'll no doubt run a gaggle of lovelorn "Hey You!"s the next Valentine's Day we have nothing else to publish. This being the week of Labor Day—Happy Gompers Day, comrade!—we decided to cobble together a working "Hey You!" We could easily have run twice as many as the 15 you'll find below, but in these 15, you'll find the spectrum of the work experience—horrific bosses, horrific co-workers, horrific customers, horrific restroom conditions and, yes, inappropriate farting and vomiting.



Illustrations by Bob Aul

KILLING THE CAT
March 26, 2004
I remember the day you first brought your new Jag to my garage like the rest of the world will remember Sept. 11. You are a curse. You are my suicide bomber. Nothing has ever been right with your $120,000 car—the radio seems less clear than a friend's, the paint less shiny, the tires less round, the ride too rough, the steering wheel too small, the seats too hard, the engine too loud, the windows not quite clear, the pedals too rough on the soles of your Pradas. And while my guys work in vain to find a solution to problems that exist only inside your fucking head, you yell at us—or yell at your underlings over your cell phone. You're "very important," you tell me. Your car is "very important." Your business? "Very important." And that's when you're whining about the little shit. You nearly blew a fucking artery when a real problem turned up and your Jag wouldn't start. "I'm too important for this kind of shit," you yelled at me. It took me about two minutes to figure out the problem: you're so important that you couldn't afford the time to see you were pumping your very important car with diesel fuel. On the one hand, it killed me to see a fine machine treated that way—like seeing a fine horse whipped by an especially cruel hand. On the other hand, it happened to you, and it's going to cost you about 10 grand.

TOO MUCH COMPANY
May 5, 2000
Hey, Dickhead: nice meeting you at the company party last week. Nice to have you introduce me and my girlfriend to your wife. Nice to see you send your wife home early "to relieve the baby sitter." (Nice to have a wife who can't see what the hell's going on!) Nice to have you introduce me to someone I "just have to talk to." Nice to have you leave me with that guy and guide my girlfriend to another part of the restaurant. Nice to see you leaning over her and whispering in her ear. Nice to see you grab her by the arm and guide her outside where the two of you could "hear better." (Nice that you forgot that glass is transparent.) Nice to hear later that you told her she looked "really fine" and that you couldn't understand why she's with a loser like me. Nice to hear that you could "help" her career along if she were really interested in working more closely with you. Really, really nice to have that friend of yours turn around to see what I was staring at so intently: you trying to kiss my girlfriend and my girlfriend pushing you away. Forcibly. Nice to have witnesses there. Nice to know you threatened to make her "pay" if she told anybody you propositioned her. Nice to be able to tell you this: she already has. Now what are you going to do about it?

COUNTESS HAGULA
Aug. 9, 2002
Me: just a temp filling in for the guy going on vacation. You: the most vile, obnoxious, repulsive, vulgar co-worker imaginable, a woman who makes drunken sailors sound like choir boys at the church altar. I was fortunate enough to work with my back to you, Countess Hagula, but your voice was set on 11. "What the fuck is this?" "I'm tired of this shit." "That chick is a cunt." "My husband is a lazy bastard." "I sneezed so hard my pants are wet." "I'm going to pee, then blow my nose, in that order." When you announced you were "on the rag," I broke. After four eight-hour shifts under your tyrannical rule, I went Norma Rae on your ass. You received a closed-door session with HR. If it had been me, the moment I said one curse word, I would have been out of a job. But I'm just a temp.

LENDER BENDER
Feb. 14, 2003
Remember me, you mortgage-lending FUCK? I'm the girl you hired straight out of the university to become your "right-hand person," the girl who was so excited to land a fantastic job on the central coast from a guy whose company is based in Orange County, my hometown. Why didn't I read through to your cheesy sexual intentions from the start? Because I could never imagine that someone could be so outright slimy—especially since you had a beautiful wife and four darling children (all under the age of 6!!) ensconced within a few blocks of your office/second home. Remember how you tried to get me into shorts and a tank top before you dragged me to a local nude beach—all in the name of "surveying the land" around your house? Or how you tried to woo me with a membership to a local spa? Or better yet, when you suggested that we have massages together? Still stupid, I traveled down to OC with you for some business meetings at headquarters. I should have paid attention to a big sign: your employees acting like I was the current flavor on the employee roster. What really capped it, though, was when you put me in your company's condo that night and said you were going to stay in a local hotel. Then you pathetically come knocking on the door at 11 p.m. to say you can't find a room and that you are going to stay in the other bedroom. I let you in. You begin to whine about how lonely you are, how your wife doesn't understand you, and how my boyfriend is so wrong for me. Finally—finally!—a light shines bright in my head as I look into your oily, pathetically desperate face. It was good advice you gave me to lock my bedroom door that night—good but needless. Damn, it was great when the next "right-hand girl" discovered my phone number and the letter from my lawyer and had a hunch that I had been sexually harassed, just as she was. That was quite a boon for my case, and your guilty ass caved. I have always wanted to thank you for the 35 Gs and the trip to Costa Rica. My husband and I had a fan-fucking-tastic time, all in your name, you wretched EMPLOYEE FUCKER!!

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