Thursday, December 30, 2004

No adjustment necessary

Dear Esteemed Male Co-Worker:

During my short tenure here at Valhalla Inc., I have developed a great deal of respect and admiration for you as a colleague. You possess a wealth of knowledge about the company, you are always willing to lend a helpful hand, and your chipper attitude makes it a joy to come to work each morning.

Because I hold you in such high regard, I know that you will understand that this letter, while incredibly difficult for me to write, is essential to the continuation of our successful working relationship. I am certain that you are not aware of this, but over the course of the past few months, I have noticed that you have a habit of adjusting yourself when you are talking to me. I think you know what I mean, so I would prefer not to have to spell it out any further than that.

I’m sure that this is an unconscious habit, developed over years of working almost exclusively with men, so my hope is that by calling attention to it in this letter, you will be able to break the habit. Quickly.

I could probably overlook an occasional shift here and there, particularly if you attempted to do it discreetly. But are you aware that on December 13, during a fifteen minute conversation at my desk, you adjusted your anatomy four distinct times? When I first noticed this habit, I thought that maybe you had a rash, but since this has continued for the past three months, I can only assume that you either have a raging STD that will most likely cause dementia, or you are just a chronic self-adjuster.

I don’t want you to feel that I’m attacking you here – I’ll readily admit that I’m part of the problem. I have a heightened sensitivity to people calling attention to their private parts in a work setting. I prefer to imagine that my co-workers – just like my relatives – all have bodies that resemble Ken and Barbie dolls, i.e. sexless and smooth, without appendages or orifices of any sort.

So you see, when you continually draw attention to the fact that you possess something that needs adjusting, it upsets the balance in my mind, and distracts me from being the best worker I can be.

What I am proposing is a phase-out plan – similar to the Nicorette Three Step program – so that you can shed this habit once and for all. For the first week, you are allowed three adjusts per day, provided that they are not directly in my line of vision. During week two, we’ll drop down to two daily adjusts. Continue this plan through week three as well. In week four, limit yourself to just one shift per day, which I would recommend scheduling during your train ride in. Then, by week five, you will be free of any urges to touch your pelvic area during the workday.

I understand that breaking any long-time habit involves a few setbacks here and there, so I don’t want you to be too hard on yourself. Just make sure that you continue with the program, and set some goals for yourself that are Specific, Measurable, Agreed-Upon, Realistic, and Time-Bound. That’s the S.M.A.R.T. way to break any habit!

I look forward to a long and successful working relationship with you here at Valhalla Inc., and am confident that you have the willpower and commitment to accomplish this goal.

Best regards,

Jenny Goatee-Washington