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9-to-5 'Office' fans share tales from trenches

August 03, 2003

Fans of the BBC-America sitcom "The Office" -- which highlights squabbles over staplers, desk space and endless training days -- have their own confessional for workplace sins. A section of BBCAmerica.com devoted to the show solicits "office pranks, dirty deeds, and surreal moments" from 9-to-5 life.

The resulting "Happy Hour Tales" offer a glimpse into office foibles and folklore.

Some excerpts:

-- From a worker who was handed yet another greeting card for a co-worker: "I ... opened the card and inscribed 'Congratulations! I hope your next year is even more enjoyable!' and I signed my name.... Throughout the rest of the day, I would hear people snickering around the office and looking at me strangely.... It turned out it was a sympathy card for [my boss], as his mother-in-law had just recently passed away."

-- From the recipient of a gift handed out at a company's year-end dinner: "The silence was deadly ... coffee mugs with the word 'TEAMWORK' and a poem defining the term along with some stupid moody artwork of some guys rowing."

-- From an overworked customer-service rep: "I was answering as fast as I could. I picked up the phone and said, 'Thank you for helping, how can I hold you?' "

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