Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

You’re Making Me Uncomfy in My Uh-Oh Place, and Other Workplace Tales

on March 14, 2013

First off, I’ve been sick. So to all the lovely people who have commented and not had a response/ stalked me and didn’t think my heart was in it this time when I turned the sprinklers on you: my apologies. I have, what I can only surmise to be, Ebola-Strep-Plague-Cold-Influenzitis. It is very rare. I blame Max.

Anywho, if you haven’t been following me on twitter because, for some reason, you actually WORK during normal business hours, allow me to catch you up on all the glory you have missed…

Dear Workplace Colleagues,

I get it. When working in a high-stress, faced-paced environment, we tend to make close friends, have inside jokes, and sometimes say things that seem a bit off-color, until you know the reference (then they REALLY get inappropriate!). That’s cool. It’s all in good fun! But I think it’s time we put together a list of things you can and cannot say to me while I’m being paid to spend time with you. I really didn’t think this had to be spelled out, but okee dokee, here we go!:

1) STFU about your hysterectomy. I’m sorry (maybe?) that you had one. Yes, that DOES suck. But I don’t know you that well, and I DON’T want to hear the details. Are you buying me drinks? I amend this rule: You are allowed to discuss the removal/ black market sale of your internal organs ONLY when purchasing me copious quantities of alcohol. Like Bailey’s. I love that stuff.

2) You are never, EVER allowed to say “We work hard, and we play hard” to me EVER again, unless by “work hard” you mean you put in over 18 hours a day, and by “play hard” you mean you run marathons in Mongolia. I’m from New York, I know Wall Street people. Your two-Cosmo evening doesn’t impress me. Keep it pushing, playa. 

3) “I’m not a micro-manager” – Every micro-manager, EVER. 

4) “You know what’s so funny, Hannah?”


“I have the HARDEST time not getting a little spray on the toilet seat when I sit down to pee.”


That sounds like A) a medical condition; get your junk checked, and B) None of my business! I don’t want to look at you during a meeting and think, “I wonder if she managed to hit the target today!” No. Just…. just NO!

5) “Last night, my girlfriend/boyfriend/favorite farm animal…” if the rest of that sentence isn’t “tried this FABULOUS restaurant that you’re going to love. Here, let me give you the info!” then so help me, titty-fucking jesus, I will cough on you. Right. On. Your. Face. Which brings us to…

6) “Ew. Are you *sick*?! Why don’t you go home?!” No, I sneeze because periodically, during the day, my nose gets bored and I like for her to do some serious cardio. And I’m WORKING because if I try working from home, you’ll cut my hours. I get PAID by the hour. Mama isn’t nearly as cute when she’s POOR. Then, she ends up starting crazy ass blogs and shit, and forcing people to be her friends. WHO WANTS THAT, I ASK YOU?!?!

And now, onto the lighter side. Here is a list of things you absolutely CAN say to me at any point in the day:

1) You’re getting a raise.

2) I’m going to get you your favorite drink.

3) We’re going to toast to your raise with your favorite drink.

4) You look *so* pretty today.

5) Yes of COURSE you should blog at work! I can’t believe you even asked me that!

…I think you see where this is going, workplace colleagues. You have your guidance. Go forth and do great things!


28 responses to “You’re Making Me Uncomfy in My Uh-Oh Place, and Other Workplace Tales

  1. Ha ha! So the “uh-oh” place they are making you uncomfortable in is…work? Sorry. Being literal. This is great. I don’t think enough people complain honestly about how crappy it is to spend more time with a group of random strangers than with your own family. These random strangers have different ideas about what is and isn’t OK to discuss. (Removal of your lady-parts should be reserved for LONG standing relationships — if ever.) Also, they tend to spout cliches like “work hard/play hard.” BARF!!!!! Hope you get better soon.

    • H. Stern says:

      My uh-oh place is my uterus, which was sad when it heard that she had hers removed… but sad enough to want to be actively involved in the convo!

      And yeah… Work Hard, Play Hard? I wasn’t even sure if he was joking, so I just stared at him for a minute. Whatever. You pay me to spend time with you and listen to your jokes. Keep paying me, and I’ll keep pretending you’re interesting.

      • Sadly, there may not be enough money on earth for me to enjoy boring people saying stuff like “Work hard/play hard/YOLO!” But I’m old and crabby now. Gut shabbos to you my dear!

        • H. Stern says:

          I can only manage “YOLO” if someone says it tongue-in-cheek. Like when I use “OMG!” I don’t actually talk like that (I think… I can’t really be sure). But I think if I ever heard someone try to use it in a serious conversation, I might lose my mind. For example, “Uncle Ralph really needs that kidney transplant after that horrific tractor pileup on I-95. The family is raising funds now, and if we can afford it, I’ll go under the knife for him because YOLO MOTHAFUKKAHS!!!”


        • H. Stern says:

          AND GUT SHABBOS!!!!!

  2. momany says:

    Working in a new place myself I feel for you! I know more information about a group of strangers at this point than I ever wanted. Trying to get some of the crap out of my head has me stressed. The sign on my forehead that says I am a good listener does not include sexual escapades of a 70 something year old man. I do not need to know that we have to swing past your house on the way to an appointment so you can catheterize yourself and I sure as hell do not need explicit instructions on how to do it!
    I’m struggling with this new work venture and wondering more and more each day why I married the good looking man instead of the rich one!
    My new “Job” isn’t a career it’s just a way to feed the faces of my 7 starving children! I do not want to know who is doing who and what color their snot is!
    I’d love to apply as the new attitude adjuster in this company! I believe my talents there would be well worth their money and make my day a whole lot brighter!
    Hope you feel better sweet girl! Hang in there and when they start to tell you the Ewwie stuff…tell them to back off!

    • H. Stern says:

      I routinely look at my husband and get mad that he couldn’t be handsome AND stupidly rich! Very inconsiderate. On the other hand, now you know how to catheterize someone. And knowing is half the battle G.I.JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOE!

      • ekgo says:

        Yeah, but what Joe never tells you is that not dying is the other half and since we can’t always win that other half, the knowledge half rarely does us any good.

  3. Work is the curse of the drinking class. Nice post. Reminds me of all the lovely things I miss. (yeah like “just between you and me.”) – John

  4. lillylion says:

    Hannah, welcome back. Glad your hysterectomy worked out and you are healed up (get what I did there). Now that we got the requisite “Bitch” greeting out of the way…LOL! I would add to this never say to me list (but I am from a VERY white-bread religious area of the country), “After church we were all discussing…” It’s a way to immediately let you know something was decided, you weren’t invited, and the fact that I have a vagina probably affected the decision, somehow.

    • H. Stern says:

      Ooooh! I like that! I’m going to use that! One day, I’m just gonna turn to my husband and go, “After Church, we were discussing how you should give me a foot rub!” ………then I’ll document what happens!

      I don’t do well with puritanical people. Not my crowd, I suppose.

  5. While I’m completely against “oversharing” at the office, I must say that I prefer a colleague stay home when sick. There are too many disgusting germs around the office on the healthiest of days so keep your funk at home, thankyouverymuch.

    • H. Stern says:

      I totally agree! And if they would PAY me, I would. I’d be GLAD to!! Do you know how tough it was to schlep my fat ass in to work today? I went outside into the freezing cold, and my bus was 15 minutes late. Then, exhausted, I take it to the end of the line, and get on the metro. Three stops, and it’s back out into the cold for a 20 minute walk, with a computer bag, my breast pump bag, and my purse. I made it half way there, before I had to stop and the McDonald’s to warm up, and convince myself to keep going. I absolutely would have preferred to spoon Max and snore away.

      …but I can’t be sure they’ll pay me….

  6. “I’m from New York, I know Wall Street people. Your two-Cosmo evening doesn’t impress me. Keep it pushing, playa.” And with that, my day has been made. I miss you SO MUCH when you don’t blog!

    • H. Stern says:

      Awww, thanks!!! I end up spending most days going, “This would be SO funny to write about on my blog!” and then I go home, put the Peanut to bed, and fall into a snotty, feverish sleep. I’m totally not one of those sexy, demure, sick girls. I’m the girl who has the red nose, can’t muster the energy to shave her pits, and uses rolls of toilet paper for tissue.


  7. Sounds like the after effects of blog herpes to me. And thanks for turning the sprinkler on me. It’s better when wet.

    You said you are a project manager, right? It better not be for an engineering contractor. If so, you people are the pain that makes my garden grow.

    Oh and you look *so* pretty today, especially through the sprinkler spray.

    • H. Stern says:

      I love EVERYTHING about this comment.

      But no, I’m an ITPM. Which is funny because I make my computer cry on a regular basis. I try not to mention that to my clients…

  8. LisaAR says:

    Hope you are feeling better! Over the course of years, I have reduced my “in-office” time to now just one day a week…It’s just enough to keep connected to that world, but lets me avoid much along the lines of what you describe. And for that, I am grateful.

  9. kitsoleil says:

    Here’s my contribution to workplace potty talk: It drives me crazy when women at my office do what I call “hover and spray.” Why can’t they sit their asses down on the seat? Because they think it’s dirty? It’s dirty because they pissed all over it!

    If she’s not going to use the seat in the manner it was designed for, your co-worker could at least lift the freaking thing up. We expect men to do that, so why can’t she?

    • H. Stern says:

      You know what? I DON’T expect my husband to put the seat down. If he does it, that’s nice, but I’m also a grown ass adult, and I can put it down for myself, too. But I hear your point and I COMPLETELY agree with you. Look, if your vagina is THAT delicate of a flower, put down toilet paper on the seat. It’s THAT easy. And then sit your ass down like it’s a ride in Disney, because I don’t need your spraying like it’s Splash Mountain up in there.

      And also, for the record, DON’T FUCKING TELL ME ABOUT IT! When did we cross this line as a civilization? Like, “Yeah, NOW it’s totally cool to discuss your inability to sit and THEN pee.” No. Just…. no.

      But thanks for reading!!

  10. ekgo says:

    If we worked together, you would work in a library and we would talk about poop because I would make you and you wouldn’t be able to get away from me and my poop talk but then you’d have our own poop stories because you change diapers and we would nauseate our co-workers.
    I just wanted you to know that.

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