We’ve all had our fair share of office horror stories: that one printer that will always get jammed when we need a document ASAP, the spine-tingling deadlines and quarterly targets that are seemingly impossible to achieve, and that weird office mate that always gives you the chills because of his unconventional attempts at socializing.
Of course, there’s another kind of office horror: the unexplainable kind. We’ve asked several Modern Filipinas to share theirs, and we guarantee that these five office horror stories will surely give you the chills.
1. The Girl in the Elevator
“I used to be a trainee at a call center that had a gaming console account. We were allowed to play with the said console during our break, so I asked one of my co-trainees to join me one night. We were located in the fourth floor of the building, and the game room was on the sixth floor.
So my friend and I rode the elevator at the fourth floor. I couldn’t help but notice a girl who was positioned at the back. She had a very dark air about her that I can’t explain. Anyway, there were a lot of people who rode the elevator with us, so I wasn’t able to take a good look at her. When we arrived at the fifth floor, most of the people got off, leaving the three of us. I initially thought she was an agent at the sixth floor, so I didn’t pay any attention to her. We finally arrived at the sixth floor,but the girl didn’t move an inch. I told her we;re already at the sixth floor (the seventh is off limits as it was another company), but she didn’t step out of the elevator.
I thought that was a bit weird, so I casually mentioned the girl to my co-trainee while we were playing. Imagine my shock when she repled, ‘Wala naman tayong nksabay hanggang 6th kasi lahat bumaba ng 5th. Tayo nalang ang naiwan sa elevator,'” Aya, 28
2. The Not-So Empty Room
“My trainer (from the same company) shared with me his most memorable experience in that floor. He was in charge of the last class that night, and he was assigned to check and to lock all training rooms before leaving the office premises. So he did his rounds, checked all the rooms, and promptly handed the key to the guard right after. He was surprised when the guard told him that someone is still in one of the training rooms, even if my trainer checked all of the rooms beforehand.
Still, he went to check the said room. He was shocked to see the chairs overturned and everything in disarray. considering that he made sure the room was clean and tidy a couple of minutes ago while he was doing his rounds. Then, he noticed that the swivel chair in the center–originally facing against him–was slowly rotating, facing his direction. He was shocked to find a little girl sitting in the chair, so he slowly backed away, locked the room, and made a mad dash toward the guard,” Aya, 28
3. The Nurse’s Clinic
“I held my first ever job in 2002, and I worked at a call center during the graveyard shift. The office was in Makati, and it was a new site. The office layout was kind of in an elongated donut shape, with the “donut hole” being the elevator lobby/main doors, and the actual office space composed of two long hallways and two shorter ones. It was also a new site, so only half the office was finished, and the other half was still under renovation.
So one long half of the donut was a fully-operational production floor with managers’ offices and a pantry, while the other long half was reserved for things like conference rooms, nurse’s office, storage, other admin stuff, restrooms etc etc. and was unfinished. The conference rooms still had concrete floors and wires were still sticking out of sockets and all that.
While the production half was nice and bright and well-lit as any call center, the other half was only partially lit. To make matters worse, the guards would turn off the lights completely on that side since they figured that nobody was using it anyway. As a result, people didn’t really hang out on that side of the office, and if you needed to use the restroom, you just kind of had to make a mad dash to and from it.
Two weeks into production and my team mate (who was obviously very sickly to begin with) had a terrible migraine, and I suggested that she tell our TL about it so maybe she can take a break. TL then told her to go visit the nurse’s office (located in the unfinished half of the office, something we figured out only because of the sign above the door that we see whenever we go to the restroom) with me accompanying her.
So that’s what we did. We walked to the nurse’s office, but found that the door was locked and nobody was inside even though the lights were on. The door was the type with one of those vertical window panels on it, so we peeked in to make sure that nobody was there. We saw all the medical equipment and a sick bed, a desk, basically everything you’d expect to find in there, except the nurse. Thinking maybe s/he just went on break, we decided we’ll just come back later.
After half an hour or so, we did go back, only to find that the light at the nurse’s office was closed. I remember being pretty pissed off at the thought that maybe the shift nurse has gone home, but we checked the door anyway to see if maybe there would be a sign/note with a nurse’s schedule or whatever.
I don’t know why I did it, but I tried the door handle despite being aware that no light was on, and I was able to open the door… to find that there was no nurse’s office, despite the sign above the door saying that was where it was supposed to be (yes, there was only one sign, and we checked over and over and over to make sure it was the right room). We were sure it was the same room we visited earlier, but instead of a decked-out clinic, we found a room with a small nightlight in an exposed socket, that cast only enough light for us to see that the walls and floors were concrete, there were no finishes, no beds, no cabinets, nothing. It’s like we dreamed up the clinic we saw earlier.
A guard approached us at that point asking what we were doing poking around in the unfinished clinic. So we told him what happened, and he of course thought we were making it up. While we were kinda trying to convince him that we weren’t lying, we all suddenly stopped talking when we felt the temperature just drop (and you know how cold call centers can get!). We shivered, our hairs stood on end, my heart started racing, and nobody could speak for a minute. Finally, my teammate burst into hysterical tears, and the guard then nervously shooed us away and locked the door to the supposed nurse’s office.
We were escorted back to our team’s bay and we explained what happened to our team leader. He pretty much just sat there, stunned, as he listened to us. Since my teammate wouldn’t stop crying and was starting to hyperventilate very badly, they had to send her to Makati Med. The incident was never brought up again,” Kristine, 31.
4. OT Chills
“One of my friends was doing overtime work in our office, one night and she was all alone. You know how the computer screen goes black when it’s inactive? Well, that happened to her–and she saw a reflection of a woman standing behind her!” Carla, 29
5. The Man in White
“We were allowed to hang out at work on weekends, so I decided to go there one Sunday night with two of my my office mates to watch movies in one of the meeting rooms. I was copying some files from my PC, while one of my office mates started setting up in the meeting room. The walls are made of frosted glass, so you could see if there are people inside the meeting room.
So I took a peek inside, and I saw a man in a white shirt sitting comfortably in the room with her. I thought that the man was our other office mate, so I casually remarked, ‘Ang sarap ng upo ni Kuya, ha!’
My office mate immediately ran out of the room and told me that she was all alone! I took a look at the room again and the man was gone. It was then that I realized that our other office mate–the real kuya–was wearing a green shirt the entire time,” Victoria, 25
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Myra is a writer and an editor. She has penned speeches, magazine articles, educational materials, and online content. She enjoys traveling, doodling, taking photos, and laughing to "Friends" reruns.