Ask Tampa Bay | My Colleague is Turning the Office into a Soap Opera!

One of my colleagues is obsessed with a soap opera that’s on several times a week. I work opposite him and he talks about it every day- the plot, the characters, potential future plot-lines, which characters he would sleep with, basically anything and everything. I used to follow it about eight years ago but I don’t watch it regularly now. Should I give in and start watching it again so I can join in the conversation or should I stand my ground?

– Jamby Toeleg


Margeaux Says: In her debut album, The Family Jewels, musician/pop culturist Marina of Marina and the Diamonds declared, “T.V. taught me how to feel, now real life has no appeal.” Real life can be the absolute worst and there is nothing realer than the drudgery of the workday. It sounds to me like your colleague is trying to bring the technicolor world of television into the black and white workaday world. I, too, have been known to seek “distraction” and her sexier sister “escapism” to cope with the horrors of the real world and there’s no greater distraction than T.V. I think that if it is a show you once enjoyed and you didn’t stop watching it because you were too obsessed or the plot lines started to suck, why not give in and join your colleague on the Escapism Express. ALL ABOARD! Plus, it will be nice to know what he’s talking about since he apparently talks about this show incessantly. What a nerd.


Rion Says: Hey, Toeleg. I’m not really sure what the issue is here. I mean, why did you quit watching in the first place? Why don’t you want to start back up again? You speak of standing your ground. Is this because they offed your favorite character, or something? Is this a protest of some sort? Why so serious?? WHY ARE YOU SO ANTI SOAP OPERA NOW??? WHAT HAPPENED???? There are too many questions left unanswered here, Topanga. But I believe the real issue here is that if you did actually pick soaps back up again, that you would have 8 years to catch up on. EIGHT YEARS. That’s a big commitment, mein friend. But, honestly, Toejam, I can’t help those that refuse to help themselves. #GuidingLightForever


Roy Says: As a Secular man, I’m trying to imagine a situation in which I would spend my free time doing something to help me fit in at work. If your coworker is someone you want to connect with and this is an important part of his life then you should watch the show. On the other hand, if you have no reason to be friends with this person, you shouldn’t change what you normally do to just fit in. Find something you can talk about that doesn’t include this show, like sports or drug use.


Rusty Says: Hey Toeleg. May I call you Toeleg? I’m sure you just go by Toeleg. Anyway, this is a real dilly of a pickle you’ve gotten yourself into. It’s tough enough just dealing with everyday life after overcoming a painful addiction, but being forced into close proximity with someone who is not only currently using, but entirely too vocal about it… that’s torture. Speaking as someone who is currently 2 full weeks sober from a crippling krokodil habit, I can comfortably say I feel your pain (or I would if I had any functioning nerves left in my body). I ran into a similar problem during my last clean period, and I ended up right back in the saddle of addiction (but not literally in the saddle, as my buttocks have all but liquefied due to repeated use of sweet soothing krokodil). All I can say is get away as fast as you can – hobble over to the nearest sewer or deep ditch you can find, just as fast as your two mutated stumps can take you, and just lie there face down until the cops come pick you up. Sure, they’ll turn you back out onto the streets and you’ll wind up sucking toelegs for your next fix just to carry you through the cold cold winter, but as long as you’re wrapped in the warm embrace of krokodil, everything is going to be okay.


Nicole Says: Oh wow, this guy is basically me. Well… obviously you should, because he needs you. It’s terrible to love a show and have no one to talk to about it, but I guess it all really depends on how awesome he is to talk to. You already watched the show at some point, and I’d imagine he’s kept you up to date on all the major plot points, so you could easily just start watching it again with little to no catch up required. If the show is terrible and that’s why you stopped watching it… well, you’re not getting away from it anyway… there is no getting away from this show. It’s your life now. Just embrace it.


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