Blog Archive

Corporate Etiquette 118 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, June 30, 2009

{The workplace is a jungle filled with jackals, wineheads and bosses with mouths like a crocodile. There are also decent people, but I'm starting to question the percentages. This is the 18th in a series of corporate encounters which offer no easy resolutions.}

It’s the last day of the quarter at my office, which means that anarchy reins, nerves are frayed and you can run the gamut of emotions from pure exhilaration to utter despair in the course of a single hour.

Some people love this kind of action, but I do not. The last week of each quarter is ugly and has fewer rules than illegal cockfighting, so I try to lay low and keep to myself, take back doors in and out of the office building and use the restroom on different floors to avoid any “how’s it looking ” talk from executives.

I also generally keep my emotions in check, although I’ve gotten more vocal since the recent lay-offs because my particular section is largely devoid of other human beings. After what just happened, however, I’m beginning to question the logic of that stance.

About an hour ago, I was on a conference call to go over some final details of a project, and I was using a head-set to talk. I rarely use a head-set because I think the volume sucks, it echoes and you look like a jackass while wearing one, but I needed to be able to type during the call, so I strapped mine on and everything was fine for the first 27 minutes.

Then, we got to a delicate part of the requirements, and the potential customer spit out a curveball that caused me to yell (or at least state loudly): Shit sandwich!

This wouldn’t be a big deal if I had been on mute – where I had been for the majority of the call – but I wasn’t.

I don’t recall who was speaking at the time, but the silence following my outburst was universal. Nobody said anything for several seconds, though it felt like hours, and then the call resumed with nobody commenting on the statement.

The only good thing about it was that there were many people on the call, and most of them were men, so it will take awhile before they can track down the culprit. I hope that’s the case. But in any event, the only way to cope with situations like this is deny, deny, deny . . . and always use the mute button.



  1. Linda Says:
  2. Oh that's rough, sounds like something I'd do. It's easy to slip. You're lucky that they may not figure out who it was. Though if they do, you all may have a good laugh. ha!

  3. Miss Ash Says:
  4. Ha! That's a new one I must say as I've never heard "shit sandwich" uttered ever in my life!

    I like to throw in a JC or "for fucks sake" every now and again...though I try to refrain from such verbal explosions at work.

  5. Heff Says:
  6. I've used "shit sandwich" a few times myself. Pretty funny that no one seems to know who said it, lol.

  7. JLee Says:
  8. hahahaa....I'm sorry. That is just too funny, especially with the photo of the creepy little girl and her sandwich. You could claim to have Tourette's?

  9. Linda - I usually pride myself on proper mute etiquette, but not this time. Ha. They will probably figure out it wasn't one of them (clients) at some point very soon.

    Miss Ash - You should work that into your mix - it's a crowd pleaser. Or at least one when you're not on a work call. Ha.

    Heff - Pretty good, eh? I think it conjures a fine mental picture, which helps too. And BTW, that drink I wanted turned out to be pretty shitty. Unfortunately.

    Jlee - That little girl is very, very creepy. Ha. I was disturbed just finding that image. I'm just going to deny, deny, deny . . .

  10. Boxer Says:
  11. I once took a phone call, put the guy on hold, answered another phone call (it was a friend) put her on hold and then went back to tell her to say "Can you wait? I have a guy on the phone who wants one fucking pasty case and I have to get rid of him"

    No surprise here, I punched the wrong line and heard,


    "Shit sandwich" is a pretty fun term and I think you probably said exactly what every body else was thinking.

    But, sorry because it seems you're a professional kind of guy.

  12. I say you should own it. It seems like it was an appropriate setiment if not the appropriate time. A minor infraction that the customer chose to ignore - or laugh at after the call. I would have.

  13. Ouch. That's rather unfortunate, isn't it?

  14. This story also reminds me of one of my favorite lecture moments in my academic career. I was taking a behavioral ecology class, and the professor was talking about the concept of "sneaker males" which is an ecologically strategy in species where a dominant male mates with all the females. Obviously there are some males who will never be big enough, strong enough, etc. to be able to contend, so they've evolved an alternative mating strategy. Rather than getting big and strong, it's gone the other way to where they look like females, so that they can mate with females without the dominant male noticing and running them off. These are known as 'sneaker males', but the professor told us the original term was 'sneaky fuckers'. You could've heard a pin drop after he uttered those words. He followed it up by saying, "and you'll never hear me utter those words again."
    It was awesome. (Sorry about the run-on comment)

  15. Wendy Says:
  16. Is "shit sandwich" a Texas euphemism? My dad's from Texas and I've never heard that before. But I like it and am planning to use it. Maybe not on a business call, but you never know.

  17. KayDee Says:
  18. Oh how awkward and awful...not as awful as that pic of an actual shit sandwich though.


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