I am no longer bound by social norms and will hurt you as much as I can with words.

A fight broke out in the office a few minutes ago and is well underway. No punches have been thrown but Melissa (pictured) and Jodie have declared, “Fuck it, gloves off; I’m all in. I am no longer bound by social norms or fearful of reprisal and will hurt you as much as I can with words.”

Apparently the fight started when Jodie described Melissa’s nail polish colour as, “a bit 2015.” I’m not sure how it escalated, as I was outside having a cigarette, but I heard yelling and entered in time to witness Melissa throw a 6” Subway sandwich at Jodie. The sandwich barely glanced Jodie’s shoulder, but she reacted as if hit by a .50 caliber round, screamed, “That’s assault you fucking bitch!” and knocked a framed photo (of Melissa and her boyfriend Scoutmaster Andrew sitting on a petrified log) off Melissa’s desk.

Melissa’s response focused on Jodie’s weight so it’s definitely on...

...Right. Jodie is in tears and she attempted to push the photocopier over but only succeeded in breaking off the paper tray. It’s the most exciting thing to happen in the office all week so I’m going to cover this live as the action unfolds...

Update: 10.48am

Jodie is sitting in her car talking on her phone. I don’t know who she’s talking to but I hope it’s the police. In her absence, Melissa is explaining to us her side of the story. As encouragement, we’re agreeing that she’s in the right and affirming we’ve always liked her more than Jodie...

Update: 10.55am

Melissa just leaped over the line and chose the nuclear option by disclosing personal information Jodie told her in confidence. I’m not sure how all of us knowing Jodie has genital herpes helps Melissa’s argument, but her commitment to take the situation to ‘raining fire’ level is to be applauded...

Update: 11.01am

It’s like an episode of Survivor where one contestant lists the reasons someone else should be voted off instead of them. The entire office is now also aware that Jodie tore her anus a few months ago and had to have stitches, owes petty cash $340 for a loan to make rent, and sucked off the rep from Smucker’s Jam in his Ford Edge...

Update: 11.08am

Jodie just reentered the office and a heated exchange about who is the bigger bitch ensued. Apparently Melissa is the biggest bitch Jodie has ever met but Jodie is the biggest bitch in the world so that wins. Jodie retaliated with, “At least I don’t buy my jeans from Old Navy!” and did a weird wiggle of the head with a smirk. I’m not sure how that’s an insult as I own jeans from Old Navy and they’re pretty comfy, but it seemed to outrage Melissa who screamed, “They’re from H&M bitch!”...

Update: 11.15am

Melissa has “had enough of stupid fat bitches” and went to Subway to purchase a replacement sandwich. It’s therefore Jodie’s turn to seek affirmation from everyone in the office that she’s in the right and explain why Melissa should be voted off the island...

Update: 11.19am

I asked Jodie if she really sucked off the rep from Smucker’s Jam and she’s sitting in her car again...

Update: 11.25am

Jennifer from HR is sitting in Jodie’s car with her. She had to tap on the window for a few minutes before Jodie unlocked the passenger side and let her in. I’d give a toe to hear the conversation as Jodie is waving her arms about like she’s summoning a water demon...

Update: 11.39am

How am I the bad guy? Jennifer just spoke to me about ‘unnecessary escalation of sensitive situations’ (which can’t possibly be a real HR term) and Jodie gave me a death glare on her way to the kitchen.

Rebecca, the office gossip, has gone to “check if Jodie is okay,” which can be translated as, “I’m going to tell Jodie everything Melissa said so you might all want to put on safety goggles.”...

Update: 11.52am

‘OMG’ isn’t a term I throw about, as I’m not a 15yo girl on a bus, but OMG! Jodie just stormed up the stairs and declared, “Not that it’s anyone’s business but yes, like 47% of the population, I have herpes okay? Like none of you have ever had unprotected sex.”

She neither confirmed nor denied sucking off the rep from Smucker’s Jam, but she did inform us that Melissa had an abortion when she was 16 and cheated on Scoutmaster Andrew with an electrician named Greg...

Update: 11.56am

I checked Jodie’s statistics and only 11.9% of the population have genital herpes. The 47% is people who have them on their face - which still seems like a lot. I’m not sure how correcting her error makes me an asshole but apparently “it just does”...

Update: 12.08pm

Jodie is sitting in her car again. According to Jennifer, asking a coworker how they tore their anus is borderline sexual harassment but I was only asking so I don’t do it accidentally.

Melissa returned and is eating her Subway sandwich at her desk. It would have been polite to ask if anyone else wanted anything from Subway. I considered going out to get an Egg McMuffin and loudly asking if anyone else wants anything from McDonald’s to make a point, but I’m not leaving in case I miss anything so it’s Mentos for lunch...

Update: 12.19pm

I’m glad I didn’t leave. Mike, our creative director, just came back from a meeting and said to Melissa, “What’s with the sour face? You should smile whenever someone walks in the front door.” and Melissa replied, “Go fuck yourself, Mike. I quit.”...

Update: 12.25pm

Jennifer, Mike and Melissa are having a meeting in the boardroom. Jodie came back in and I told her the meeting was regarding her 'unprovoked aggressive behaviour', so she’s stormed in to set the record straight.

I should probably be in that meeting as I was the only witness to the Subway sandwich assault...

Update: 12.44pm

I suggested to Jennifer and Mike there may have been a bee in the office, and that Melissa simply swiped at it with her Subway sandwich and lost her grip.

Jodie accused me of taking sides so, for balance, I explained that angry outbursts over small things can often disguise larger issues, such as feeling bad about cheating on Scoutmaster Andrew with an electrician named Greg.

I could probably be some kind of conflict resolution counselor if I ever decide to change careers. Jennifer asked me to leave...

Update: 12.58pm

They’ve been in the boardroom for over 30 minutes now and I’m getting bored.

Really it should be a group discussion as we were all involved and I’ve thought of 4 more helpful things to say. One of them involves hand sanitizer.

I tried listening at the door but Ben is printing out an annual report and I can’t hear anything over the noise. Gary, our account rep, opened the door to ask if anyone knew how to fix the photocopier and was yelled at, but apart from that there’s nothing new to add...

Update: 1.10pm

They’re still in there. I’ve thought of 5 helpful things to say now and I’m beginning to suspect Jennifer only asked me to leave because she was intimidated by my natural conflict resolution abilities.

Number 5 is based on the Aesop’s tale about the crow and fox but tweaked to be about two pigs fighting over a cob of corn...

Update: 1.28pm

The meeting is over and it's all a bit of an anti-climax I'm afraid. In an obvious effort not to be shown up, Jennifer brought her HR A-game and a ceasefire has been called.

Actually, ceasefire may not be the appropriate term - it’s more like a school play about friendship; Melissa is back at her desk and Jodie just walked past her and asked,“I’m going to make a cup of tea, would you like one?” and Melissa replied, “No, but thank you for asking.”

I'm quite disappointed as I was hoping to be the hero by defusing the situation with my story about corn. It’s wasted now. I might still email it to them though...

From: David Thorne
Date: Wednesday 14 August 2019 1.34pm
To: Melissa, Jodie
Subject: Corn

It was a warm day and two pigs were enjoying the cool mud in their sty. One spotted a cob of corn and showed it to the other.

“Look what I have found,” the pig exclaimed, “it’s a delicious cob of corn.”
“Yes,” replied the second pig, “we should share it.”
“Why?” asked the first pig, “I found it so it’s mine.”
“Well that’s not very nice,” the second pig lamented, “I thought we were friends.”
“Yes, so did I,” nodded the first pig, “until I found out you told everyone about my herpes.”

Little did they realize they had bigger things to worry about as it was slaughter day at the farm and, really, a cob of corn wasn’t worth destroying a friendship over. They’re about a dollar for four at the supermarket.

I think there’s something in that for all of us, Melissa and Jodie. Feel free to print it out and tape it to the wall over your desks if you’d like.

Regards, David

Update: 1.55pm

Gary fixed the photocopier with duct-tape and nobody likes my story about corn.


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