updates: the nail clipping, the uninvited cockroach, and more

It’s “where are you now?” month at Ask a Manager, and all December I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past. Here are four updates from past letter-writers.

1. My coworkers clip their nails at their desks

Here’s an update on the nail-clipping-in-the-office debate:

Thanks for your advice to not send a mass-email, but to maybe walk around or shout out into the office void the next time I heard it. I was completely prepared to do that. But 2020 being what it is, you published my letter on March 12, and by March 17, we had all been sent home due to covid! So, blessing of all blessings and maybe one of the few silver linings of this whole pandemic is that I no longer had to deal with the problem at all!

But if you thought that sounded too good to be true, you’d be right! Thanks to working from home full time, I was able to essentially move in with my long-distance boyfriend and work from his house. I was also horrified to discover that he regularly clips his nails ON THE COUCH while we’re watching TV together! And now that he’s figured out how much it bothers me, he’s taken it upon himself to torture me relentlessly by threatening to throw the clippings at me or make me watch him eat them (don’t worry, he never has, but the thought still makes gag!)! Truly, what is it with grown men trying to gross us out all the time? LOL! Anyway, since he doesn’t need to be a professional at home, your lovely wording hasn’t worked on him whatsoever, and I’ve had to resort to dramatic squeals and getting the dog riled up enough to distract him while I make a run for it!

So, thank you for the advice. I’m ready to use it next time I’m in an office, but for now, I’m stuck suffering endless teasing from my boyfriend.

(Also, because I know your readers are always sensitive to one another’s relationships and looking out for one another, please know that his teasing is all in good fun and he is a very loving, if not gross, boyfriend. Living together has been going very smoothly, except for the fact that I might have to glue mittens to his hands for the rest of our lives :)

2. My coworker keeps giving me “help” that I don’t want or need

I’m the person whose annoying coworker at my new job was totally overstepping, offering lots of unsolicited “help” and even whispering at me across the table at meetings.

I approached her at time when there were no students or other teachers around and I brought up these issues. She said, “I just really want to help, in any way that I can.” I told her that I was really glad and that I would absolutely ask her for help if I needed it but I really didn’t want her doing things like prompting me on what to say and do. She apologized, but I really think this is just a part of her personality. She’s kind of a well-meaning know-it-all. It subsided for a bit but when schools went virtual she kind of went back into fake-supervisor mode for me and the others on our team. I think the other two teachers are just more easy-going, and one was brand-new and probably very grateful for her help.

I know that I mentioned in my letter that I was applying to other positions and you said that was premature but I guess I wasn’t clear. The reason for that is that I never really wanted that job in the first place. I had been working in that subject area for many years and gotten completely burned out on it and coming to work was miserable. I got cross-certified in another subject area, worked in that field for three years, and was so happy to come to work every day. Then there were budget cuts and my dream job was taken away (the “budget cuts and shifting things around” that I alluded to in my first letter) and I was forced back into the original field, which sent me into a spiral of depression and anxiety. I was having headaches and anxiety attacks and trouble sleeping, and I was just so angry, to the point where I ended up in therapy. The reason I was job-seeking was really that I wanted to get back into my preferred field, and having a coworker who acted like she was my supervisor in the field I felt I’d been demoted to (it was really a lateral move, it just felt like such a setback) was the icing on the crap cake.

Anyway, at the end of last month I landed a job in my preferred subject area again, much closer to home for a little more money. I’m thrilled to be back doing what I feel like I do best and nobody is micro-managing me. 2020 has been high and low for me, just like for everyone else, I’m sure! We lost a grandparent at the beginning of the year and one of our cats last week, and we’re still grieving both of those losses. I also got engaged and started a dream job. I’m bracing myself for 2021 but at least the job situation is back on track now! Thank you for your advice. :)

3. Should I tell my job I’m taking a test that would change my career plans? (#5 at the link)

I don’t have 100% confirmation yet, but CBP published the answer key to the test and I passed! pretty exciting! It was very difficult and I spent a total of 200 hours studying.

I did tell my boss once I knew I passed the test. there will be a background check so she would find out soon anyways. I think she was a little disappointed because she would lose me on her team. I would be creating a whole new department with the license, but we are talking about what direction we want to go in before telling her boss so I know she has my back and is proud of me for passing.

4. Cockroach etiquette (#2 at the link)

Not much of an update on the original Cockroach’d Keurig, but I do appreciate the feedback. As is, I’ve been super dilligent about my home coffeemaker after reading the other cockroachy horror stories in the comments section – I’d hate to have to throw my own machine out due to abject horror!

{ 108 comments… read them below }

  1. Kiwi*

    The fact that all the related posts are nail-clipping related is a tad scary. There’s some gross coworker habits out there!

    1. Elsewhere*

      I once worked at a bank and the assistant manager would clip his nails — his toenails — at his desk, which was located in an open floorplan. He would then rub lotion on his feet, than put his shoes and socks back on before leaving for the day. We all decided to treat it as an avant-garde theater piece as he had been in his job for well over ten years and wasn’t going anyplace.

      1. NewlyUnemployed*

        OMG, my last supervisor would clip his toenails over the trash can. The noise was terrible and when I saw him doing it I nearly puked.

    2. FearNot*

      Once, in a hospital no less, there was a medical illustrator that retired and when we went to clean out his office, the long supply tray that was attached on the edges of his drafting board was full to the brim with years of nail clippings. It was….. unpleasant (and matched his personality, to be honest).

      1. Environmental Compliance*

        At Previous Job, when I cleaned out the desk when I started, I found many a hair-covered hair tie. I have no idea how that woman had any hair left by the looks of the drawer full of very hairy hair ties.

        I couldn’t decide how that compared to nail clippings at the time. Still can’t, tbh.

        People do the weirdest and grossest things at their desks… and then just…leave them there, for whatever equally gross reason.

        1. allathian*

          Ugh, that’s gross. That said, I occasionally clip my fingernails at my desk, but as I’m WFH and all I have to worry about is not getting tiny clippings in my keyboard, nobody cares.

          The supply tray full of nail clippings is gross, though!

  2. Quill*

    I guess I prefer people trimming off a quick hangnail than them chewing it off, but… that said, you’d better get those bits in the trashcan.

    Also hand lotion and clipping your nails after a shower are your friends!

    1. allathian*

      This! I always clip my toenails after a shower. When I’m at the office I don’t have a problem with coworkers clipping the occasional hangnail, I do that myself, but that doesn’t have to mean that they clip all their nails if they have one hangnail.

    2. Ally McBeal*

      I’ve always heard that clipping your nails while they’re still soft from the shower/bath is an easy way to get your nails to split, so YMMV.

  3. 3DogNight*

    #4 Somehow I missed out on this the first time. I would say that everyone at the conference would have known about it, because I am hugely bug phobic.
    I have called the police more than once for extraordinary bugs. Note, small town, and I knew all of them, and worked with them as a dispatcher. Their new favorite game (OP1) was to bring in dead or dying waterbugs and chase me with them.
    Anywho, back to the story, I’m so sorry you had to deal with that, I feel for you!

      1. 3DogNight*

        EWWW, I’m with you! I grew up on the coast, so it’s mostly the flying roaches (the big ones), but scorpions, tarantulas and grasshoppers all freak me out. I jumped out of a moving car once, because a roach crawled over my foot (was not driving, thank God).

    1. CockrOPch*

      Yeah I’ve never looked at a Keurig the same way again, and the comments from the original post made me think I’m not wrong for feeling that way.

      My drip coffee maker gets a weekly once over now to make sure it never haolens again!

      1. Ada*

        I used to bring in my own tea and instant coffee, which I prepared with microwaved water, after our office Keurig started spitting out black specs even when the pod holder was empty and cleaned out. I didn’t love the extra waste it created either. Now I’m extra, extra glad I did. Blegh.

  4. President Porpoise*

    #3, many congratulations! As an LCB myself, I know how very hard that test is, and I also know how many doors it opens. The background check and permitting process are not too bad – you should be done by May or June, I would think.

    One silver lining of this year has been that there is an increased awareness of the complexity of international trade, and from what I understand, more companies looking for dedicated assistance. In my case, I have found it very lucrative, exciting, and educational to work as an in house customs compliance advisor. In any case, there is so much that you will continue to learn to broaden your skills. The main point of that test is to prove that you are skilled at regulatory research and reasoning.

    Best of luck to you!

    1. Daffy Duck*

      If you live with someone you darn better clean up your mess tho. Finding nail clippings on the seat or floor are gross.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        My husband likes to point out that things that are neutral or even attractive when they’re still on your body (hair, nails) for some reason become repulsive as soon as they’re no longer attached to you. He’s right! I wonder why that is.

        1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          He’s super right. My husband’s beard is wonderful, but as soon as he shaves and the bits of it are all over the bathroom countertop, my skin starts to crawl. Disembodied hair gives me the wiggins.

          1. that kid*

            According to Julia Kristeva, it’s because those things “don’t respect boundaries” – see abjection.

            1. SomebodyElse*

              It reminds me of Carol Burnett Mrs Wiggins character, who ironically used to do her nails at work!

          2. The Rural Juror*

            A friend of mine was tickled to death when she found a beard shaving “bib” for her husband. Maybe you’ve seen them, but it’s an over-sized bib with suction cups that adhere to the mirror, so when you’re shaving your disembodied hair (I love that description!) falls into the bib below. We were together once, she was complaining about his facial grooming habits, when someone mentioned them. She googled it and instantly started giggling and ordered one right away. It was pretty comical…and and I’m pretty sure that second or third glass of wine is probably what made her giggle with glee! Haha!

        2. rambler*

          god yes. hair that is no longer attached to heads makes me physically gag. Even my own hair! I’ve resorted to removing my glasses (I’m very nearsighted) and squinting whenever hair must be removed.

        3. tiny cactus*

          At the risk of bringing existential horror into the conversation, I think it’s that we all have to go around pretending that we aren’t just sacks of various barely contained biohazards at the best of times. The hair and nails are probably not much cleaner when they’re attached to us, but if we start thinking too hard about that, we’ll all become hermits.

          1. Cthulhu's Lawyer*

            This! And the fact that our disembodied hairs, nails, etc. are tangible reminders that all of our body parts are inevitably destined for decay.

        4. Sue Wilson*

          Many cultures consider nails, teeth, hair, etc to be indicators of your life and therefore genuinely dangerous to leave laying around where someone can do something nefarious to you. I think it’s a cultural taboo that many have inherited.

        5. Blue Horizon*

          It’s not true for me for some reason, so I find it even more inexplicable. I don’t even find drain hair repulsive, and I have no problem picking it up and throwing it out if I see it. I’ve since concluded that this is an easy service that I can perform for the drain hair-phobic people in my life (which is a lot of them, apparently – who knew?)

        6. Keymaster of Gozer*

          Hair on your head? Fine. Hair clogging up the bath plughole? Gross, please clean.

          (Conversation with Mr Keymaster. Also told him if he left his nail clippings all over the computer room one more time I’d gather them up and put them in his sock drawer. Inside the socks.)

        7. allathian*

          Yeah, it’s the same way with saliva. I mean, it’s in your mouth all the time. But if you took an empty, clean glass, spat in it, and poured some orange juice in it, could you drink it? I bet most people couldn’t, because as soon as it leaves your mouth, saliva becomes “unclean”. I know I couldn’t drink it.

      2. Code Monkey the SQL*

        *glares at spouse whose nail debris is not only not confined to one place, but is also fecking SHARP*

          1. CockrOPch*

            The cat my husband and I adopted is my first cat and I didn’t know they shed their nails, I was so distressed the first time I found one thinking he’d ripped it off (cuz I’ve had dogs do that and it’s never fun) and my husband had to console me.

      3. Captain Vegetable (Crunch Crunch Crunch)*

        My EX-boyfriend once clipped his nails in the bed, then covered up the clippings with the sheet. On my side if the bed! My enraged sputterings when I encountered his debris later that night ensured that never happened again!

      4. Sparrow*

        Yes! This step is very important. This was a conversation I had with a college roommate, and fortunately she was a reasonable person and easily agreed to better wrangle her nail clippings (I think her solution was to set her desk trashcan by the couch and clip into the trashcan, which worked fine.)

        I also think OP maybe doesn’t have siblings, ha. I’m pretty sure one of the first things I learned as a kid about dealing with my brother was: if you don’t give him a reaction, he’ll get bored and stop.

    2. Alex*

      Noooooooo. I think this might be why I’m terrible to live with —-I couldn’t stand that, but definitely have gross habits of my own. But so long as none of us bring it into the office…

    3. Veryanon*

      I read a nail-clipping story in another advice column (Dear Prudence maybe?) about a wife who was so enraged by her husband’s habit of clipping his toe nails on the couch and leaving the clippings just lying around that she GATHERED UP THE CLIPPINGS AND PUT THEM IN HIS COFFEE. I am really hoping the LW here does not engage in such behavior.

        1. Unfettered scientist*

          Not cool. Trying to covertly harm someone is never ok. Be an adult and have a conversation or break up. I read that Dear Prudence and nothing excuses that behavior.

          1. Sasha*

            You aren’t going to harm anyone by making them drink nail clippings. People eat those all the time. They are inert.

            1. Unfettered scientist*

              Not true. I get that people bite their nails and end up eating nail clippings, but they’re far from inert. They can carry bacteria or be sharp and damage your gums or esophagus, esp if you someone has snuck them into your food and you don’t know you’re eating them. Are they natural, sure, but that doesn’t mean they’re food or that they’re not harmful to consume.

      1. Keymaster of Gozer*

        I’ve put Mr Keymaster’s discarded clippings in his underwear or sock drawer before. He didn’t like finding sharp bits in his undercrackers funnily enough…

        (Side note that Mr Keymaster is an absolutely sterling bloke but like any human has some unsavoury habits. I know I’m no angel)

    4. MarfisaTheLibrarian*

      My partner and I keep a nail clippers in the living room so we can clip our nails while we watch TV!

    5. Not a big commenter*

      Maybe if it’s just you! But my bf does this and it drives me CRAZY. Especially since the couch is the main place we eat (not at the kitchen table). I have asked him repeatedly to stop, but for some reason, his takeaway from those conversations is that I don’t like the *sound* of the nail clippings (as opposed to the *act*) of the nail clippings. So now he still clips his nails on the couch but only when he thinks I can’t hear it. Spoiler alert: I can hear it.

      1. starsaphire*

        My housemate goes OUTSIDE – in the FRONT YARD – and clips his nails. And you can hear it through the closed windows.


    6. Zephy*

      Yeah, but it’s both rude and gross to insist upon doing it in front of someone who’s told you they find it both distracting and disgusting. I’ll take OP at her word that her boyfriend is otherwise a lovely person, hopefully he grows tf up soon.

    7. Roy G. Biv*

      Ann O. Nymous — Only if you immediately clean up every last shard. Or so I have said to my husband to the extent he will summon me, “Please bring me the hand vac – I’m going to trim my nails.” I view this as a victory, even though I must still be involved.

  5. MsMaryMary*

    OP1, I must point out it could be worse: my dog will eat finger/toenail clippings if given the opportunity. I was very grossed out the first time it happened. So at least your dog is helping distract your BF, not aiding and abetting his grossness!

    1. 3DogNight*

      My youngest dog eats hair! I’ll be cutting my husbands hair and she’ll just start eating it (vomit emoji).

      1. Bea W*

        I had a rabbit who needed helping cleaning wax buildup from his ears. It would come out in chunks, and he insisted on eating it!

        1. Quill*

          I had a labrador with the same problem except he was easily restrained from eating the results if you kept petting him.

          1. Deranged Owl*

            My cat had a serious abscess on his face (probably caused by a claw from a neighbour’s cat) and so I took him to the vet who cut it open. My stupid cat started drinking the pus that came out of it… animals can be weird and very gross.

            1. allathian*

              Yeah, but they don’t understand gross in the same way humans do. Even humans have to be taught that some things are gross, and some people seem to be unteachable. For example, my son has an unusually long tongue, and it took a long time to teach him to use tissues when he had a runny nose, because he just preferred to lick his whole upper lip. Yes, his tongue was long enough to touch his nose. Yes, he grew out of this gross habit when he got a bit older, around 5. I think at that age he was old enough to realize that his friends in kindergarten thought it was a gross thing to do and made him change his ways, when we as his parents hadn’t managed to do that. Oh, we’d hand him a tissue whenever we caught him at it, but the boy was sneaky…

              I must admit that if I get a paper cut on my finger, my first reaction is to put the bleeding digit in my mouth and suck on it, because doing so makes it hurt less. I will clean and disinfect it and put a sticky plaster on as soon as I can, though.

    2. Miss Weach*

      You’re gonna hate farrier videos on YouTube then lol. A lot of them have dogs that swoop in and steal the trimmed off horseshoe for a nice lil snack later

      1. Clorinda*

        Pet stores sell dog chewies that are prepared cow hooves, antlers, etc, so apparently it’s pretty normal for dogs to enjoy gnawing on the tough stuff.

        1. Environmental Compliance*

          Very normal.

          I’ve Never Met a Farm Dog Who Doesn’t Sit Under My Horse To Snag The Hoof Pieces

      2. MsMaryMary*

        I have seen hooves as chewies at the pet store and never made the connection! I guess my furry little guy is not that weird after all.

        It’s still disconcerting if they’re YOUR nails.

    3. Pennyworth*

      Dogs love that sort of thing. We had horses when I was growing up and our dog was mad for hoof trimmings.

  6. MissFinance*

    What is it with people clipping their nails at their desks? I’ve had now two jobs where one person would do it once a week. At my last job I knew who it was. I have a pretty good idea of who it was in my current office, but haven’t had to worry about it lately (thanks CoVid). And the entire set, not just a nail or two. EW!

    1. aett*

      I had a coworker a couple of years ago who would clip their nails, and I wish I was exaggerating, on a daily basis. It didn’t help that I also found them obnoxious in a number of other ways.

        1. allathian*

          I bit my nails as a teen. When I wanted to stop doing that, the only thing that worked was to literally cut my nails to the quick for a few months, and that meant clipping them daily or at least every other day so I wouldn’t go back to biting them. Once the compulsion passed, I could let my nails grow a bit longer. So if you think daily clipping is bad, just consider the alternative…

    2. Shiara*

      I had a job where the guy training me started clipping his nails at MY desk. While I was sitting right there. And he was piling them up on the corner of it. I managed to politely ask him to go back to his own desk while he did that, without screaming. I HATED the sound of clippers (it was an open office) but whenever I heard it I was relieved that at least he wasn’t at my desk!!!

  7. pope suburban*

    Oh god, the roach Keurig brought back awful memories of living in a pretty terrible apartment complex. Our place was always clean, but the downstairs neighbors…not so much. I got even more vigilant about cleanliness and crumbs after the downstairs roaches started to sally forth into our kitchen, with moderate success. We moved not long after, thankfully, but the roaches stubbornly remained. It wasn’t until we noticed they seemed to be near the (seldom-used, thankfully) coffee maker, and did a quick and gross-but-essential Google. I’ve never heaved something into a dumpster faster and more happily than that cursed machine. I don’t know that I’d ever suffer a Keurig in my house again after that nightmare. Bleagh.

    1. BatGirl*

      I have the same issue in my apartment complex. I am a clean freak, but I got new neighbors a few months ago that cook A LOT (it always smells delicious) and must not clean very well. The cockroach situation in my apartment is horrible now. If I walk into the kitchen in the middle of the night and turn on the light, there are often at least 10 roaches, some adults and some babies. I’ve taken to spraying my counters and floors with Lysol every night to try to keep them out. I also have thrown boric acid tabs around and the complez does treat for them, but they are damn resilient.

      1. pope suburban*

        I am so sorry you’re dealing with that. At least for me, it was such a scuzzy feeling, like nothing was ever *really* clean, and that made it really hard to feel relaxed at home. I hope your neighbors are visited by the Angel of Lysol this holiday season, and give you a big hand in getting the situation under control.

      2. Artemesia*

        Try diatomaceous earth — food grade. It is non-toxic, you could literally eat it for calcium, but it kills bugs. (you don’t want to breathe it in or get it in your eyes because it is irritating but we all have masks these days)

        I stored all my earthly good in a storage unit and didn’t want to end up with bedbugs or roaches and so put a one inch border of this stuff around the edges before they moved our stuff in. And I used it in new apartments or condos dusting it on the baseboards. When I moved my stuff from storage there was a row of dead bugs along the edges where it had intercepted various bugs. It is supposed to work on roaches by killing their young. It also helps prevent bedbugs. They encounter it and it cuts and desicates them. If kids or pets get into it, it won’t hurt them unless it gets in their eyes and that is temporary irritation.

        1. Aquawoman*

          +1. We have a poorly sealed house and would get ants probably a couple times a year. I used that stuff a few years ago and haven’t seen ants since. I hate spraying poison around.

        2. Gazebo Slayer*

          Thanks! My apartment is super roachy, and I’ve mostly just sort of decided to live with them, but now I’ll try that.

      3. Lizzo*

        I lived in student housing when I was in graduate school. The first year was fine, but first semester of my second year a new neighbor moved in next door, and then roaches appeared in my apartment! The pest control folks had to come out at least three times during the semester to spray my unit. At the end of the semester after my neighbor moved out, I ran into the pest control folks again when they were doing a clean-out of the neighbor’s place, and they said, “We’ve never had an issue with this building…your neighbor’s place is infested.” Apparently they were also the “cook a lot, clean never” type.

        Note that there were a lot of small buildings with 8 units, and probably 75 buildings total on our section of campus. Apparently once the roaches get in, it’s hard to get them out. :-( I continued to have problems even after the neighbor left.

    2. Clorinda*

      One of the joys of a French press or other simple glass coffee maker is–nothing’s hiding in there.

      1. Pennyworth*

        I was thinking the same thing. Yet another reason for me not to buy a coffee making machine with lots of roach refuges.

      2. pope suburban*

        Yes, we’ve since switched to a French press and a simple pour-over thing, and now enjoy a roach-free home. We don’t drink all that much coffee to being with (The cursed Keurig was a Christmas present from years back), so something small and minimal is really all we need.

    3. 3DogNight*

      So, true story, and not for the squeamish. Avert your eyes now, or you’ll be cleaning for the rest of the month.
      When the hub and I were very young we lived in a mobile home that was cheap, cheap, cheap. Part time job for me and full time college for him. It did have a microwave which my lazy self used A LOT. One night I decided I was going to cook, for real, and I made those boxed scalloped potatoes. Pull it out of the oven, realize it’s not done all the way, and decide to put it in the microwave to finish it off.
      Now, I grew up on the coast, so roaches freak me out, especially the flying ones. But, I had seen a couple of little baby roaches while I was cooking, killed them and moved along. Well, when I turned the microwave on, roached POURED out of it, like something on a horror movie. I don’t know how they all fit in there. There were, no lie, thousands of them. They must have been living under/behind/in the stove, but when I turned the oven on, they ran for the microwave. I thought I was going to die, except I didn’t want them to touch me. We packed our stuff, right then, went to the store and bought enough bug bombs to blow up a mansion, and set them all off. We then went to my moms for the weekend. Y’all, the floor was CARPETED in them when we got back. I took to spraying and treating it like once a week. Never saw another bug in there, though.

  8. Tricksieses*

    The title “uninvited cockroach” implies existence of an invited cockroach living in another, different Keurig and that’s really amusing to me today.

      1. Llama face!*

        I misread that as “sauna” hat and visualized a cockroach lounging about in a tiny towel turban.

    1. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

      Great. Now I can’t unsee this.

      You’re not wrong. I’m sure this person (who’d file their calluses in public) does exist somewhere!

  9. SomebodyElse*

    I have a work/roach story! Was working on a phone line and during the middle of the call when a roach wandered past me on my desk. I calmly asked the caller to hold, picked up a glass ice tea bottle I was drinking from and commenced to slam it repeatedly on the little nasty. Of course the entire floor prairie dogged to find out what the ruckus was, my manager came out to see what was wrong, when I stopped beating it and swearing at it she looked at me and said “So I should call maintenance for some pest traps, then?” I smiled and thanked her and picked up my call again.

    If I remember correctly I got a good score on that one because she remembered what happened while she was auditing later.

    1. The Rural Juror*

      I was on a Zoom call recently (no video, audio only) at my office, but was the only one there so I had the door to my office open. I’m in the room right next to our little kitchenette, which has an ADA sink area – there’s kneespace below the sink cabinet, which is sloped back to the wall with an access panel that hides the p-trap and whatnot. I kept hearing scratching…but was on the call so I couldn’t investigate it. As soon as I got off the call I got up and walked out into the hall, then heard something scrambling away inside the cabinet panel (!).

      It was a rat. It had been climbing around inside the wall and had managed to squeeze its way into the cabinet panel where the p-trap goes through the drywall back there. O_0 Had I actually recognized what the sound was while I was on that call I might not have been so cool and calm! Maintenance was called RIGHT AWAY!

      1. Filosofickle*

        Last week just as I was getting on a Zoom call (video!) and I heard a rustling in my office closet. I didn’t know what kind of critter, but definitely a critter. All I could do is close the door, close my mind to it, and hope for the best. As it’s my home, there was no maintenance to call! So an hour later, after the call, I — outfitted with a mask, gloves, and bbq tongs — figured out which box the mouse was in and got it outside. I want to burn the house down now.

      2. Jaid*

        Ah, my office (3rd floor, even) has mice racing through the aisles. We figure that plenty of people left snacks in their desks when they left to WFH, and the mice are surviving on that. At least one drawer was found to have become a nest, with someone’s sweater gnawed on, etc…

        I kinda want to catch one for a pet….but my kittygirl passed away in September so I’m in a mood.

    2. Environmental Compliance*

      When I worked as *the health department*, mostly as environmental but supporting food as necessary, I went to a buffet. Picked up a bowl. A BABY German cockroach crawled out and looked at me, waggled its little antennae, and scooted off the bowl, off my hand, and back into the bowl space. I told the waitress, she smiled at me…took my bowl, and then *gave me a new one from the same bowl bin*. AGH.

      I have never been so pleased as to have left my work badge at home, as then I could call the main food person and go OMG GET HERE NOW IT’S YOUR TURN.

      1. NotQuiteAnonForThis*

        When I was a kid, the local health department inspection scores were posted in the daily local newspaper. It struck me a bit odd, even at 10, because the much-larger-not-local-BIG-Metro-but-still-not-national newspaper that we also took home delivery of did NOT do this.

        The inspection score and a list of violations, if any, including the name, location, time and date of inspection. And the violations were broken down by what they actually meant (i.e. “clerical violation” vs. “this is a huge violation of food safety standards”, including “Must be corrected within X number of days” on a few)

        I found out later that they started being published after a restaurant owner attempted to buy off the inspector, and the inspector took righteous outrage to this. Said inspector was fairly new to town but not the position, and was all “oh holy hells no” about this, as I’d argue most should be. (Being that I became friends with the child of said inspector, it wasn’t just a nasty small town story about the outsider…all of which, just yikes.)

  10. whistle*

    LW1, your story and the way you wrote it crack me up. Well done! Your boyfriend threatening to eat his own clippings to gross you out is truly hilarious. I hope he does it so that you can vomit all over him. (That would be a great way to ring in the new year this year. Just a suggestion.)

    1. NailClipNoMore*

      LW1 here…I’m glad I could bring some laughs to your day! And your suggestion…hmmm…..!! LOL

  11. MommyMD*

    These updates are life for me in my Covid-centric universe. Thank you so much!!

    (I can sew a lip back on but if I see a stray hair in the kitchen I want to gag and pass out lol).

  12. Internet Person*

    I am a woman and I totally clip my nails on the couch while watching TV. The key is to do it into an artfully placed tissue. *shrug*

  13. Volunteer Enforcer*

    OP1, I can relate to the gross but loving boyfriend scenario! Mine farts on my face and says he wants to keep me forever etc

    1. Batty Twerp*

      It can be considered the final boundary. I saw a cake “celebrating” the first time a girl farted in front of her boyfriend. He was so pleased she felt comfortable enough to do that *he bought cake*!
      Some people say that’s when the magic goes out of the relationship, but I think when you can be gross together (within reason!) it brings a level of closeness.

      And now I want cake…

    2. Salsa Verde*

      Truly, what is it with grown men trying to gross us out all the time?

      I always wonder this! Guess what? If you do something you know I think is gross, it makes me very unlikely to want to have sex with you later. How does that not occur to them?

    3. NailClipNoMore*

      OP1 here…LOL! Yes, he farts around me ALL the time and thinks it’s HILARIOUS. I swear, 36-year-old men are really just tall 12-year-old boys. Solidarity, sister <3

  14. Chriama*

    I personally don’t get how people are grossed out by nail clipping. I did have a coworker in Japan who clipped his toenails in the teacher’s room, which I found hilarious (and the fact that he has to take his shoes and socks off is the part that drives it over the edge for me). So while I acknowledge that it’s a thing that some people don’t like, I don’t think it should be regarded as universally uncouth as, say, burping loudly.

  15. Workerbee*

    #2 I have no scientific data, but it sure seems that a lot of those “I just want to help any way I can!” types only want to do it their way, not in the way you want, which would be, you know, actually helpful. No matter the simplest of language, drawing, gorilla gram, or any other method that clearly states what you need.

  16. Elizabeth West*

    Re the toenails:

    The ex-husband of my auntie, the one who lives in England, used to do this all the time. He’d leave his horny gross toenail clippings all over the house, and he wouldn’t respond gracefully to her requests that he cut it the hell out. So one day, she gathered them up and secreted them in his cup of tea.

    He stopped doing it.

Comments are closed.