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Manic Monday Mailbag

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Mondays can be tough. That’s why almost every other Monday from now until you die, I’ll be doing the Manic Monday Mailbag to keep us both entertained. You can submit your questions by clicking “Mailbag” on our submission form, or emailing mailbag@postgradproblems.com.

Q: Our HR lady, let’s call her Ruth, is the nicest old lady in the world. She’s basically the office grandmother. She regularly bakes desserts to bring in for the whole office. The only issue is that it is impossible to have a short conversation with her. Even when asking a “yes” or “no” question, she can turn that shit into a 25 minute chat. It’s gotten so bad that “getting Ruth’ed” is an acceptable excuse for being late to meetings at our office. Is there a nice way to cut our talks short? Or am I just whiny douche?
—Matt

You’re the problem, not Ruth. Ruth is a gift from God on high, sent down to help you procrastinate when you need to spend 25-minutes staring at something aside from your computer screen. You just need to learn how to properly utilize your Ruth. Obviously if you’re doing something important, or on your way to a high-priority meeting, avoiding conversation with Ruth is necessary. But when you’re having a tough Monday and on the verge of a total psychological breakdown if you stare at that Excel document for even one more minute, Ruth is your saving grace. Seek her out. Casually, of course. Don’t make it obvious that you’re using Ruth as a break. That would hurt her elderly feelings. You don’t even really have to listen when she’s talking. Just stuff your face with delicious baked goods, smile and nod.  She’s old as fuck, after all, and just happy to have someone to talk to.

How dare you bad mouth Ruth. Getting Ruth’ed is an honor and a privilege. Every office needs a Ruth. Come on, Matt. Don’t be a whiney douche.

Q: I smoked a lot of weed last night and spent some time in thought. Why do we sleep? Are we like robots that are recharging our batteries? What in our evolutionary past caused us to need to hibernate?
—Steve

I’m not Bill Nye the fucking Science Guy. I don’t have all the answers, Steve. But I’m pretty sure that if anything, robots are like us. We are not like robots. We came first, and we slept first. Put down the pipe.

Q: Today started off as a normal day, taking my mid-morning shit. This was also my time to browse Twitter and play Candy Crush on my phone while pinching one out. Right as I was about to achieve sugar crushing glory, my phone vibrated and startled me. It startled me enough to where I dropped my phone into the elongated toilet, and it rested on top of my freshly pinched banana loaf. There was no urine to worry about, so I carefully grabbed the side of my phone that was not directly on top of my shit, and saved the fallen soldier. I immediately threw away the protective case, and proceeded to wash my hands for the next 15 minutes. Would you have done the same? And is it morally wrong to take said phone into my provider and fail to say this phone was on top of my own shit?
—Larry in Minneapolis

No, I would’ve flushed my iPhone down the toilet because I’m mentally disabled. Of course I would’ve grabbed it off my “freshly pinched banana loaf,” you weird fuck. As far as it being morally wrong to take it into your provider without mentioning this catastrophic occurrence, why are you doing that in the first place? Is it too difficult to go on using your phone knowing that at one point the device you put to your ear made contact with your feces? Just sterilize the thing, and move on. If that proves impossible for your OCD ass, then no, I don’t think it’s morally wrong to take it in for a new one without telling them you dropped it in your poo. That conversation would be way too awkward. “I need a new phone. This one touched my freshly pinched banana loaf.”

Q: On a recent sloppy night out, I ended up at the late night dance bar with some friends. While there, a fat, pale, ginger chick tried to dance with me. I shrugged her off and my friends got pissed off at me for it. They agree that she was highly unattractive, but say I should have pursued it for two reasons: 1. Dance funny, look fun and get the attention of other girls, and 2. It could have been good dancing practice for when I find a more attractive dance partner. I never thought I’d have to defend NOT hooking up with an ugly chick, but here I am. My question to you, Bolen, is this: who is right and what would you have done? Your timely assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.
—Grant

Fat chicks need dance partners too, you shallow bastard. It’s a win-win scenario. You dance with the girl you aren’t attracted to, and her hot friends notice your generosity and therefore shower you with sex, or, worst case scenario, nothing comes of it and you danced with a fat chick and are a better human being for it. You’re not in danger or anything. It’s not like you’re going to dance with one heavyset babe and instantly develop a fetish for big-boned girls that haunts you for the rest of your days. Or maybe you will. Buy the ticket, take the ride.

Q: I skipped the office holiday party. I know I should’ve gone and shmoozed with the higher-ups, but I just couldn’t do it. I had every intention of going at the beginning of the day, but when quitting time rolled around, the thought of spending my night pretending to enjoy making small talk with coworkers made me sprint out of the building. I’d like to think my future success would depend on my work product and value as an employee, but I got crucified by my friends when I told them I thought skipping the party wasn’t a big deal. I have no problem going to a party and talking to people; it’s probably one of the things I’m best at. But doing it with the people from work sounds so fucking awful. Is putting up with this type of bullshit something I need to get used to if I plan on having a successful career?
—Anonymous Cubicle Monkey

Yeah, you have to go to the company holiday party. Now everyone thinks you’re an antisocial loser, and possibly a serial killer. Remember when you were little and your mom told you to do something and you whined, “I don’t waaant to,” and she said, “Sometimes in life we have to do things we don’t want to do?” This is one of those things. Being sociable and likable is incredibly important to the future of your career. Quit “returning some video tapes” and go to the fucking holiday party.

Q: I have a White Elephant Party on Friday for work. There’s a 20 dollar limit. What is something good to bring? I always think about Michael Scott buying Ryan a video iPod for $200 bucks, but I don’t think that will be allowed.
—Stuart

Bring one bullet. Don’t bring a gun, just one bullet. Everyone will think it’s hilarious, I promise.

Q: What’s worse at a company Christmas party: telling your hot female boss that you want to fuck her, or being the most hammered person at the party to the point that coworkers have to take care of you and make sure you get home safe?
—Jason

I’m assuming that in order to be drunk enough to tell your hot boss that you want to fuck her, you’d have to be the most hammered person at the party to the point that coworkers have to take care of you and make sure you get home safe. What kind of sociopath goes up to his boss and admits his desire to make intercourse with her when sober? But if you can only pick one, being the drunkest guy there and embarrassing yourself without telling your boss that you want to take her to Pound Town is probably the safer course of action.

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Ross Bolen

Ross Bolen is a New York Times Bestselling author, co-host of the Oysters, Clams & Cockles: Game of Throbes podcast, co-host of the Back Door Cover sports podcast, 2017 Masters attendee, bigger and more loyal Rockets and Astros fan than you, cheese enchilada aficionado, and nap god.

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