My Co-worker spits in his trashcan

I can’t place exactly when it started, but my co-worker spits in his trashcan multiple times a day.  MULTIPLE. This goes on, unacknowledged, all day, every day, save for sideways glances and ‘WHAT THE FUCK’ instant messages across the office.  This is a CDC nightmare.

Let’s explore the possible solutions:

Begin spitting in your own trashcan:  I briefly considered hocking lugies into my own trashcan as a passive aggressive demonstration of how gross it is to see someone else spreading DNA in the office (perhaps it’s not gross when you are the one doing the snot spitting?).  One day, after a particularly seismic hock and release, I almost mustered up the saliva to do it, but stopped myself for the following reasons.

1.)    I am a girl, and regardless of the reason, if I am seen spitting in public, I will be utterly unfuckable from that point onward.  Just facts of life.

2.)    The risk of this action implicitly condoning, as opposed to deterring against the action is far too high.

Tip off HR:  Ok, totally a bitch ass move.  I’ve never really read an employee rights handbook, but I’m sure the right to work in an office without soaring snot rockets is probably listed in there in so many words.  Whereas I am far too cowardly and passive aggressive by nature to take on such a direct complaint to the source, this is probably what a human resources department is trained to do, right?

1.)    This didn’t work. Apparently unless someone is asking you to use this spit in some sort of sexual act, there isn’t much HR can do.

2.)    Now I’m considered the catty co-worker, which is ironic because cats bathe in their own saliva, so really I’m as far from catty as one can get.

Ignore it: Maybe if I just pretend it isn’t happening, it won’t bother me.  I mean it’s just spit, right?

1.)    Are you fucking kidding me?

2.)    It’s like a 3-5 second hocking process that practically shakes the room, and then what seems like an eternity where the mucus glob festers in his mouth spent wondering if he’s going to spit or swallow it, followed by a now distinctive *ding* when it finally reaches the trash can.  Ignore that?

3.)    Are you fucking kidding me?

Directly confront the source of the spit: On a day-to-day basis, the spitter and I get along quite well.  We’re able to have mature, saliva-free conversations about work-related tasks, and every now and then share a laugh over current events. How bad could it be if I just asked him if he could maybe not spit phlegm when I’m around?  Maybe even bring it up as a half joke, but then through a meaningful glance toward the end of the convo, communicate that no, really, your personal habits gross me the fuck out.

1.)    I don’t think it’s possible to rebound from this conversation if it goes south. This is a fairly argumentative person we’re talking about. What if it’s a family thing or something? Like “My dad spit in his trashcan, and his dad spit in his trashcan, and even before that our cave dads spit in cave carvings resembling trashcans? Now you want to break tradition because you don’t like the sound of my spit? Never speak to me again.”

2.)    Ok, really I’m just afraid he’ll get mad and spit on me, and it will be like Slimer on Ghost Busters.  This thought makes me lose sleep.  Not worth the risk.

Quit and try for a job in a spit-free environment: How many people in this world really spit in their trashcans?  What are the odds that I land myself in another office where the person who sits next to me spits, unless I go on to become a dental hygienist or something?  I imagine this likelihood to be quite slim, right?

1.)    Recession.

2.)    Can you imagine in an interview answering the “so why did you leave your last job?” with a “I really loved it, but my co-worker spit in his trash can?”

Buy a Miley Cyrus CD:  I know for a FACT that this guy HATES Miley Cyrus.  Most men do.  Especially men who have daughters who watch Hannah Montana.  They come to work every day to escape the Disney crooner.  So here’s the plan.  Create a Pavlovian association between his spitting and Miley Cyrus.  I will live my life with a Miley Cyrus song cued up on my computer, and every time that faithful **ding** rings in the newest phlegm bomb hitting his trash can, I will click play on 30 seconds of Best of Both Worlds.  As long as that chick keeps churning out tween hits, I am set.

1.) Nope. Can’t see anything wrong with this.  Miley Cyrus FTW.


Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: