When I started this job nine months ago, I could not have known the profound effect you would have on my life. You’re a quiet guy, introverted, and unassuming. We’re the only two people under 40 in the entire office. I had a brief flicker of hope that we could bond in our mutual single Millenial-ness, which was quickly quashed by the revelation that you have no interests outside of work, no ability to read social cues, and generally hate joy and happiness.
I could have dealt with these things, Mike. I could have suppressed my bubbly optimism, borne this with professionalism, kept my head down, and just done my job. However, some sick fuck designed an office where our cubicles are shoved together literally back to back. You notice every time I stroll in 10 minutes late, I can smell every Chipotle steak burrito you eat at precisely 11:00 a.m. every day, and you constantly bump my bullshit ergonomic rolly chair as you walk by.
Mike, while obnoxious, these offenses are not the reason I am filing this formal letter of complaint. No. I am filing this complaint because you have driven me to the bounds of insanity, far beyond what any normal officemate should be expected to endure. You’ve perfected your particular form of torture, which I suppose some may commend you for.
It could strike any day at any time without warning. It could be while I’m furiously gchatting, providing advice and support to a friend in a relationship crisis. It could be while I’m refreshing this very website to search for an article that will assuage my boredom. It could even be while I’m watching a particularly cute puppy video. Out of nowhere, you mumble a few words at full volume as if you’re addressing me, completely breaking my concentration.
“Wow, did you see…?” “…strategy adjusted immediately.” “Who is that?” “I wonder if…” “I guess it’s that time…”
The first few months you did this, I thought you were talking to me and used to turn around to respond to you. It turns out you don’t realize you’re doing it, so I stopped responding. However, when you ACTUALLY want to address me, you speak in exactly the same tapering manner, so I ignore you because I assume you’re talking to yourself. When you repeat the question, I turn around to find you staring and blinking at me and my computer screen through your Warby Parker glasses, making me look like a jackass because we both know I was reading a Bachelor recap and doing nothing work related at all.
I could deal with it if it only happened maybe once a day. But you’re too clever for that, aren’t you, Mike? You wait until I’m in the deepest throes of concentration on a quiz telling me which breakfast cereal I would be, then throw out a, “Can you believe…?” causing me to frantically minimize my browser window in case you’re turning around to talk to me. The next round of chatter could be in four hours or four minutes. I never know. The result of this Chinese water torture of inane commenting is that I am constantly stressed at every second I’m doing something non-work related (so like 80% of the day). This is not good for my health, Mike! I’m too young to be this stressed at a job that requires this little of me.
As a result of your continued offenses, assault on my sanity, and general breach of workplace etiquette, I am filing this formal letter of complaint to request that you cease and desist your narration activities. If you agree, we can go back to a happy and productive traditional coworker relationship where you pretend not to notice that we literally do not need someone to do my job, and I pretend not to notice that you disappear for a few hours of every day when we both know you don’t have meetings. I hope that we can reach a solution that is satisfactory for both parties.
Your Cube Mate .