OK, so if you’re going about your day, and someone offers you a piece of gum or a mint, chances are that you wonder, “Is my breath offending this person?” Some people will even outright ask, “Do I need one?”
This is what most people think given that scenario, because when someone offers you something like that, it’s entirely possible that they’re just having one themselves, and thought it would be rude not to offer you some too… or, you know, it’s possible that they’re trying to tell you, without being hurtful about it, that your breath is a crime against humanity.
Yes, an offer of something minty fresh could go either way.
But I cannot help but wonder in what possible scenario a person could repeatedly offer you a tissue, and you could NOT realize that you freaking need one.
Gentlemen (not that women can’t offend on this point, but men seem particularly deaf to the issue), let me just tell you:
I don’t know how you can possibly not notice that you’re sniffling, but the people around you do. You don’t think you need a tissue, but if I am listening to you sniffle all-dang-day, you really need to do some-dang-thing about it.
Because it’s pretty bad when I’m having to offer you a tissue. Adults generally don’t do that to other full-grown adults.
But you are apparently Just That Clueless, and it’s driving a whole gang of us (soon to become a torch-bearing mob) Just That Crazy.
“Do you need a tissue?” I ask, thrusting the box into your cubicle.
“No thanks, I have some,” you tell me, patting the box on your desk.
… You do? Seriously? THEN USE THEM.
Many, many sniffle-filled days later:
“I can hear you’re sniffling. Are you feeling okay? Can I offer you a tissue?” I ask, managing somehow to keep a smile on my face, and not to hurl the box at your head.
“No thanks, I don’t need one.” (literally punctuated by a loud, wet sniffle)
… Yes, you do. You definitely do. Let me assure you of that. It could save your life.
Look, I get it. It’s allergy season. It’s cold season. The office ventilation system is being used as a method of torture. There are a lot of reasons to have a runny nose and none of them mean you feel great or that you want to keep wiping your nose.
Yeah. Whatever. My sympathy is all used up. The people with office doors are not closing them so they can go on calls. They’re closing the door because it’s driving them batty to listen to you. Those of us without doors are doing our best to block out the sound with headphones or whatnot, with extremely limited success.
Take an allergy pill. Work from home.
Or, you know… just… Blow your damn nose.
Because violence is prohibited from the workplace, but you are rapidly wearing away the very last nerve for a lot of your colleagues.