It was right after I gave my two weeks notice. My manager came to my desk on Monday morning and said, “Mike, coffee is now your duty until you leave.”
I smiled and kept doing my work.
The next day he calls me. “Mike, I thought I told you you’re in charge of coffee?”
“I am in charge of coffee, yes and I see that we need a fresh pot. Can you handle this for us since you seem to be an expert.”
He laughed and said, “We all know that already. You brew the pot of coffee, Mike, Not me. Come on.”
“Well, I am a little busy now and will get to it when I can,” I replied. I stayed at my desk for an hour an half working away! No care for him or the coffee.
Then he comes to my desk and says, “Mike, where is my coffee?”
I stood up, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Let’s go have a quick talk while I brew you a fresh cup of coffee.”
We got to the break room. I stood by the coffee machine and said. “Listen, I gave you my notice, but that doesn’t mean you need to make my life difficult and belittle me. I really do not appreciate your tone and remarks. I am reporting you to HR. I find it very offensive and it looks like retaliation.”
He stumbles in his shoes and starts to stutter, “Ah, Mike, I was just joking around and didn’t mean anything by it.”
I stayed quiet.
He kept going on and on. I walked out of the break room and headed to the elevator.
He was still talking and asked, “Mike, can we talk about it?”
I stopped and looked at him. I could see the entire floor looking from under their cubicle walls. “I don’t think we need to talk about it anymore, I will be right back.” By then I clicked and called the elevator. The door opens up, I jump in and the door closes.
I know what he was thinking – Oh, crap! He is going to HR.
I went to the vending machine on the same floor as HR and got myself a drink!
I waited a bit, chatting with some co-workers, then I went back up.
He did not even look at me.
I sat at my desk and the whole day he did not even cross in front of my desk, not even once – like a scared rabbit hiding in his hole.
I told everyone on my team about what I did and everyone was waiting to see how he would react or what he would do the next day.
The next morning I came in and dumped the coffee pot, brewed a new one. While walking to my desk, I stopped by his cube and said, “I just brewed a fresh pot of coffee.”
He jumps up from his seat and says, “Oh! Thanks, Mike, you didn’t have to!”
As soon as I sat down, my coworker that sat right next to me said, “What a Punk.”
“You said it, not me!” I replied
In the end, I felt good that I stood my ground and did not fall victim to his actions. He never came and asked me if I reported him to HR. He asked two of my team members and both said: “I am not sure!”
He wanted to make a joke and make me feel unwelcomed or belittled. In the end, he was a joke and was called a punk. Who knows what others thought of him?
”Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need” — Khalil Gibran
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