Work Retire Mailbag, Vol. 1
Loyal WRDies – welcome to the newest recurring segment, the Work Retire Mailbag. Every month or so, we’ll be answering your questions about work, life and balance. Thank you to all who submitted questions for our first edition, and for everyone else, be sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org to have yours answered in the next version. And don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly newsletter, where answers will be posted first.
Also – WE HIT 10k FOLLOWERS ON INSTAGRAM!!!! Thank you to everyone and we appreciate the support, even when the memes are bad and I relentless promote 2,000 word blogs on my local Jersey Mike’s shop. But now, at long last, I have swipe up functionality and have become a very dangerous man.
Let’s get into your questions.
Question: “My good work friends have left and the remaining work people are the worst. How do I get across that I do not want to go see Joker or go ax throwing with them?”
This is a tough place to be. As someone who is very anti-ax throwing bars (I’ve started several Change.org petitions to have them banned) and has been forced to befriend Jersey Mike’s employees instead of finding new work friends, I feel for you. You basically have two options.
Option 1– Give your other coworkers a chance. You might actually like them! Wouldn’t it be fun to be friends with people you spend so much time with?
Option 2– Avoid them at all costs (this is what I would recommend.)
Now, you don’t want to be rude because you still want them to like you (how else would you get anything done in the office), but you obviously don’t want to hang out with them. Ideal state is to be invited to 50% of social events, and attend about a third of those events.
Here are some great ways to get out of social events with work people.
Pro Tip #1 – Casually start talking about your weekend plans on Wednesday or Thursday. Make it clear that you have dinner plans on Friday, or even better, a birthday (the most iron-clad excuse.) Then, when it comes time for Happy Hour, you can bail and they won’t think you’re lying.
Pro Tip #2 – If you catch yourself in the elevator bay with with a group of coworkers leaving the office on a Friday night, you need to act fast. Pretend you left your headphones at your desk, or better yet, that you have to take a massive shit. Once you get in that elevator, you are trapped into whatever plans they have.
Pro Tip #3 – Take on serious responsibilities in your personal life that will impact your free time. Start dating someone, even if you don’t like them. Get a dog – doesn’t matter if you’re allergic or your building doesn’t allow it. Even better, have a child. These kind of serious relationships are perfect excuses to get out of joining your office kickball team.
Pro Tip #4 – Quit. Your job most likely sucks and you’re probably bad at it. No one will really miss you.
Question: “What is the best way to stay awake and DON’T say coffee. I shit.
Don’t know how to answer this one because I have bravely stopped doing Adderal when I’m sober and have 6 – 9 cups of coffee a day. Also, it is completely fine to shit at the office. This is why you are there – for the free toilet paper and industrial plumbing.
Question: “I need to stop saying ‘you guys.’ What are gender neutral ways to address my coworkers?”
This is a serious issue that is impacting offices around the entire nation, if not the entire world. Luckily, I’m here to help.
If it’s in a professional setting (over email or a conference call) I would keep it generic. “Hi team,” or “Hey everyone” will work just fine. If you want to be super corny, even try a “Hey gang,” but just know that no one in the office will respect you or be sexually attracted to you ever again. If you’re ok with that, then proceed.
Now, if it’s more colloquial, like a Slack channel or hanging at the desks, there are a few more options. “Squad” is pretty fun. Sometimes, I’ll even do a ‘What’s up peeps’ if I’m feeling spicy. If I can tell that my coworkers are Russian or Bernie supporters, I’ll even go with “Comrades.” In this political climate though, that may be a risky bet.
Honestly, I think it is pretty funny to call your coworkers “Colleagues.” When I walk to my desk and say “Happy Wednesday colleagues!” there’s usually one person who laughs and only 3 who completely ignore me. I’ll take those odds.
Was that helpful? Probably not. Moving on!
Question: “Recently at a party I walked up to a group of strangers and said, “Alright guys, looks like we’ve got a quorum. Let’s get started.” But instead of starting to party, everyone just walked away. Why? :/”
It seems like you have attempted what appears to be a joke. However, it’s important to keep in mind that jokes are supposed to be funny. A lot of people forget this and it seems you have as well, since this is one of the worst jokes in American history.
I will say though, that using work-speak in every day conversation is objectively hilarious. If your group chat is deciding on a bar for happy hour, and someone says that they’re ‘aligned’? That’ll get a chuckle from me. Heck, I’ll even give it a ‘Haha’ reaction on iMessage. And I don’t throw those around casually. I have 10k Instagram followers, remember that.
Other buzzwords to use in every day situation include bandwidth – “Hey sorry guys, I had a long week and I’m pretty beat. Don’t have the bandwidth to go out tonight and make out with hot people sorry” and best practice – “I feel like going to back to back open bars isn’t really best practice.”
Question: “Ur memes make me sadder. But I like them nonetheless. Tell me what I’m too scared to tell myself.”
Dark stuff, but it makes sense. WRD memes are meant to be a reflection of adult life, which is sad, but I like it nonetheless. The general theme of the Work Retire Die is that we are all going to die and nothing you do really matters. You’re not particularly special or interesting and you will be forgotten soon after you pass. But that is kind of the best part. It’s all the more reason to do whatever makes you happy and ignore the things that don’t. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter that you have a horrible credit score (I hope) or that your job is annoying and dumb. Be nice to the people you care about and don’t sweat the small stuff. If you’re not happy, make some changes. Like right now. You are literally dying every single second and you (probably) only get one shot at life.
It also helps to have 10,000 Instagram followers.