Bitch, Please: The Etiquette Of Vomiting At The Office And On Your Friends

Do you have issues with your no-longer-best girlfriend? Is your coworker driving you crazy? Megan Carpentier is here to give you the life advice that you don’t want to hear, told in the way you absolutely need to hear it.

I know this is probably a stupid question, but what’s the word on puking at the office? Like, is it okay if it’s not germy (i.e., because you’re pregnant)? What about bulimics? If it’s a stall situation, what do you do when you hear it going on? What if you you’re the one puking, should you take off your shoes and hope no one knows it’s you?

Office bathrooms are especially fraught, because they are semi-public spaces, but they are shared with people with whom you often have interpersonal relationships. (On a somewhat related topic, you should never tinkle on the seat without cleaning up, or else you’re really just pissing on your own co-workers. Plus, it’s nasty.) In small offices, and one bathroom offices, it’s even more fraught with tensions and differing standards.

That said, the best way to treat an office bathroom is to treat it as though you’re a guest at someone’s house. Would you take a newspaper into the sole bathroom at your friend’s apartment and let a huge turd marinade in the bowl while you caught up on the Sports section? No? Then don’t do it at the office. Puking is the same way.

If you’re legitimately ill, hangover or otherwise, puking in the bathroom is far preferable than the floor — but if you’re contagious or suffering from food poisoning, a puke and run is preferable. Just don’t, as Jessica Wakeman discovered, get on public transportation. If you’ve got morning sickness, you may not want to let your co-workers know before that three-month mark passes, but if you’re dry-heaving every morning at 10:05 for three months, they’re already gonna know by the time you mention it.

The real problematic office puking is the regular office puking. If you’re hungover every morning, you have got to show up to work, but be prepared for someone to start bringing up meetings, because — for real — if you’re so hungover you’re barfing at the office every morning, that’s the definition of a problematic relationship with alcohol. And if you are suffering from an eating disorder, spending hours puking in the bathroom each day is likely going to noticed by (and gross out) your co-workers. Either way, you’re hogging a communal space, you’re regularly engaging in a bodily function that isn’t designed for daily utilization and you’re going to be caught by one, if not many, of your co-workers. And, again, if you were at a friend’s house and not the office, you likely wouldn’t be doing it. Of course, regular puking is a sign you need to get some help — medical or therapeutic — more than it is that you should stick to vomiting outside your office, but if you’re already praying to the porcelain goddess that regularly, the noise in that echo chamber might drown out any other helpful speech.

And, if your co-worker is suffering from an eating disorder, click here for some advice from a friend who has been there.

One of my male friends — a really nice guy, if somewhat socially inept — just signed up for classes held by a pick-up artist. I think that whole pick-up artist culture is so demeaning to women and just downright gross. What can I say to talk him out of it?

Well, your instincts about pick-up artists are right: the culture is all about taking the supposed mystery out of women (pun intended) by teaching men to view them as nothing more than sex objects to be obtained by games and trickery. No longer should men be shackled to the idea that women are individuals with individual taste, needs and desires: nay, it’s all about creating the illusion that the targeted women are in competition for the pick-up artist and eliminating that silly idea of mutual attraction developing through shared interests and physical chemistry. Gag.

Anyway, the real question is: why is your supposedly nice guy of a friend trading in his nice guy cred for some magic bullet access to pussy, as opposed to dating online or hanging out with you and your female friends? Is it possibly because he’s not really that nice a guy? Those classes aren’t cheap, and they’re not exactly designed to teach him how to walk up to a nice girl in a bar and start a conversation. They’re designed to get dudes laid by teaching them how to most effectively objectify women and then prey on their insecurities in order to allow dudes to penetrate as many females’ vaginas as possible (it’s a very common tactic to depersonalize women by referring to them as “females”).

So, if your friend was really interested in some way to overcome his shyness, there are group events to attend with his friends, speed dating organizations, online dating, and even therapy or occupational therapy sessions he could pay for to help overcome his shyness or social awkwardness. Instead, he’s going to pay some guy that swears he’s had a lot of sex with “females “to teach him how to act like the kind of guy you’d never call nice. If that’s what he wants, do you want to talk him out of it? Or find a real nice guy to hang out with (and, gasp, even potentially date)?

If you have a problem with a friend, relative, coworker, or other person in your life, email Megan at advice@thegloss.com. If you have a problem with your boyfriend, you should probably just try talking to him.

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