ASK MAX: Co-worker romance

November 6th 2012

Dear Max,

There’s a pretty girl in the office where I work. What is the protocol for telling a co-worker you want to kiss her repeatedly on the face?



Dear Confused,

There are some problems that you can handle on your own. This is not one of those problems. You did the right thing coming to me.

Office relationships can be fraught with peril for a couple of reasons. The first one, I’m assuming, is that you’re probably a pretty weird guy who has problems meeting women, so you decided to do the only reasonable thing weird guys like you can reasonably do: prey on the women who are forced to interact with you five out of every seven because they chose the same shitty profession. Good work. That’s step one.

Step two is where it gets complicated. At some stage you’re going to have to sit down and pour the poor lass a tall glass of your big dumb feelings. There’s no way around it. If you want to get cute with a co-worker, you’re going to have to sack up, put the finishing touches on your suicide note, and use some combination of the phrases ‘suck face’ ‘like like’ and (presumably) ‘undisclosed infection but it’s totally safe and not contagious anymore’.

Keep in mind that you’re going to have to see her tomorrow and the next tomorrow and the tomorrow after that and then it’s Saturday but Monday is just around the corner and you might want to have some sick days up your sleeve just in case. You’re going to get that vomit-y, disappointed feeling in the pit of your stomach as she reaches for a polite way to say that she thinks you’re weedy and non-threatening.

Allow me to translate…

What She Says | What She Means

“I think you’re a great guy.”
(You suck. You suck you suck you suck.)

“I don’t think about you that way…”
(I can do better.)

“I hope we can still be friends…”
(I like having you around because you make me feel wanted but I still have NO intention of touching your bits.)

“You’ll find the right girl – it’s just not me…”
(Stay away from my friends.)


If you’re sure you still want to go through with this, good for you. It takes a special kind of gumby to ignore all of the obvious signs, throw caution to the wind and your tongue down her oesophagus. And boy howdy, be prepared to find out super-quickly that she’s NOT INTO YOU EW NO WHY DID YOU DO THAT NOW WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT THIS TOMORROW UGH THIS IS SO DUMB. So what’s a weird, emotionally fragile stick insect of a man to do?

At the risk of sounding like Dolly Doctor, I guess what I’m trying to say is this:

Be brave. Take a stupid risk. You’ll probably get squished liked one of the bugs in Disney’s A Bug’s Life, but that’s kind of what makes Disney’s A Bug’s Life a great movie. You can treat the rash with ointment and I don’t even know where to begin with your emotional eating. On Pg. 74 there’s a feature on how to be a stronger woman in five easy steps, and if that doesn’t change your life, contact Oprah.


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*All advice is general advice only – any teary outbursts, broken relationships and/or personal injuries are in no way the responsibility of Max or FBi Radio. Your anonymity is safe, but we can’t guarantee much else… Good luck.


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