Please know that regardless of timing the answer is still “No” – or, A lesson in subtext

6 Mar

Our e-mail system at work has a chat feature. Most of the time, it’s extremely convenient because I can coordinate things silently while also taking notes in meetings. Other times, it’s a pain in the ass.

Awkward Coworker is a person with whom I need to regularly communicate for work reasons, but he likes to use the chat feature to test his skills at quippy banter. Note: I do not believe he’s ever said any iteration of “hello” to me in person. And, since about October, Awkward Coworker has really been earning his name.

BUT BREAKTHROUGH! I’m pretty sure I put a kibosh on the awkward?

Don't speak.

Awkward Coworker: Get anything good from the folks or fiance for the bday?
I’m passive aggressively sarcastic about that boyfriend of yours.
Polly: 16 dvds of the Flying Circus!
Too bad, he’s really great at being a boyfriend!
Awkward Coworker: Every woman’s dream.
Yeah, whatever.
Polly: I can watch International Philosophy as many times as I want now.
No but really, he’s awesome.
Awkward Coworker: Yes, my father the philosophy professor would be in heaven.
You’re the kind of lady I could take home to mom and pop. Are you sure about this boyfriend?
So sure.
Awkward Coworker: Damn it Pol, you send things like that and say such quick funny things you make it impossible to dislike you. Pretty unfair of you.
Awkward Coworker: Can I trust that if I tell you something you will keep it between us?
Prepare yourself, I’m about to make it really awkward up in here. If you keep my secrets it means we have a bond. 
Polly: Unless it involves harming yourself or others or breaking the law. I will always be an RA.
Psh, I have a blog, are you kidding? Also I’m definitely saving this conversation incase I need to present evidence to HR.
Awkward Coworker: When I first started talking to you, I was actually interested in you. At one time I was even building up the courage to ask you out. As it turns out I missed my chance for that.
Polly: Well thank you, that’s very flattering, but regardless of timing I prefer to not get involved with coworkers, and while I love being conversational and making friends here it’s probably best to keep things professional.
I’m trying my best to soften the blow, but your timing aside, the answer would still be a big ol’ NO. Please stop.
Awkward Coworker: Oh I know and am not asking that now. Just explaining so you know thats all. I think I keep things professional, just letting you know I think your [sic] a beautiful, smart pretty special person.
Oh sure, I sense your disinterest very clearly. I just wanted to make you feel guilty about it.
Polly: Well the good thing is, there are tons of us Monty Python fangirls/Liz Lemon wannabes out there and plenty of them probably have much better tennis skills than me.
Well mission accomplished because I feel obliged to pander to your neediness while still not giving you ammunition because really, stop. And for the love of Zeus do yourself a favor and don’t take romantic advice from The Office. 
Awkward Coworker: Nah, im not looking.

Conversation ended. So like, it’s done right? I can stop worrying about AC’s awkwardness, right?

2 Responses to “Please know that regardless of timing the answer is still “No” – or, A lesson in subtext”

  1. highfiverson March 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    catching up on you ladies today… (if you can’t tell by the kajillion clicks.. it’s me…), but whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?????? that is supreme awk. the awk of all awks. seriously impressed with how you handled it!

  2. Sotorya (Tory) March 15, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Also catching up! Holy awkward. The most awkward. He is the most awkward that ever awkwarded. Also you are amazing at subtext. Also , yep, we will never escape being RAs.

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