COLUMBUS – A mid-level employee at an insurance brokerage firm in downtown Columbus was blindsided by a political conversation in the office break room Monday morning, according to multiple sources.
Peter Farmington, 25, was helping himself to some leftover bagels from a morning meeting when the incident took place, according to one witness who wished to remain unidentified. It was there when he accidentally engaged Sarah Duffey, a 38-year-old accountant and mother of two, in a conversation about the weekend. That, according to our source, is when things turned south.
“Yeah, she asked him about his weekend and he told her he was up in Cleveland seeing some friends from college,” one witness described. “That’s when Sarah saw her in. She immediately launched into some tirade about how it was bullshit the city had to host the Republican National Convention. She was apoplectic.”
Farmington, who was only in the break room because of a company-wide email about free breakfast and has been described by his coworkers as “reserved” and “polite and friendly enough,” allegedly tried to backtrack, saying he had spent most of his time in the suburbs and didn’t know much about what was happening with the convention. That didn’t stop Duffey, a registered Democrat and self-described “progressive secularist atheist humanist” on Facebook, from broadening her complaints to the GOP platform as a whole.
“Yeah, it was really tough to watch,” said Tyler Gooden, an associate at the firm. “His eyes were all red. He looked completely exhausted and hungover from the weekend. I mean, to see a man go through a conversation about how Republican congressmen shouldn’t be allowed to tell women what to do with their bodies right at 9 a.m. on a Monday — it tears at your heart a little bit.”
Some witnesses considered going in on an amateur rescue mission, but backed off because it appeared too dangerous.
“He was playing the situation right,” said Kali Gray, the office manager who says she caught a glimpse of part of the conversation. “He was hitting her with one-word answers confirming her complaints and nodding along the whole time. I mean, he was going by the book. She was just, I guess, immune to it.”
Farmington was reportedly inside the break room for nine minutes before Duffey wore herself out and headed back to her cubicle. Sources indicated that he looked completely defeated by life as he walked back to his desk.
A few guys in the office pooled some money together to buy him a nice lunch. It was, they said, a small but meaningful gesture to brighten Farmington’s spirits.
“It’s not fair that bad things in life happen to good people,” said Gooden, one of the guys who took Farmington out to lunch. “But life’s not fair, I guess.”.