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Dear Coworker,
I am not mad, I’m just grossed out.

I know that is harsh but so was that rank smell that came when you decided to microwave salmon for lunch today. I’m sure you get this a lot, but how do you live on your own? I pray for your neighbors. Were you raised by wolves that can’t smell?

Though this job does not come with a prerequisite of a degree, I know you went to college. How did they let you through without some simple life lessons? Fish never goes in a microwave. Also, a sink is not a storage facility for used mugs and empty oatmeal bowls.

I hope you take these rhetorical questions as hints. I would prefer not to get HR involved. Everyone knows the HR department is the personification of fish in a microwave.

Perhaps one day we can grab a drink and some apps (no fish sticks though!) together and laugh about all of this.


Dear Coworker,
I am not mad, I’m just frustrated.

You know this office runs on Eastern Time, right? Everyone in this city operates under the same time guidelines—you don’t get your very own time zone—and we would appreciate if the variance in your arrival time was minimized.

This is your job, so it would be awesome if you acted like it was important. Plan ahead!

You complain that you’ve got bad luck. Traffic… again. But would you believe that your coworkers also commute all five days in a week in very same traffic and still manage to get here on time?

Here’s a polite suggestion. How about leaving home extra early just in case you run into the same traffic that stalls you every day?

I hope you take these rhetorical questions as hints. They say luck favors the prepared. You must be the least lucky person I know.

I hope one day we can grab a beer together and laugh about all of this.


Dear Coworker,
I am not mad, I’m just constantly annoyed.

That laugh. That shrill cackle is the audible version of a taser. Don’t get me wrong—I want you to be happy. I just need you to fix that laugh or adjust your volume.

I know our colleagues are pretty dang comedic, but some of us are toiling away in our cubicles and don’t get to hear about the weekend hijinks. And while you are yukking it up with the microwave fish guy, maybe, just maybe, think about how your behavior affects others. Perhaps the commotion is too much. Or, even, the jokes would be better if there was a third person included to help punch-up gags.

I hope you take these rhetorical situations as hints. If you can have those kinds of laughs with that stinky fish guy, I know I could really bring this office’s comedy game to the next level. Have I told you about my Tuesday night improv class?

I’m sure one day we can “grab a hang” and laugh about all of this in a reasonable tone.


Dear Boss,
I am not mad, I’m just disappointed.

Have you seen the team you have assembled around me? When they aren’t late or goofing off or microwaving day-old salmon, they are constantly keeping me from productivity. It feels like it’s always them against me.

These individuals are just so detrimental to a cohesive workplace environment. Between the whispering in the hallways and the secretive, exclusive conversations in the break room, I find it challenging to focus.

Honestly, how do you put up with it? I think they care more about going out for drinks after work, than they do about completing assignments and helping the company grow. There is more potential energy around the water-cooler than at all of the workstations combined, present company excluded (…as usual)! On Mondays it’s all giggles and “remember that time,” and on Fridays it’s hangovers and weekend planning.

Anyways, is this an office or a frat house? And am I the only one who tries to actualize our company’s mission statement? Obviously, my rhetorical questions are meant as food for thought. I am sure you didn’t become the boss by letting office fissures grow.

If I were in charge I would look into firing them or possibly forcing them to include me. You are the boss so you must know what it’s like to witness the fun from the outside.


Dear Former Coworkers,
I am mad.

I am everything I already mentioned to each of you personally, and more. You people are loud, rude, selfish, unaware, occasionally interesting, probably pretty decent, and totally hilarious, if I was in on the jokes.

For months I have been struggling with the dynamic in the office. Even though I never felt comfortable mentioning it, it wasn’t the salmon or the lateness or the water cooler jokesters that bothered me. I just wanted to be a part of the group. I really enjoy fun things! I know I have what it takes to be a people person, if you’d all just let me.

But like always, I was left out and only got secondhand fun. Apparently you even included the boss in the gang. He was disappointed in my reports about your actions, and told me that I clearly did not fall in line with the current company values. In accordance, I have packed my things. Luckily, I don’t have all the doohickeys that you all have accumulated from your different group adventures.

I won’t change my cell phone number if you want to hang out and get those beers we talked about.


Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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