by Beau Hebert
Dear The Beauster:
I know Seattle is known as the most passive-aggressive place on Earth, but the people at my job take it to the Nth degree! Disagreements are met with a smile, a head nod of agreement, and then a raged-filled email a half-hour later. I’ve tried to bring this up, but when I did at a company-wide meeting, my co-workers said, “I’m not sure what you’re talking about, I don’t think we have a problem.” Later that day, I got 5 emails saying, “We do, indeed, have a problem, but can we work it out over email.” I don’t know how to thrive in this environment or what to do. Help!!!
– Victim of Workplace Passive Aggressiveness
Dear V of WPA:
Although passive-aggressiveness writhes in our fair city like a disgusting larva, let’s draw inspiration from some Northwest examples that shatter this stereotype and take our cues from them: Jimi Hendrix did not lightly plink at the strings of his Stratocaster, but assaulted it, lit it on fire and dry-humped it at the Monterey Jazz Festival; Kurt Cobain did not emit a faint scent of teen spirit, but reeked to holy Hell of it; the Seahawks defense is the Legion of Boom, not the Legion of Awkward Averted Glances; and Sir Mix-A-Lot – could he have been less passive about his attitude toward big butts?
Take a “Big Butts” approach to combating the passive-aggressiveness in your workplace, the APA(!) approach: Aggressive Passive-Aggressiveness! Anonymously leave your co-workers gifts, then invoice them a week later for those very gifts, plus service fee, billed to APA(!) Enterprises. Tap into an online genealogy database, learn names of their deceased relatives, then reference them unsettlingly, e.g. “Aunt Martha, rest her soul, was saddened by your presentation” or “Your analysis of the merger made Cousin Sal weep. He drank himself to death in 1971.” Using a turkey baster, suck the jelly out of some jelly rolls, refill with mayonnaise, horseradish, ketchup, etc. Leave said jelly rolls in break room. Coin condiment-related nicknames for your co-workers, such as Dijon-Debbie, Aioli-Bob & Sriracha-Monique and refer to them by these nicknames at the next board meeting – Presto! You have Aggressively Passive-Aggressively(!) implicated them in the jelly roll scandal.
Proper application of AGA(!) will put a stop to passive-aggressive behavior at your workplace. Or it will get you fired. Either way, you’ll be free from that particular batch of flimsy Seattle side-huggers.
Prescription from the pharmacy at Jude’s Old Town: Tequilia Sunrise – Tequila, orange juice & grenadine layered in a glass like liquid sun. So pretty and innocuous, passive even…until later when you wake up naked in a baby pool of lime Jell-O singing the national anthem.
Overheard at the bar: “All cat lovers become hoarders eventually.”
Beau Hebert is owner and head bartender of Jude’s Old Town in Rainier Beach.
Featured Image: Alex Garland