Mr. Faucet says, “Please be gentle.”

This is the phrase on the handmade water-splotched bled-ink piece of paper taped to the wall above the sink in the kitchen at my new job.  What is it about working in an office that turns otherwise normal people into cheesy caricatures of themselves, creating signs that are only appropriate for a four year old?  I only wish the maker of the Mr. Faucet sign at least included a little cartoon picture of a faucet with arms and legs and a smiley face somewhere.

And what about this picture?  I snapped it from inside the bathroom stall with my iPhone.  Should I be worried about the fact that someone feels the need to decorate the insides of the bathroom stalls with calming images?  

When I used to work at the marketing agency, I managed a forty-something Office Manager that would ask me if she could go to the bathroom.  What do you mean, can you go to the bathroom?  Of course you can go to the bathroom.  We’re not in third grade here!  If that alone weren’t enough, the actual words she used were, “I need to go tee-tee.  Is that OK?”  TEE-TEE.  TEE-TEE!  I kid you not.

I once had to referee a difficult discussion between two other employees.  A newbie that had just joined the team asked grass-phobia girl to go out to lunch one day.  Not realizing she was committing herself to become a stalking victim, she agreed to go.  It was an awkward lunch, and grass-phobia girl tried extra hard to avoid one-on-one situations with the newbie from that point forward.  The newbie, however, believed that their single lunch meant they must now be BFF’s.  She stalked grass-phobia girl over instant messenger, tried to corner her for conversations at lunch, hung around after work waiting for everyone else to leave so they could talk.  She did not understand how one day they were BFF’s and the next, she was being blown off.  Eventually, grass-phobia girl confided in me because she just couldn’t take it anymore.  I had to sit them both down and explain to the crazy new girl that not everyone at work becomes best friends, and she needed to respect grass-phobia girl’s wishes to focus on work, not lurid boy and fashion gossip.

I just don’t get it.  Is there something in the air as soon as the corporate door swings shut behind us that taints our ability to act like adults?

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