Over the course of my life I have had many run-ins with the a force of absolute destructive potential energy. I am referring to the workplace ATF. The workplace ATF is never there by surprise, but somehow you always find yourself surprised by them. It is always one of those things that, at least in retrospect, seems horribly obvious when suddenly the metaphorical doors are being kicked down. After that point, only questions remain, lingering about your office like an unclaimed fart.
The ATF is a question, and like a demon of Lovecraftian horror, one it’s name has been uttered in full, it cannot be unheard, and everyone who hears the utterance is affected by it deeply, irrecoverably, and suddenly nothing is as it was before.
Yes, the horrible workplace ATF. A simple question:
As I said before, I have dealt with the ATF many times before throughout my working life, and I watched it creep in and wreck things time and again. Having all the sex appeal of those weird mid-western salads with Jello in them, I never had the opportunity to be the person who summoned the workplace ATF. But I did see it manifest. People are people, and hormones dictate our nature. I don’t fault people for it. The observed pattern was always the same, the ATF would show up, the rest of us would comment about how, in retrospect, it all seemed kind of obvious, and after a few weeks of gagging at someone else’s romance-
-the aftermath would kick in.
I found, before I went into management, that I had a pretty strong weapon against the terror of ‘are they fucking?’ in the form of a simple proverb:
Not my circus, not my monkeys.-Proverb from, I dunno, Poland or some shit
Right, but unfortunately for as much as I say that now, it simply is not true. This is my circus, and these are my monkeys. The chickens are here, and they are roosting.
Currently, we have X and we have Z. Not too long ago, X went through a breakup and moped around for a period of about a week and a half. Then, pretty rapidly, she was over it, and in her being over it there was a certain amount of increased giddiness around Z. Suddenly there were very big hugs whenever the one found the other in the office. This is what I have come to dub the fart stage of the ATF saga. We all smell it, but social decorum dictates we are not ready to comment on it – let alone ask about it. Unfortunately, with ATF you only really get to comment on it when it reaches the Sarin gas phase and everyone in the office is fucking choking on it. The only solution at that point is to duck and cover and wait for it to pass, right?
No. Now I am management. These are my monkeys, and this is my circus.
Before having a position in management the aftermath was mostly a matter of sick entertainment and schadenfreude. Watching a relationship crumble, and seeing two people was a perverse joy. Most people were rendered uncomfortable by it and for good reason, as it requires a lot of looking away, pretending not to notice the visible animosity now between two people, and in worst case scenarios taking sides.
If my current ATF explodes, it will be particularly dramatic, as Z is married.
Right now, you have to imagine my situation as a man looking at grenade on the floor and trying to establish whether it really still does have its pin, or if what looks like a pin is just some garbage nearby. Mostly, I am running away. I have no idea what the effect or the radius will be. This may or may not get an update, but because this blog doesn’t exist in real time I will try to space out the posts for effective drama. If there is an update on this issue, I will edit this post and link to an update.