Anonymous Mailbag

It’s Tuesday, which means the anonymous mailbag is here to rescue you from your week’s doldrums and solve all the problems in the OutKick universe.

Keep the great questions coming, anonymity guaranteed, to claytravis@gmail.com

Remember, the anonymous mailbag is only as good as the questions you guys send.

Okay, here we go:

“I work in a office building that has 4 floors, I work at a very small company (4 employees) and we are on the same floor with a giant dentist office (general lobby is always packed with patients) as in, there is no way to avoid people during my small walk from lobby door to our work entrance.

I went out to lunch by myself on a Friday (to my luck, I was the only person in the office that day). During my car ride back from grabbing lunch, I felt a sudden fart approaching.

No big deal, I was by myself so no need to hold it in.

Clay…. This was an all time shart. I mean incredibly bad shart. I immediately knew I was in trouble, but did not know how bad it was because once I farted I did an awkward standing squat the rest of the drive back to work because I knew something was off…

Once I parked at work, I had two options… walk into the work lobby, with an insane (can’t express this enough) amount of liquid shit stains running all the way from my butt down my leg. The advantage here is I just have to take about 8-10 steps and I am home free.

Option 2: admit defeat, and come home to my wife and kids and admit I poo’d myself…. BUT… it was during the holidays and MY PARENTS AND INLAWS WERE IN TOWN.

I went with option 1.

I walked into the office with confidence and walked as fast as possible. About 6 people saw me and acknowledged me from my walk in the parking lot into my office, and in the back of their minds they had to question… “is that shit stains running all down his legs???”

This is where it gets more insane…

I safely made it into the office, and had no choice but to immediately clean my self off… by soaking my khakis in the sink for about 2 hours, and could not leave work until they fully dried. I put the pants back on that were stainless btw, and went home like nothing happened. I worked the rest of the work day only with a shirt on, just praying no coworkers came into the office… if somebody came in.. oh boy.

My question for you… did I make the right choice? No one called me out, and I would never be able to live down coming home to my family and kids with MAJOR shart marks that went down both legs.

PS: there was some clean up in my car afterwards….”

I would have 100% gone home. You made the wrong call here.

Worst-case scenario at home you get made fun of by your family. Sure, everyone has a good laugh at your expense, but you’re the dad of the family already, which means no one in the house respects you and you already get made fun of all the time anyway.

Plus, most importantly here, your family loves you and this is just a small — and funny — story that represents a tiny percentage of their overall opinion of you.

Whereas if someone comes to your office, you’re the guy who shit his pants and was at work with no pants on for the rest of your professional life there. I don’t know exactly what you do for a living, but being the guy who shit himself at work and then stayed at work with no pants on AND GOT CAUGHT DOING IT never leaves you.

Furthermore, given how everyone has no sense of humor now, what happens if it’s a girl who shows up and she reports you for not having pants on at work because she thinks you’re treating your body like an amusement park? Then you’ve got a full on HR investigation underway.

And your defense to being accused of jerking off at work is that you weren’t actually jerking off, you actually shit yourself at work and were just there working with no pants on while you washed your pants in the office bathroom sink. I mean, maybe they accept this as the truth. But are you promoting the guy who shit himself at work and got caught with no pants on, if you’re the boss who has to review this HR report?

Probably not.

So the risk-reward here is a no brainer. You should have gone home.

“I work for a Fortune 500 company in an office building and my job deals exclusively with internal people (i.e. no client meetings). We are in the office a couple days a week and work from home the other days. Over the last 10 years the dress code has basically disappeared and most guys, including a lot of upper management, dresses more like Bill Belichick than say Jerry Jones. I’ve maintained a slacks and button down wardrobe usually with a sport coat (even on Zoom). I occasionally get comments about why I’m so dressed up but actually find it really comfortable and it helps me get in a professional mindset when I’m at work.

I’m at the point where I need to refresh some of my wardrobe and my question is what direction would you go? I think that if Belichick didn’t win so much, his slobbish wardrobe would be a big negative topic. But I also want to fit in with the prevailing company culture.”

Why would you dress up at work if you didn’t have to dress up at work?

If the answer is you like dress clothes more than regular clothes, then do whatever makes you more comfortable, but I’m a shorts and t-shirts guy. As in, if I can wear shorts and t-shirts, I do. In fact, virtually every time you see me on television, I’m in a jacket and a button down — which you can see on television — and then shorts. Now I have a home studio for radio and TV, but I’d wager that 90% of my waking hours, I’m in shorts and a t-shirt.

That’s because it’s my personal preference. As a general life rule I believe you shouldn’t wear pants unless you have to wear pants.

But if you’re reading this right now — and you’re a young guy or girl — I’d follow the prevailing company culture until you’re important enough to be able to adjust the company culture in a direction you like more. For instance, when I was a young summer associate at a law firm, one of the older partners would order beer every day for lunch. No one else did that. Do you know what I did when he took me out for lunch? I ordered a soda.

Could I have ordered a beer?

Sure.

But I hadn’t earned the right to do that, at least not in my opinion. So I didn’t want to rock the boat early in my tenure there.

Another lawyer, also a partner, took a nap every day in his office after lunch. I envied that because everyone who works in an office, at least most of us, occasionally wants to take a nap in their office. But there was no way I was shutting my door, turning out the lights, and taking a nap in my office. Because I was a young lawyer and inevitably that would be when a senior partner would come by my office. And then he’d see a young associate napping in the office and it wouldn’t be good for my standing at the new job.

Now if I’d made partner and proven myself? I probably would have taken a nap every now and then.

My point here? Don’t rock the boat when it comes to the corporate culture of your job when you are a young employee there. Once you’ve established yourself and proven your worth, then you can modify the culture in ways that make sense to you. Provided, that is, that you continue to produce high-level work.

Also, you say your job isn’t forward facing, but if it were, my advice would be different. No one wants their financial advisor to show up for a meeting in flip flops and shorts. Cosmetics matter quite a bit in forward facing jobs. In those instances, I’d do my best to avoid losing clients based on fashion choices. So don’t rock the boat there.

“I’ve been talking to a girl I like a lot. Coming off 5 days together. We have gotten quite comfortable with each other, so much so that last night she tells me she has IBS, irritable bowel syndrome.

It has me freaked tf out.

Does this make me a vain and terrible person or does it simply mean I do not like her enough for this not to matter?

Thank you for your wisdom.”

I mean, did you think she didn’t poop?

I guess sharing the fact that she has less control over her poops might be a bit much early in a relationship, but if she’s really hot, how does her uncomfortable bowels impact your life in any way? Sure, she might have to occasionally rush to the bathroom, but that’s her issue, not yours.

In fact, she’s telling you about this, probably, because she’s embarrassed by the issue and if she suddenly has to rush to the bathroom or sleeps over and spends a ton of time in the bathroom, she doesn’t want you to wonder what in the world is going on.

Now there are medical conditions that could certainly cause you to question your relationship. If, for instance, she’d confided in you that she had herpes or, much more seriously, HIV, you’d have to seriously contemplate what your future together might be like. And there are noncommunicable disease issues that could arise too. What if she couldn’t have children? These are serious issues that could impact your life as well.

But this one?

It’s mostly a non-issue.

My bet is you’re turned off by this because you don’t like her that much.

So you’re trying to use the IBS as a reason to bail on the relationship. That’s fine, I suppose, but at least be honest about the reason you’re making the choice. It’s her, not the IBS.

“I work for a manufacturing company and recently a stinky situation has reared its smelly head leading to cultural sensitivity training for me. Flash back two years pre-COVID insanity, employees are working from the office every day and it was commonplace for visitors to come to our facility. The majority of the company operates on one campus so guests would range from cold calling salespeople to CEO’s of our biggest customers. The lobby area where guests wait has the second nicest bathroom in the facility, next to the bathroom on ‘Leadership Alley’ where our VP’s and President sit. The hallway with their offices and bathroom is locked and only people with certain access can gain entry. By certain people, I mean most salary staff, but nobody from the manufacturing floor.

Pre-work from home, visitors would complain because men AND women would come upfront to the lobby from the manufacturing floor and DESTROY the bathrooms. Gnarly, nasty, disgusting shits, stench would permeate the entire lobby. The janitorial company had to clean that bathroom two extra times per day. For almost two years we’ve been working from home with no guests but recently we started allowing visitors (customers and suppliers) back into our facility. First three visitors, three complaints immediately and I’m sitting in a meeting with two VP’s and our President to discuss options. My suggestion, since this area can also be controlled via badge access, is to restrict access in the same fashion as ‘Leadership Alley.’ I was told by the VP of HR that my suggestion is too close to ‘Separate but Equal.’

I laughed out loud. It’s all races and genders going nuclear in that bathroom. Makes total sense why people go there since it is far cleaner than any bathroom on the production floor. Don’t tell me about separate but equal unless you want to allow everybody in the company access to your private bathroom. My question for you, when is this hypersensitivity and hypocrisy going to end? What will it take to swing the pendulum back towards the center?

For what it’s worth, the outcome is the business spending $150K to renovate every other bathroom in the building instead of telling employees they need to shit where they work.”

The separate but equal line is particularly funny here because that’s exactly what they are doing with their own bathroom. So it’s fine for them to do, but not fine for the rest of the company to do.

I think you should have spoken out for the common man or the common woman here. A nice, clean bathroom at work, a secure place to poop, is one of the top work amenities.

Speaking of this, I was talking with my fifth grader the other day and school bathrooms came up and I said, “How are the bathrooms at your school?”

And he said, “Dad, no one poops at school. No one.” (He goes to way better schools than I ever did, by the way, I’m sure the bathrooms are fine there. Some of our school bathrooms were like dungeons. All dark and scary and with occasional mice running around while you were pooping. There’s no doubt murders have happened in those places.)

Anyway, I told him being scared to poop at school was a defeatist attitude. That he needs to scout out the school and find the best bathroom available to use. Just like you scout out the school water fountains and use the best ones of those too. Remember how, inexplicably, some school water fountains were perfectly cold and gave you a nice solid stream of water? And then other water fountains were comparatively hot and you had to basically make out with them to get any water in your mouth?

Public bathrooms are the same way.

Every decent-sized place has good ones and bad ones. You have to be willing to search out your building and find the right location.

What was really at play with this decision was the high level executives wanted to protect their bathrooms while not being accused of exclusivity.

So I actually think spending the money to improve overall bathroom quality is a solid move. A rich dude move designed to make sure they have great amenities without being questioned on them, but still a solid move because the overall company benefits too.

“What are the acceptable timelines for asking a girl out or making a move when she recently broke up with her boyfriend, for both of the scenarios where you’re cool with being a rebound or don’t want to just be that?”

If she is interested in you, I think any time post break-up is acceptable and so will she.

If she isn’t into you, she’ll say it’s too soon. This then gives you the opportunity to tuck your tail between your legs and pretend you simply asked her out too soon. When the reality probably is she’s just not that into you.

A couple of caveats here. The length of the relationship matters. If she was dating a guy for five years and just broke off an engagement last week, that’s different than if she was dating someone for a few months. The longer the relationship, the more likely she is to want some space to recover from the break-up.

But regardless of these details, it’s her call not yours. If you’re interested in her, make your move. (This is provided, by the way, that you aren’t friends with the ex-boyfriend. Then your analysis here is way different. But assuming you aren’t friends with the former couple, you are good to go whenever you want to shoot your shot.) I’d go within the first month post break-up. Because if she’s really a top prospect, someone else will try and get to her before you.

Good luck.

Okay, I’m off to do the Clay and Buck radio show. As always, send your anonymous mailbag questions to claytravis@gmail.com, anonymity guaranteed.

Written by Clay Travis

OutKick founder, host and author. He's presently banned from appearing on both CNN and ESPN because he’s too honest for both.

3 Comments

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  1. Ok there’s a lot to question 1 here. First off the guy shits himself then works bare ass the rest of the day and he’s serious asking if that was the right decision???

    Furthermore simply soaking his shit stained pants in water wouldn’t have cleaned them. There would need to be some sort of brush and scrubbing involved. And his pants wouldn’t dry in a few hours by just hanging up in an office, we’re talking several hours probably 24 hours to be even dry enough to wear. Did his wife not ask why is he a day late from returning from work?

    Sorry for the rant. I’m analytical on these things.

  2. #1 Go home, take a shower, throw those pants in the trash. It isn’t worth the effort to clean them. I also think it would take more than a little clean up for the car. That smell will linger for a long time.
    #2 I always tell my kids it’s better to be the best dressed person at work than the worst dressed. People remember you if you look like a slob, but not the way you want them to.
    Last question- Go for it, she might be going on a revenge tour. Just don’t expect anything serious.

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