Are You Suggesting the Office Isn’t A Place For Me to Touch Everyone? — Hugging at Work Satire


Aw, geez.

I just don’t know what to do about this new work culture that says I shouldn’t open-mouth kiss people I share a cubicle with. I mean, what the heck, excuse my French. I just read this Associated Press article about a men who are “wondering if it’s still OK to hug a female colleague or ask about her weekend,” and I’ve never felt more seen. What’s the point of being at work if I can’t physically embrace the VP of Finance? And I just learned that my female colleagues have “lives” and “thoughts” and “plans that don’t involve me” and now I can’t even ask them about them in creepy, overly familiar terms? This is fascism.

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As the father of a female gerbil, I must remind you that no one respects women more than me. That said, if I can’t treat women like foreign objects rescued from a spaceship, inscribed with an inscrutable language, and possessing a volatile and uncontrollable destructive power that I must subdue and harness, I don’t know what the point of going to work is.

Is this an office or a prison? If I’m not allowed to place my hands on any person who happens to be in the general vicinity of my desk, why even have a job?

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And what’s the deal with this woman? Double standard, am I right? I Googled “Hugging at work” and this came up along with a whole bunch of articles that said “Don’t do that.” So, I ignored the articles and have decided to get really angry about this photo instead. A woman can hug her computer monitor but I can’t hug any woman who explicitly says “I’m a professional and would like for you to keep a respectful distance from my physical person”? Maybe I’m just dumb but I don’t get it. What are we supposed to do? Just talk like normal people? Shake hands? Leave each other alone because we are in different departments and our job responsibilities don’t ever overlap and what am I even doing on this floor anyway? That’s outrageous.

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I’m done with it. I haven’t even gone into the office this week. I’ve used up all of my personal days and now HR is calling me, wondering what the deal is. “What’s the deal, HR? The deal is suddenly it’s not ‘okay’ to give out hot oil massages in a corporate atmosphere and I’m stressed out right now!”

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That’s what I’d say if I answered the phone. But I don’t answer the phone because what if there’s a person on the other end of the line? They could get offended by something I say like propositioning them sexually out of the blue and without any indication of interest. That used to be okay in the past and now suddenly it’s not and, honestly, it’s gotten me way down in the dumps.

Boxing at work, apparently not cool anymore.

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How am I supposed to do performance reviews if I can’t comment on people’s physical appearance or invite them to marry me in a secret Las Vegas ceremony? How do you communicate that someone did a great job this quarter without stripping naked?

Now all of the sudden it’s “cool” to have “respect” for “people” and “the law.” All the celebs are tweeting about it, which means it’s really jumped the shark.

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Twitter

Can someone explain this tweet to me? What does he mean “Don’t”? Is he talking to me? Does he realize I’m a man and I can do whatever I want?

You have to understand how hard it is for men. Up until say, October, we saw the workplace as an amusement park where you were supposed to touch everything and pull your wang out whenever you wanted. Was there a law passed or something that changed everything? Now all of the sudden it’s “Don’t Bring Your Wang to Work” Day? What the H-E-double-hockey-sticks, amiright?

Isn’t capitalism just a clever ruse to get me a date?

How am I supposed to be productive in this competitive marketplace if I can’t take the most toxic aspects of masculinity that first appealed to me as a hormonal teenager with terrible judgement and a still-developing brain and apply them at my multi-billion dollar corporation? And yeah, I could have learned how to respect other people, particularly women, even as a gloppy teenage mess of impulses, but why do that when I could just not?

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There are a lot of guys out there who are saying it’s become a crime to be a man (who commits crimes).

You might say that I’m having a disproportionate response to a problem with a very reasonable solution but I think you should be tried for treason. Yeah, I could listen to what other people say about how they want to be spoken to or touched but that seems super boring. Acknowledging a woman’s personhood requires just the smallest amount of empathy and I really don’t have it in me right now.

So, I’m just going to react in the sanest way I can think of: lining my cubicle with caution tape, wearing a biohazard suit to the office, making a big stink about “P.C. culture,” and continuing to pull my wang out at work. It’s for the good of the economy.

Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.



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