Five Worst Calls to Get at Work and How to Deal With Them

Most of us spend our days caged in a cubicle glaring at a computer screen or fielding calls from unappreciative pricks. But at least work can be a break from some of the other headaches in life: a sanctuary from bad relationships, family problems, and bills, and an opportunity to cruise the Internet in high speed if you still have dialup at home (yeah, some people still have dialup).

But real trouble comes when those home problems bleed into your work time, especially when you are forced to answer certain calls while trying to get your work done (or surf for porn). Cultist doesn't like to present only problems. We like to give solutions as well. Read on for the five worst calls to get while at work and how best to deal with them.

5. Collections

Getting a collections call at work is a little like having a root canal

while lying your belly for a colonoscopy. You're getting screwed at

both ends. Collection agents take pleasure in belittling your financial

distress and chide you like you're a middle school troublemaker. So

what if you're 280 days late and $2,500 overdue on your Kia Soul payment?

After all, how are you supposed to earn a living to pay your debts if

you're taking calls from collection douches all day.

What to say:

A highly gullible approach or controlled aggression seem to work best.

The gullible approach has you say "yessir" to everything that's said to

you, but balk when it comes time to give that check or credit card

number to sign up for a payment plan. Tell them your dog ate your

checkbook or credit card. They want to treat you like a kid, so you might

as well act like one. The controlled-aggression approach has you mocking

the collection agent. Call his bluff. Wish him good luck trying to

repossess your Kia -- it's already stashed away. You might hasten your

financial demise, but you'll probably win cool points from your

co-workers -- it might even make up for being a financial deadbeat in

their eyes.

4. Embarrassing medical results

You thought STDs were something that happened in the '80s. Sorry. You

got the clap and now you have to deal with some nurse letting you know

(hopefully, you don't have her on speaker, or you'll never convince Suzy

from HR to have that drink) while at work.

How to deal:

Whatever you do, don't repeat the words chlamydia, gonorrhea, crabs

(unless you had Joe's stone crabs for lunch) out loud at work. There's no

good scenario for why you can be saying them, so hush up. Also, never

ask a co-worker if you can get penicillin over the counter at Walgreens.

3. Other job

Chances are your job sucks (most do), so you're looking to upgrade. Only

thing is that competing company you sent your resumé to last month doesn't have the sense not to call you at work. They'll let the

receptionist know what company they represent and she'll announce it

over the intercom.

What to do:

No use trying to deny it at this point, so run with it. Right after

hanging up the phone, march into your boss's office and tell him you were

offered a job by the competitor, and tell him you want to stay but need

to get your salary bumped up 20 percent or you have to bolt. It's a

risky play, but the only one you have left.

2. Break up

Ending a romantic relationship is never easy, but hearing about it at

work is cruel. Still, significant others often try to dump you when

you're at the office because they know you won't be able to go nuts or

try to sway them from leaving.

How to deal:

There's not a lot you can do -- you have to swallow the heartbreak. But on the

positive side, you're now free to engage in all sorts of carnal

pleasures with those co-workers who were always off-limits. Just don't

tell anybody you broke up. Suzy from accounting likes it better in the

role of kinky home-wrecker.

1. The "Please come into my office" during layoffs

Sometimes you know it's coming, and there's nothing you can do.

Companies are laying off workers by the thousands, and when your time is up,

you inevitably get that call asking you to walk the plank.

How to deal:

Stall. Tell them you'll be right in after you finish up with the call

you have on the other line or tell them you have to take a mean dump

(you should always be able to use the word dump to an employer who's

about to fire you). Before going in, make sure you download all of your

iTunes songs, hoard away as many office supplies as you can squeeze into

your briefcase, and announce to the office: "I was tired of working

here anyway."

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Sebastian del Mármol