The story of a day in the life of an unsuccessful office worker

2:47pm The highlight of my career

“Robertson, I need that right now!”  

As a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), making photocopies for my supervisor is not a highlight of my career.  

Neither is what’s about to happen. 

“Move over, Robertson. I need this machine right now,” a commanding voice bellows at me from behind. I do not need to look around to identify the owner of the voice. It’s Malcolm Kennedy, manager of the Business Solutions department.  

I am now confronted with an interesting predicament. I’m in deep trouble if I don’t get these reports copied before the meeting, but Mr. Kennedy has considerable influence over my performance review, and any confrontation with him is simply bad news. 

Survival instincts dictate that I swoop up my half copied papers and step out his way. He steps straight up to the machine and commences to make his copies. 

I make a desperate plea to his backside. “I’m sorry, Malcolm. I’ve just got this meeting in ..” 

“I don’t care about your bloody problems or your bloody meeting, Robertson!” he spins around to confront me, with a menacing look on his face.  “I need these copies now. And it’s Mr. Kennedy to you – alright?” 

“Sure, no problem. Sorry Mr. Kennedy,” a feeble, pathetic apology sputters out of my mouth.  

As a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), being handed a photocopying task was not a highlight of my career. 

But now, I have experienced the ultimate low point of corporate life – being kicked off a photocopier. 


  1. January 28th, 2008 | 5:57 pm

    Damn, Andrew. Is it still worth it? Unfortunately I can’t tell you that it’s going to be all better soon, as I am struggling to find a better job myself.

  2. January 28th, 2008 | 9:06 pm

    Hi IP,

    You raise a good point. It’s not really worth it.

    I undertook many years of professional training just to be treated like this. Can’t they treat a guy with some respect?

    Things won’t change until I make some changes. I need to get out of here. In the very last post in this story, I will contemplate a range of possible options for my escape plan. In the meantime, I’ve got to brainstorm some ideas.



  3. January 28th, 2008 | 9:23 pm

    Good on ya, mate!

    I hope you do find a better and higher-paying employer!

  4. January 29th, 2008 | 2:40 am

    Why people behave in such a condescending manner will forever be a mystery to me. Unfortunately you run into such types everywhere. In the grand scheme of things, a boss can be quite small and a photocopier quite large.

  5. January 29th, 2008 | 3:39 pm


    Right now, our office worker friend is starting to think that there must be something better on offer.

    Surely, nothing could be worse.


    It seems that office bullies like Mr. Kennedy in the story can be found in many organizations. Such people can be very difficult to work with, particularly for those who work under them.

    I don’t understand what causes such behavior. Perhaps for some, it is a way to cover over their own insecurities.

    Whatever the reason, no one should have to put up with it. Regardless of age or position, everyone should be able to expect at least a minimum degree of courtesy or respect from others.



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