Blake’s Advice Column
I have a co-worker with a troubling psychosis that has left me afraid to wear certain colors or say certain words around him. He has allowed a college football rivalry to impact his relationship with co-workers. I would really like to wear my maize and blue sweater, but I’m fearful of his reaction. He’s from Ohio and is negatively obsessed with Michigan. I understand rivalries, but when you won’t acknowledge another co-worker from that state and require all your co-workers to refer to Michigan as the “M-State” or you storm off in anger, there is an issue. What should I do?
From Chicago, Illinois
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Your co-worker is being totally unreasonable. The only thing I can suggest is for you to be 10 times as unreasonable, to the point that he gets nervous even thinking about college football. Here are some ideas. Winters in Chicago can be brutal. So tell him that you would prefer that he doesn’t wear a coat, because it reminds you that were once dumped by an Eskimo, while simultaneously pouring a glass of ice water in his face. If you ever see him wearing socks, tell him that you feel he is openly mocking wives that have been “socked” by their husbands during domestic violence, alleging that he has beaten up every woman he has ever dated, and then add that the women in his past are terrified to admit it, just in case he brings one to to work to testify to his innocence. If he wears Ohio’s colors which is green, tell him that color reminds you of when you were robbed of all your cash, and for his sake, you hope you don’t have a flashback that gives you spontaneous rage that will cause you to react, since you recently acquired a license to carry a conceal firearm. And lastly, if he ever wears cotton, tell him that reminds you of how awful slavery was, and then chase him around the office with a whip. If he’s white and you have any black co-workers, they’ll help you catch him because many of them are still angry after “Roots” aired in 1977. I hope this helps.