Anywhere from 4 to 6 times throughout the day at my office you can hear the sound of a man screaming.
It's not a long, terrified type of scream, but more of a short burst of surprise. It almost sounds like Homer Simpson when he says "Doh!", except it's more like "Ahck!". It's alarming the first few times you hear it, but on my first day of work when I heard the scream and nobody else seemed to notice it, I assumed that someone in the office had Tourettes or something.
After I had been there about a week or so I finally asked one of my co-workers just what in the hell that noise was all about and it turns out there is a man who works several cubicles down from us that enjoys scaring people, and is also quite easily startled himself.
We'll call him Mr. Boo.
The screaming that I hear several times a day is a grown man with a wife and several children going around startling innocent people who are hard at work. Occasionally his screaming is the result of someone coming up and scaring him back.
Do I have to tell you how disgusted I was to hear this news?
I don't know this man very well so I think it is unlikely that I will ever be his victim. Besides having catlike reflexes my computer faces the opening of my cubicle so it's kind of difficult to sneak up on me. Although mentally I've begun to prepare. I will scream bloody murder and fake a heart attack. I might even "accidentally" punch him in the throat as I'm falling down on the ground. Maybe I will pee my pants to make it look really authentic.
Obviously I've been thinking about this, but it didn't really upset me or make me totally angry until a couple of days ago when out of the blue he came up and startled my dearest cube mate Hey Mr. DJ. Hey Mr. DJ is a lovely old man with some health problems, not the least of which his "bad ticker".
It startled me too as I'm not used to hearing the "Ahck!" so close to my own work area and then I heard Hey Mr. DJ react with a sharp intake of breath. I started to run over to see if he was OK, but before I got there heard him say to Mr. Boo, in a flat fake chuckle, "You got me". What I heard in that flat fake chuckle, "You suck".
Mr. Boo has worked there FOREVER and has apparently been going around startling people the whole time. Why has nobody stopped him? Why does everybody go around acting like it's funny?
I very nearly confronted him after he frightened Hey Mr DJ, but remembered that I am a Temp and that I have been fired for speaking out about less maddening practices at other jobs and that I really like and need this one.