update: I accidentally threw a sandwich and it caused a work crisis

It’s a special “where are you now?” season at Ask a Manager, where all month I’m running updates from people who had their letters here answered in the past.

Remember the letter-writer whose coworker accidentally threw a sandwich, which hit their elegant, frosty grandboss, leaving an oily splotch on her suit? The grandboss mistakenly thought a different coworker, Renton, had patted her on the ass … and then when Renton was gone for two days, the office rumor mill was speculating that he’d been sent for mandatory harassment training as a result. (It’s hard to briefly summarize the details of this letter in all its glory; you should read the whole thing.) Here’s the update.

Things rather sorted themselves out. Diane (the owner of said sandwich) was very much uninclined to rectify the situation, so I spoke to Renton on my own. He burst out laughing at how terribly ineptly we handled it and he explained that he was actually on a new roster, which was why he was missing for those days I erroneously assumed he was out for “rehabilitation.” So he was in training, basically, to learn how to deal with idiotic situations. *blushes, looks around sideways*

I distanced myself from Diane, and Renton and I have actually become good friends — we snuck out for some afternoon footie today (AHEM. The Euros have started, people, don’t get salacious!) because PATIOS ARE OPEN! So I lost and gained a friend, but I have, I think, better judgement now on how to deal with absolute ridiculous happenings. I’m still pleasant with Diane, but this changed my view of her a bit, to be frank. She still uses our dictionary as a sandwich press, and FrostyBoss has worn the suit since. (I cannot lie: I had been charting her outfits. We’re talking Excel spreadsheet. So now I have wonderful ideas around how to “dress for the role you want, not the role you have”! ….I just need about an extra 40% salary increase to achieve it!) So I think it’s all good?

I also started to chat with a couple of our more chatty folks, and tried to downplay the rumours by saying that didn’t sound like Renton AT ALL, and everyone I spoke to agreed with me, and between that and our being mates and him being tagged for a seniorish role, it died off well quick. Now the big question is who on earth would have started such a ridiculous story? This might be me showing my immaturity again, but … I just rather nope out of those blathers, and say I’ve got some revision to do!

Thank you for the advice, and also to the commentary for the laughs.

{ 236 comments… read them below }

  1. Teekanne aus Schokolade*

    This has got to be the type of story that The Office writers would LOVE!

    1. Mental Lentil*

      Mix this with the skit that SNL did that was a mashup of The Office and Lord of the Rings! Legolas throws the sandwich at Gandalf, Gollum gets blamed, and Gimli writes to an advice columnist wondering what to do.

      1. anonymouse*

        And aptly call it, Queer As Folk. Because truly there are nowt so queer as.
        God luv ya, OP, yer takin’ ta yer grave.

    2. Storm in a teacup*

      Weirdly when reading this letter i gave it a Slough / Leicester mashup accent. This makes total sense as an Office storyline arc where Keith’s character had written in about Gareth’s sandwich hitting Jennifer on the bum and Tim taking the blame…

  2. anglophile*

    wow, this whole thing is now made significantly better by my realizing how British the poster is and re-reading in the appropriate accent

    1. EventPlannerGal*

      I think this poster is maybe the most British person I’ve ever heard of in my life, and I am British. I don’t think you CAN get more British than this without some sort of medical intervention.

    2. restingbutchface*

      The only thing missing is OP and Renton going for a cheeky Nandos after the match.

      It’s really pleasing to read a letter with such a distinct voice. Thanks for the update OP.

  3. Mental Lentil*

    I haven’t looked at a sandwich the same way since the original post. Thanks LW for a great update! Enjoy the footie!

      1. pancakes*

        There’s an MFK Fisher recipe for something she called a railroad sandwich, that uses equipment we all have:

        “Put the two halves firmly together, and wrap them loosely in plastic or foil or wax paper, and then a clean towel. Then, and this is the Secret Ingredient, call upon a serene onlooker (a broad or at least positive beam adds to the quick results, and here I do not refer to a facial grimace but to what in other dialects is called a behind-derriere-bum … etc.), to sit gently but firmly upon this loaf for at least twenty minutes.”

      2. Mongrel*

        Impromptu weights are not unknown in the kitchen, “Brick Chicken” is a favourite

  4. Heidi*

    The part I don’t get is how it ended up in the story that Renton was drunk. That seemed to come out of nowhere.

    I think this would be a great story to tell at the office holiday party after so much time has passed that no one cares anymore.

    1. Antilles*

      OP said that it’s well known that he regularly goes out for a pint at lunch, so I’m assuming it’s just the game-of-telephone transcribing facts. Something like this:
      A, talking to B: Did you hear about Renton? he brushed against Frosty in the lunchroom!
      B, talking to C: Renton brushed against Frosty’s butt in the lunchroom, wonder if he was drunk from his usual Friday lunch at the pub.
      C, talking to D: Did you hear Renton drunkenly smacked Frosty on the butt??? Crazy!

  5. Archaeopteryx*

    A very entertainingly written (and overwhelmingly British!) update; I love it!

  6. Elsa*

    Great and wonderfully written update! Please, please, please make sure that tracking Excel spreadsheet has zero chance of being seen by others and that you are not using company time, email or other systems to update. I’m sure we would get another delightfully written letter if it got in the wrong hands!

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Ha, I asked the LW, “Were you tracking her outfits so you’d spot if she wore the grease-stained suit, or because you’re interested in her clothes or…?” and she said, “Yes. To both. Oh my loving lord, did someone write in about how their junior employee was tracking her outfits in a spreadsheet? And that it was rather stalkerish?? BECAUSE I THOUGHT THAT, but at that point, I had committed! I had at least a fortnights’ list of outfits! One can’t just turn back from that! It’s a rabbit hole that couldn’t be shaken. (I’ve stopped now, if it makes it better, But…umm…mainly because I priced her suits. Back to Zara and Banana Republic for us plebs, I’m afraid!)”

      Also, while I am sharing more details, I cut this from the end of the update because I thought it would confuse a lot of readers but you commenters get it anyway:
      “Thank you for the advice, and also to the commentary for the laughs. I can only dream to be as amazing as Roy or Moss. Also, GO ENGLAND! And watch Graham Norton’s Big Red Chair clips if you’re having a bad day.”

      1. Foreign Octopus*

        We all aspire to be as amazing as Roy and Moss and nothing at all like Douglas (there’s a CEO for you, Alison).

        I’m only supporting England if Scotland gets knocked out (yes, I’m English but I have a complicated relationship with my country, so bah!).

        And I second Graham Norton’s Big Red Chair clips, or literally anything with Greg Davies when he’s on the show.

        1. Batty Twerp*

          I’m surprised by the England reference as I had assumed LW was Scottish, since the only other reference to characters named Renton and Diane that I’m familiar with is the very Scottish ‘Trainspotting’.

          Complicated relationship is… a good way of describing it sometimes.

          Echoing the Greg Davies (who’s Welsh!) recommendation – his appearances on Graham Norton are pure happiness juice.

          1. General von Klinkerhoffen*

            Me too, because yes patios are open, but in England so are the insides of pubs, where you can see the screen much better. I understand that the Scottish regulations are still tighter.

        2. Storm in a teacup*

          OMG the clip of Greg Davies telling that story that made Ryan Gosling lose it is comedy gold.
          Also I would add watching Taskmaster clips on YouTube to perk you up too – especially if James Acaster is involved

          1. The Sandwich Accomplice*

            I love you. I work in a form of media that’s aimed at the Deaf/deafened/hard of hearing. and so many times I’ve wanted to share that clip on social media, but I am very aware that the norms here are NOT those at home regarding language, etc. (the hard way. Please don’t ask. It was bad.)
            I have also informed my fiancé that if Acaster gives me a look, he’s had a good run, but…I mean. Have you seen the clip about Mick on WILTY? I love my partner dearly. He has his list, I have mine.

            *yes, over COVID we HAVE been watching Friends. Since I seem to be controversial, I’ll say it: Ross is the worst. EVER.

        3. 0118 999 881 99 9119 725....3!*

          Came here just to say – “Did you see that ludicrous display last night?”

        4. Caaan Do!*

          At risk of derailing further – there is a half hour video on youtube of most (if not all) Greg Davies’ appearances on Graham Norton and it’s am.a.zing. Miriam Margolyes is another pure gold guest, although I should put a warning for anyone who doesn’t like hearing someone talk about sex acts and related dirty humour.

        5. Jane*

          The Greg Davies-Taylor Lautner tests of Britishness are absolutely brilliant. The most unexpected but genuine friendship, and so so funny.

          Search YouTube for Greg Davies Taylor Lautner British and they should be at the top of the list.

      2. Tequila & Oxford Commas*

        Even before I read this bonus update, I was singing “Three lions on a shirt…” Go England, and come on you Spurs for good measure!

        1. anonymouse*

          I am in the US and grateful that Youtube makes this possible for me. My introduction was watching Patrick Stewart, Captain Jean Luc Picard himself, retelling the debate/argument he had with his wife about a particular medical procedure he’d had as a small child. He swore he’d had it done; his mother told him so. His wife assured him he was incorrect.

            1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

              You mean Sir Patrick. That’s how the “sir” title is meant to be used. 8-)

      3. Another British poster*

        I wonder why a Brit would reference Banana Republic, an American chain that does not have a single shop anywhere in the UK and which most Brits have never heard of.

        1. Student Affairs Sally*

          There was a Banana Republic in London from 2008 to 2016 and you can still shop online

          1. UKDancer*

            Can confirm I bought some pajamas on their website last year. Quality was not amazing I must say.

            1. restingbutchface*

              Same! I was disappointed, it’s not like they’re cheap either. I sent them back and it took forever to get a refund. ANYWAY.

              Perhaps the OP is using a shop name more likely to be understood by a US-heavy audience. Saying, I don’t know, John Lewis or Hobbs wouldn’t land.

        2. Virginia Plain*

          Yeah there was a big store in the Shepherds Bush Westfields. I didn’t know it had gone tbh!

    2. Purple Cat*

      Down the reddit AITA rabbit hole, there was a letter from a user who was tracking their friend’s outfits, friends found out and got upset. Turns out, poster has some neurodivergence, and was trying to decode the “unwritten rule” of how often you can re-wear outfits. Fascinating read on people’s opinions on the topic.

      1. ColonelGateway*

        Yes! Scrolled through to see if anyone had posted about the AITA yet. Similar concept, where poster was studying their friends’ outfits.

      2. Bowserkitty*

        I had an outfit notebook during my study abroad year to track all of my cute outfits and to reference so as not to wear the same outfit to the same class. The people on my campus all dressed like fashion models. I felt inadequate in my normal midwestern attire!!

      3. Jaid*

        I remember that, too.

        I found it weird, but understandable in light of the poster being neurodivergent. Compared to some of the stuff I’ve seen on there, it was almost charming.

        Now, I may be dating myself, but I remember from “Clueless” that Cher had a computer program that organized her outfits for her…

    1. Jack Straw*

      Depends on what the tone of the tracking is. In high school, we tracked our math teacher’s ties for the entire school year and discovered a fairly complex an absolutely intentional pattern. It was 100% done because he was a beloved and admired teacher of a small group of nerdy kids, not for any nefarious or stalkery reason.

      1. Sharrbe*

        During a lockdown decluttering spree I stumbled upon my 7th grade diary. Turns out I wrote down what color shirt and tie my teacher wore every day because I had a huge crush on him. I cringed/laughed. Mr. B- if you want to know what you wore every day from Sept 86 to June 87, let me know lol. Some socially-awkward kid (who totally learned what healthy boundaries are as an adult) kept track.

        1. emmelemm*

          Yeah, I had a period of tracking a friend’s outfits in junior high school because I was convinced she was copying me. I’m SO OLD that we didn’t have spreadsheets in those days, so it’s just in a diary somewhere.

          1. Sara*

            When I was in 8th grade, I convinced two of my friends that a third girl was copying their outfits. They began tracking them in a journal we shared between the three of us. I did it purely for spite (I have since grown out of that pettiness) but they ‘discovered’ she had been ‘copying’ them. Mainly – we all had very similar styles already and I knew there was overlap I could point to.

            1. Campfire Raccoon*

              This has happened to me with three separate people in my life. We just happened to have the same taste and same rules. (No white on Taco Tuesday. Wear red as a warning color when feeling grumpy.)

              1. Dasein9*

                So complex! My main one is “Wear a black t-shirt.” No qualifiers; I just wear black t-shirts.

                1. Campfire Raccoon*

                  I like you. Long ago I had switched to patterned tops because of small humans, but it turns out I am really just a sloppy eater.

            2. Jennifer Strange*

              When I was in school the other girls copied my outfit all the time!

              Granted, I went to Catholic school with uniforms, so…

      2. Myrin*

        I had completely forgotten this until this thread but I now remember that I used to sketch my ninth grade religious education teacher’s outfits in the very back of my notebook because I thought she was super stylish and I absolutely loved how she combined different pieces; I was also very into drawing still and was always looking for inspiration on what my characters should wear.

      3. pandop*

        That would have been completely pointless for one of our teachers. Our head of history (who I was taught by for 5 years in a row) had two ties – winter (brown, tweedy), and summer (yellow)

    2. EPLawyer*

      I get it. If you have no one to teach you how to dress (see previous letter where the young man had to be taught how to knot a tie for his high school graduation) you look around for inspiration. You note someone who dresses well and you keep track of how they change their wardrobe around and what goes with what. A spreadsheet might be a bit much, but for the truly organized its what they do.

      1. Mental Lentil*

        And one more thing: pivot tables!

        When does she always wear those fanciest outfits? When she has meetings with higher ups. A pivot table can give you this kind of information.

        1. rachel in nyc*

          good point…

          but this is really true. we act as if you start a job and are going to magically know what is appropriate to wear, to act, what have you. how to understand why Sam dresses in suits everyday but Bex wears jeans 3 days a week- and they have the same job.

        2. anonymouse*

          It can also give you a lot more information.
          What days is she put together, what days is she in more relaxed clothing. What days does she accessorize less?
          Thinking of Abed’s study of social interactions on the show Community where his tracking of his female classmates led to a very uncomfortable set of data.

      2. Selina Luna*

        Genuine question: At what age should I teach my kiddo to tie a tie? They’re only 1 now, but I feel like tie-wearing will come into their life at some point, and I’ve discovered that people are often super impressed if you can tie a full Windsor and have it look good…

        1. Mostly Managing*

          Before highschool.
          Most kids can learn by grade 5/6, which is perfect – they are usually still willing to be taught something by a parent!

          I remember in highschool when the guys in the school band got ties. We discovered on the night if the first “tied” performance that there were three of us in the group of about 100 who knew how to tie them! Me, one other girl, and a guy who was involved in cadets. Each of us had guys lining up in front of us for help!
          By the next concert, most of them had learned to do their own, but there were a few who liked the attention of having a girl tie it for them!

          1. allathian*

            When we lived in the UK, I went to a comprehensive school with a uniform. It took me a couple days to learn to do it, and I was 12 at the time. The problem was my dad taught me to tie it the French way and all the girls in my class made fun of me when they saw me tying it after PE. But I never could get the hang of doing it the English way. (The uniform included skirts for girls, which I hated because the guys constantly tried to peek under it and because the teachers were measuring them with rulers to ensure that they were no more than an inch above the knee so that when I got to choose my clothes again, I refused to wear a skirt until I wore my senior prom dress.)

            I’m still trying to teach my 12 year old to tie his shoelaces. He hates team sports and isn’t involved in any that require laced footwear, so he’s really not been motivated to learn to do it. In PE and everywhere else he just uses sneakers with lock laces.

        2. Soupspoon McGee*

          My dad taught me when I was about 12 and stealing his old skinny ties because it was fashionable in Teen Magazine or something. He tied it for me and told me to stand in front of a mirror until I figured it out. Strangely, it worked.

        3. Chels*

          My sophomore English teacher taught us how to tie a tie. He used it as the topic of our required how-to essay but said he always did the same subject so no one left his class without knowing. I ended up tying a tie for a random guy at the photo studio during my senior pictures since no one else there could

        4. Marillenbaum*

          Around 12, I would say. They are old enough to develop the skills, and likelier to have the occasional reason to keep the skills to hand.

        5. quill*

          So their first formal events, depending on their activities, are going to be some time in the tween years. My brother learned to tie a tie because he was in band in middle school. I learned to tie a tie because my dad could only do it when it was on himself, my mom was in parent teacher conferences, and my brother managed to severely mess it up the first two times. :)

        6. Persephone Mongoose*

          Personally, I prefer the look of the eldredge tie knot, but I also realise it’s probably a bit much for an everyday setting.

    3. bishbah*

      We did this in high school because our government teacher wore different colored vests every day and we were tracking to see if there was a discernible pattern. (There was not.)

    4. LimeRoos*

      I did this in college, not with a spreadsheet, but just tally marks for one of my profs when he wore motorcycle shirts (2 out of every 3 classes). It doesn’t have to be creepy. And she did stop after what sounds like a short time since the clothes turned out to be super expensive.

      1. Campfire Raccoon*

        When a professor had a really discernable tic, I used to keep tally marks in my notes to help pass the time.

        One professor had this habit of going “KA-GLEM” into the mic when he lost his train of thought. My business communications professor would suck her teeth, completely unaware she was displaying the types of behaviors she was trying to get her students to avoid. My husband was in that class too – and sometimes he’ll suck his teeth at me when I’m being annoying.

        1. UKDancer*

          We had a professor who used about 3 annoying clichés very regularly and we kept track of how often he used each of them to amuse ourselves in his very dull lectures.

          1. Campfire Raccoon*

            One professor spoke English as a second language. Before every test she’d wish us “The Bestest Testes EVAH!” There is no way, *no way*, she didn’t know what she was saying. It was the greatest morale booster, evah, and is still part of our household lexicon.

          2. linger*

            One of my chemistry teachers kept misusing “phenomena” as a singular (This phenomena…). In one class, I finally broke down at the fifth repetition and did the Mynah Mynah song: Phenomena, doo doooo, doo doo doo…
            Luckily, the student next to me joined in.

            1. Warm Weighty Wrists*

              You should have raised your hand and asked, “Do you mean… something like a phenomenon?”

              I’ll see myself out.

    5. Tequila & Oxford Commas*

      You say creepy, I say hilarious! (Only because I saw Alison’s comment with more context.)

    6. Anonymous Hippo*

      I think it’s a little odd, but personally don’t think it’s creepy because of the reason. If they were trying to catch them out wearing the same outfit too often, or trying to match with them, or some other creepy reason, but trying to learn how to dress better its just sounds like a number brain trying to learn a new skill, which can be weird to some people.

    7. Lifelong student*

      I was once told by a student-towards the end of the term- that the student had observed that I had worn different jewelry every class- and the student thought I had never repeated an outfit! It may well have been true- but the student would have been better served by paying more attention to the lecture than my wardrobe!

  7. Amber Rose*

    Renton sounds like a cool guy.
    FrostyBoss sounds like a snappy dresser.

    I wanna work in your office too.

    1. 2cents*

      Nope. FrostyBoss is blissfully unaware and has worn the same suit since which means either a) she didn’t notice anything weird about it, or b) she did notice but didn’t mention anything.

      1. Smishy*

        I mean, she noticed her bum getting hit by something. This DOES seem like a rather large loose end has been left lying about given there’s every reason to think that the boss still thinks Renton grabbed her behind but for whatever reason, she just hasn’t said anything. Which is not really the same as Renton being in the clear.

  8. Correct Me If*

    I can’t stop imagining FrostyBoss reading these and just giggling madly to herself!

  9. Tina*

    Woa. Tracking her outfits on a spreadsheet? Please stop immediately.

    How would you feel if you found out a coworker was writing down what you wore everyday? Humiliated, uncomfortable, creeped out?

    Nice people do not do this. You stopped the gossip—great. Now stop this too because it is inappropriate and even a little cruel.

    1. Myrin*

      How would you feel if you found out a coworker was writing down what you wore everyday? Humiliated, uncomfortable, creeped out?

      I’m not the OP but I wouldn’t feel any of those things unless the person doing it behaved creepily in some other manner, which I’m pretty sure the OP isn’t.

      1. Chilipepper Attitude*

        Same. I would not think any of those things unless there was other creepy behavior.

      2. Batgirl*

        I would be completely psyched. I don’t get dressed up for my own health. (Though if they made a point of telling me, I would be weirded out, but by the telling, not the doing).

      3. Clisby*

        I would think it was pretty funny. I’d also have been wondering why – after all, if you wanted to copy how I dressed about 90% of the time I was a computer programmer: But a few pairs of jeans, a bunch of T-shirts, several sweatshirts, a pair of sandals, and a pair of hiking boots. That’ll do it.

    2. Mental Lentil*

      I think your comment is way off base. LW had a good reason for this.

      I would be delighted if someone thought I had enough dress sense that it was worth tracking what I wore. I mean, the whole point of fashion is to get people to look at you.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Right? If someone were keeping a spreadsheet of my outfits because I was incredibly stylish and they aspired to dress like me, I would be amused and flattered.

        The real spreadsheet would be:
        Monday: fleece
        Tuesday: fleece
        Wednesday: fleece

        And oh, now I am regretting not asking everyone working from home this past year to enter their daily work-from-home outfits into a shared Google doc.

        1. Respectfully, Pumat Sol*

          I can tell you mine: Literally the same pair of sweatpants (I have two identical pairs I rotate) and a graphic t-shirt. The only variation is whether I wear regular socks or slipper socks.

          1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

            Ditto, except my leg wear is four pairs of the literal exact same yoga leggings – two black pair, one grey and one navy. (And all my t-shirts are some sort of Disney.)

            1. The cat’s ass*

              Here, it’s lab coat and scrubs. Alternating Danskos, madly patterned socks, and earrings if I remember. Which is unchanged from my prepandemic wardrobe.

        2. Yorick*

          As long as the notes weren’t about how bad I looked or anything like that, I’d either be flattered or think it was weird but not care.

        3. Ray Gillette*

          Monday: polo shirt and gym shorts
          Tuesday: polo shirt and khaki shorts
          Wednesday: company-branded t-shirt #42 and gym shorts

        4. Anon Librarian*

          Aren’t you going to ask those of us who had to go into work the whole time what we wore every day?
          Just kidding.
          I actually got black scrubs from the company Fig (because they are a little fancy) in the early months as I figured they could stand up to daily washing and would fit in with our casual dress code (I work in a library). No one noticed.

          1. Jaid*

            I knew a lady who wore scrub tops at work, because she found them comfortable and no one really noticed what they were.

        5. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          I bought like 20 pairs of leggings online over the course of last year. This should give everyone the idea of what my WFH outfits looked like.

        6. Kat Em*

          I’ve actually started taking photos of all my WFH outfits as a way to convince myself to actually Wear My Clothes. It’s been surprisingly enjoyable!

        7. Campfire Raccoon*

          Monday: Completely inappropriate t-shirt and gym shorts.
          Tuesday: It’s 119 right now so: Suns out Buns out.
          Wednesday: Meeting with the CPA, will wear actual pants.

        8. Evan Þ.*

          Back when WFH started in March 2020, I started by lounging around in T-shirts. But after a couple weeks, I realized that I like wearing polo shirts, and my mind feels more ready for work when I’m wearing them.

          So, now, I’m wearing half what I would in the office. But now that the warm weather’s come around again, I’m letting myself wear shorts.

        9. Hush42*

          March 2020 through November 2020- Baggy Pajama Pants and T-shirts. Hoodies and Fuzzy socks when it was cold.
          December 2020- Decided that I should go back to wearing “real” clothes and switched to Jeans and work shirts.
          January 2020- Fractured my ankle right before New Years and was forced to switch back to baggy PJ pants because I couldn’t put anything else on over the cast.
          Current- Wearing athletic shorts and work shirts again.

        10. Remote FTW*

          Since week two of lockdown last March, I’ve kept all my sweaters folded in a drawer standing up in two columns. When you open the drawer, they present themselves like hanging file folders.
          Tomorrow’s sweater is pulled from the front, yesterday’s sweater refolded and put in the back.
          Similarly, pants hanging on the upper closet rod are in next-to-wear order: right to left. Clean pants enter in the left, today’s pants chosen from the right. Pants that can be worn again before washing are hung on the lower closer rod.
          I had to limit myself to wearing sweaters two days in a row and pants to three days, otherwise I know I would have spent all week wearing the same thing daily!

        11. Zaphod Beeblebrox*

          January – May: T-shirt (optional jumper) and elasticated comfy trousers
          June – August: T-shirt and shorts
          September – December: T-shirt (optional jumper) and elasticated comfy trousers

      2. I'd Rather Be Eating Dumplings*

        I don’t think anyone has ever made a spreadsheet, but I am kind of a….creative dresser and lots of people have made comments about keeping tabs on what I’m wearing over the years. In my experience, the sort of people who put that sort of care into their clothes also pay attention to other people’s clothes so they’re not thrown by it.

      3. Hush42*

        No one on my team has ever kept track of peoples outfits… that I know of. But a few months ago a few members of my, all female, team were on a call with me and my male boss. I don’t remember how the topic came up but he said *something* about his shirt (I think something along the lines of- I don’t own a pink shirt, maybe I should get one) and we all started listing off the shirts that he has the we like. In a “well you have that one light teal shirt that’s a really nice color.” “And you have that lavender shirt that a really good color on you” etc. He was not offended but I am pretty sure he was a bit taken aback.

    3. Wisteria*

      How would you feel if you found out a coworker was writing down what you wore everyday?

      Just confused, but my clothes are boring. If I wore fabulous outfits, I would still be confused by the effort, but flattered that they liked how I dressed that much.

      This blog is an endless sources of elucidation to me.

    4. Anonymous Hippo*

      I would feel extremely flattered if they were doing it to learn how to dress better.

    5. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      Geez, if I had a dollar for each time I read it anywhere on any work advice blogs or in work advice articles, advising junior employees on how to dress, to “spot the more senior person or people in the office that dresses in the way you want to emulate, that is also work-appropriate, and note their outfits”, I’d… be able to afford Frosty Boss’s outfits!

      How would you feel if you found out a coworker was writing down what you wore everyday? Humiliated, uncomfortable, creeped out? Mostly baffled, because I’m not a paragon of proper officewear! But also flattered, because, who knows, maybe I am and just don’t know it? I am definitely a good example of how to dress affordably, haha! I’ve gotten compliments on my outfits from coworkers before, and if I thought they seemed interested in where the outfit had come from, so they could emulate it, I gave them pointers.

      1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

        PS. Yes, I realize that “note” means in your head, not in an Excel sheet. But really, is there that much of a difference?

    6. tamarack and fireweed*

      Not everything that could conceivably be creepy is necessarily creepy. Both impact (none here) and intent (playfully positive about developing one’s sense of office style) do in fact count.

    7. HereKittyKitty*

      I would think it’s funny, probably. And maybe flattering in a weird way. I’m an anxious weird person so I’d assume it was a quirk and it wouldn’t bother me tbh.

    8. generic_username*

      Hopefully she isn’t keeping her spreadsheet on a company computer or something else that might accidentally be seen by coworkers. The office gossip mill will get to churning again for sure, lol

      I actually get stressed about whether people will remember how frequently I’ve worn certain things, particularly when I don’t remember when I last wore an outfit and do laundry midweek. I actually once walked out the door wearing the same outfit I had worn two days earlier (freshly laundered!) and realized early enough to dash back in and change. But yeah, I’d be a bit weirded out if I found a spreadsheet someone else had listing my outfits, personally…. (then again, I’m not stylish so I doubt anyone would keep one of those on me, lol)

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I realized this weekend that on the only two occasions I’ve seen extended family this year, I wore the same “On Wednesdays We Smash the Patriarchy” t-shirt both times and I don’t know what they make of it. (My very nice uncle and aunt questioned me extensively about it the first time so I’m sure they remembered it.)

        1. Princess Deviant*

          I got into a heated discussion with my mum when I wore a Bollox To Brexit t-shirt (one of the only times I’ve worn a bra during the pandemic I might add).

            1. the Viking Diva*

              Depends on how the message is placed… for some of my tees the last half of the slogan would vanish if I were not wearing something perky underneath. “On Wednesdays We Smash” would land quite differently!

              1. Mercurial*

                This entire commentary section, and especially this thread, has made me laugh so much there are actual tears.

        2. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

          …but was it on a Wednesday?

          As a child, we sent out family photo Christmas cards every year. (Back in the days of film cameras and not knowing what you’d captured until you got the roll developed, so quite the project to get a group photo with no one blinking and everyone looking at the camera, particularly with pets involved and only 24 pictures on a roll of film.)

          My mother saved them all and made a poster, which is how we discovered my dad wore the same (brown plaid, non-Christmas-themed) shirt two years in a row.

          I solve the repeating-outfits-within-a-week problem by having a basket for each day’s clothes and setting up a week’s worth of outfit-baskets on the weekend. It takes my brain a while to wake up and make decisions in the morning, but my dog goes from fast asleep to “time for a walk” immediately as soon as my feet hit the floor, so I offloaded the decision of what to wear to a different time of day to speed up my mornings. For a while, I did fall into a pattern of tending to wear the same shirt every Monday, and another shirt every Tuesday and so on, though, since my thought process about which days needed shirts with certain features (such as a big brown pattern that would hide potential coffee stains) stayed pretty stable from week to week. No one commented, but I do try to swap things around a little more now so that the people who only see me on Fridays know I own more than one shirt.

          1. Mobius 1*

            >…but was it on a Wednesday?

            Asking the hard hitting, real questions we all need answers to!

      2. SarahKay*

        It had never occurred to me that wearing the same outfit twice in a week might be something people would try and avoid until I saw your comment. For that matter I was well into my twenties before I discovered that wearing the same outfit two days in a row was considered … not ideal.
        While I no longer wear the same outfit two days in a row (at least, not to the office; WFH in covid-times has made me lazy about that) I still can’t see me caring enough to try and avoid wearing the same outfit twice in a week.

        1. kicking-k*

          Wait, it’s not? I very seldom *don’t* make an outfit do two days. Unless it’s actually dirty or the weather has changed enough that it’s no longer suitable. I try to make my kids re-wear stuff too. (Not socks or undies, no.)

          1. Shad*

            Letting the outfit “air out” a bit more by taking a day off in between can apparently help clothing last longer, but it’s otherwise a mostly cultural thing, especially now that it’s so common to have climate control so clothes typically aren’t even getting particularly sweaty.
            Other than that, remixing the outfits when you re-wear them can make it less obvious if you do happen to reuse within the same week–I tend to do much the same as far as wearing things more than once between washing, but for appearances’ sake, I tend to go through a week or so of clothes the first time before I re-wear them.

            1. SarahKay*

              The reason I was given was that it looks like you haven’t been home the previous night, with heavy implications of one night stand or similar. It was a group of women, all of whom seemed to feel that it was not done and at the time I just accepted their views and rotated my clothes more.
              Looking at the reasoning I’m tempted to start wearing my clothes twice in a row again now – mind you, when I’m back on site the population is largely male engineers and techs who don’t give the impression of noticing clothes in any significant way so I think any point I might want to make would be lost in a sea of disinterest.

              1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

                I was given that reason, too! Like you, I was young, junior-level, and impressionable, and accepted it. Then the only time in my career when I did in fact wear the exact same outfit two days in a row, was because I’d pulled an all-nighter and was in the office for 36 hours straight. I’m happy to report that, exactly as you are saying, 95% of IT coworkers in the office that day did not notice, and the other 5% assumed that I’d stayed in the office all night. Also, now that I’m well into middle age and with more life experience, I’m falling really strongly on the side of “a coworker having a ONS would not be a big deal for me or anyone else, and also not any of our business”, so it wasn’t that important of a reason to begin with.

        2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          In Home Country, there was a shortage of both good outfits and closet space. So, growing up, I recall us having a small closet with one suit each for my mom and dad, a handful of dress shirts for him and blouses for her, hanging in there. They definitely wore the same suit every day, as did everyone else. Not gonna lie, when we were getting ready to move to the US and found a news article somewhere saying that Americans have a different outfit for work for every day of a week, I thought the author was joking. Who can afford that many outfits? When I got my first job, two months after coming to the US (an entry-level programmer job), dad drove me to a Goodwill (since I didn’t have a car and couldn’t drive yet – was not expecting to find work that soon, and had applied to a grad school that I was going to commute to by bus), and I spent something like $30 on two full large garbage bags (the kind people use for lawn clippings) of work clothes. I was 30 and a mother of two. Got to give huge props to my coworkers, no one ever said a word about my work clothes being clearly second-hand. That was 10-15 years before second-hand became trendy. But I did have a new one for every day of the week, lol. Could probably go either way now. I tend to have more clothes than I know what to do with, so I can see myself wearing a different one every day during a workweek just to change things up. But things like skirts and dress pants would certainly go back into the closet after one wear, to be worn again next week.

      3. Elsajeni*

        I’ve been a little worried about this now that I’m supposed to be in the office 2 days a week — I have two definite Favorite Tops and if I’m not mindful I will just wear those same two tops every week, and everyone else is also coming in on a predictable 2-days-a-week schedule, so the same handful of people will see me every Tuesday wearing the exact same outfit like a cartoon character…

    9. Thursdaysgeek*

      It is not uncommon that I will wear a shirt that matches the color that a co-worker wears. I have told her that I have a camera in her closet, so I can see what she is wearing that day, so that I can copy her.

      Last week day two, the first week we were back in the office, and I’m wearing a shirt the same color.

      (Note: I do NOT have a camera in her closet.)

      1. Student Affairs Sally*

        In my last position, there was a weird thing where a majority of us in the department would all come in randomly wearing the same color, across age and gender lines. It happened most often with the me & person I shared an office with . . . and then they left, and it continued happening with the next person sharing the office (once they had been there a couple months). I have a entirely harebrained theory that it’s similar to how women’s “cycles” will sometimes sync up with other women that they spend a lot of time with – we spent so much time 3 feet from each other that our brainwaves just synced up.

        1. JobHunter*

          This happened at a previous workplace of mine, too. We usually (good-naturedly) teased the people who “didn’t read the memo.”

        2. KaciHall*

          At a bank I worked at a few years ago, two of the guys wore pink ties the same day. The both claimed they had a brighter pink tie at home. Therefore they wore them intentionally the next Friday. Then every Friday. Then the entire branch wore something bright pink on Fridays. This is still the only reason I own any pink clothing – and I still wear it some Fridays because it really does set it apart from the rest of the week and cheers me up!

        3. Sleeping Late Every Day*

          I remember one day when eight of us wore the same color shirts/tops and the same color pants, out of a staff of about 30. We declared ourselves happily pathetic.

      2. Quoth the Raven*

        My best friend and I have the same Slayer shirt (we went to a concert and bought them) and we’ve also worked together in a very casual environment, so whenever I had to go to the office I’d text him before heading out to make certain he was not wearing it if I was planning to. However, when hanging out, we have matched unintentionally!

        1. emmelemm*

          These days I imagine junior high school girls can just text each other in the mornings about what they’re wearing that day, but back in the dark ages…

      3. Momof1*

        We have a supervisor here who has a very distinctive “shorts and a polo, even when it’s way too cold for that” work “uniform”. Several years ago, his team started tracking the color of the polo every day to see if there was a pattern. Turned out their was, and so they all picked a week when they would dress to match and see if he noticed. It took 3 days for him to catch on and everyone (including the supervisor in question, promise) had a good laugh about it. There are pictures and everything.

    10. AvonLady Barksdale*

      I agree with you. And I like wearing nice, interesting clothes and jewelry. I love it when someone says something to me like, “I love that necklace you always wear.” And I would feel so anxious if I found out there was documentation of my clothing. I’m not an anthropology subject and neither is this so called “Frosty Boss.”

      Take a mental note? Sure. Notice that a particular silhouette is flattering? Of course. Admire a collection of scarves? Yup. Ask where someone got a shirt and write that down? Fine. Write it down as if there’s something sooooo unusual about a particular woman’s personal style? A woman you know, not a model or public figure? No thank you.

      The support for this strikes me as really counter to previous conversations on this site about privacy and being allowed to dress how we want without judgment.

      1. Wisteria*

        previous conversations on this site about privacy and being allowed to dress how we want without judgment.

        These conversations usually center around freedom from negative judgement based in racism, misogyny, or fat-phobia. That’s not what’s happening here. There is no mal-intent–no stalking, no criticism.

        Now, some people won’t want to be admired either, and that’s valid. Not everyone is comfortable in the spotlight–my dress is deliberately boring to avoid the spotlight. Even with that, however, the caution is not to use work assets for the spreadsheet so that the boss doesn’t find out. There is no spotlight if nobody but the OP knows.

        So I don’t see this conversation as counter to previous conversations.

        1. AvonLady Barksdale*

          I just can’t agree. It may not be directly harmful, but it’s putting someone on a weird pedestal and treating them as an object, not a person. I don’t object to the writing down, I object to the tracking, which has an air of, I don’t know, checking off a task or filling out a bingo card. This just does not strike me as cute or fun.

          1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

            I’d have said it’s treating them not only like a person but a person whose dress taste is admirable.
            I’d be flattered, and amazed (I dress rather quirkily, can’t manage smart, only pretty and unusual) and I’d probably rag the spreadsheeter about it (gently, and only if it goes down well of course). I’d probably come in with increasingly improbable outfits just to wind them up.
            I have sometimes been placed on a pedestal by younger colleagues whether in work or volunteer settings, and while it can feel unsettling when it’s because of your skin colour or nationality, it’s only flattering when it’s because of your dress, or your skills.

    11. meyer lemon*

      I think there’s more nuance to it than this. Sure, there are contexts where this could be part of a pattern of bullying or surveilling, but from a junior employee to a particularly stylish senior one, unless there is any additional context that makes it weird, I think it would be taken as a sign of admiration.

    12. Blarg*

      She compared FrostyBoss to Anna Wintour.

      Track that stuff. Learn from her.

      When’s she wearing slacks vs skirts/dresses? Does she mix separates? What kind of color combos is she rocking? Does she accessorize? Scarves? Jewelry?

      Tell me all about the shoes.

      If you’re trying to work your way up in an office that is style conscious and an upper level person is setting a standard, it makes sense to keep track of how to make it work because it isn’t obvious or natural to everyone.

      Women’s wear isn’t like men’s wear. This isn’t just what color tie did he choose. There’s so many options and so much can be read into it. How short are skirts? How high are the heels? Are v-neck blouses acceptable? Does she wear pantyhose??? (See multiple AAM posts about that).

      I’m a spreadsheet maker and I can totally see myself doing this if it were a specific need. Like if your boss often mentioned books or podcasts or journal articles and you kept a list so you could keep abreast of what the boss thought is important.

    13. restingbutchface*

      I mean, the fact at least there commenters I’ve seen so far have come to the same conclusion is reason enough to stop doing it on a work computer. If random AAM commenters feel it’s creepy, then there’s enough evidence to suggest that someone in HR would think the same and that would turn out badly for OP.

      For the record, I don’t think OP was being creepy but *I* would find it embarrassing and intrusive if my colleagues did this about me. Probably because I know I really push the boundary of office-casual, even in these wfh times and I tend to dress differently that the norms my gender prescribes. Not the case here in answer up your hypothetical question, yes, *I* would be upset.

  10. Erin*

    Omg I am so happy for this update! Also, even happier that there was an excel spreadsheet involved for tracking purposes!

    1. Empress Matilda*

      Right? I didn’t think anything could improve on this glorious story…but now there’s a spreadsheet!

      My life is complete, and I can die happy.

  11. Teapot Unionist*

    I had a now retired colleague who always wore impeccable outfits that somehow matched the theme of whatever she was doing that day. She actually suggested during orientation that we track our own outfits so we don’t wear the same thing twice in front of the same group or in the same setting. So, if I were lobbying, I should wear a different outfit each day of the multi-week session. Or, if I were out in the field, I wouldn’t wear the same outfit to the meet with the same group twice.

    I get around that by wearing totally boring and nondescript clothing so no one remembers what I wear from day to day.

      1. emmelemm*

        I had a period in junior high where I wore make-up. I’ve basically been make-up-less ever since, but a diary still exists where the entries read: “Monday – blue eye shadow. Mascara. Icy pink lipstick. No blush.”

    1. Susan Calvin*

      YES. There is nothing quite like like driving to a customer meeting and getting struck with the sudden fear that this is the same (memorably patterned) shirt you wore last two workshops.

  12. Kevin Sours*

    It probably helps that Renton seems like the kind of person to find the whole situation hilarious even if he did suffer so blowback personally.

  13. Threeve*

    I don’t know that Diane’s behavior is that bad. It would be a pretty mortifying thing to own up to, and the more time has passed the weirder and more awkward it would get. She should have come clean, but not wanting to just makes her a bit of a coward, not a terrible person.

    I’m still perplexed about the frosty grandboss. I can’t really imagine working so hard to project frosty elegance but still being hesitant to confront a subordinate for sexually harassing you. (Anna Wintour would have done way more than just glare.)

    1. Kay*

      Yeah, I’m not understanding the distancing from Diane! She flubbed, for sure, but is there more to this? Seems odd.

      1. Small Fox*

        While it worked out, there was a period where both LW and Diane were convinced their mistake had gotten a collegue into serious career-jeopardizing trouble that they had the power to sort out. If Dianne refused to clear his name because it might be an awkward conversation, that doesn’t speak super highly of her.

        The fact that it turned out that everything was fine doesn’t change her actions when the assumption was that it wasn’t.

      2. Kevin Sours*

        She put LW in the really awkward situation of the one having to clean up the mess even those she was the one primarily responsible. I can understand why LW might resent that.

    2. Allison Wonderland*

      Maybe the glare was imagined, and grandboss never even noticed that anything hit her butt, or if she did, thought Renton just accidentally brushed her? That’s sort of how I’m reading the situation. The consequences were greater in the minds of LW, Diane, and the gossipers than they were in reality.

  14. Weasel007*

    American here…ummmm….can someone fill me in on what a footie is? I immediately think that someone is going to a bar/restaurant taking their shoes off under the table and playing footsie.
    And am I the only person who would be horrified if someone came back from lunch after having a drink at lunch? I work in a very large financial company. Coming to work with any alcohol on my breath would be bad.

    1. Student Affairs Sally*

      It’s a slang term for “soccer” in the UK (derived from the fact that pretty much everyone outside of the US calls it “football”)

      1. Zaphod Beeblebrox*

        It is officially called Association Football, which became abbreviated to “soccer football” as distinct from “rugby football”, which is a different game entirely.

    2. Small Fox*

      International football (soccer).

      And responses to drinking at lunch vary WILDLY between countries and industries. Here in Canada I’ve worked in offices where no one would bat an eye, and others where it would be noted. I’ve also worked in France on a job with company provided on-site meals – where wine was an essential part of every lunch – so YMMV.

      1. NotRealAnonForThis*

        Absolutely. I work in an industry in the USA where having a beer at lunch is not exactly looked askance upon. Its less typical now than it was once upon a time, but its still a matter of knowing your place of employment and your day.

    3. Le Sigh*

      Yeah, I had to re-google it myself because as an American I immediately read it as “playing footsie” and then I wondered if that was just slang for sneaking away for a mid-day tryst? But nope, just watching sports.

      Horrified feels like a strong word to me. I think it really depends on your country/local culture, your industry, your company, and the context. And having a single beer or glass of wine at lunch is a lot different from knocking them back for a liquid lunch.

      1. UKDancer*

        Yes, a single beer or a couple of shandies watching a football game would not horrify anyone in the companies I’ve worked in. Especially on a Friday.

        I mean coming back roaring drunk would be an issue but a drink with lunch while enjoying footie would not be particularly problematic in most white collar jobs (obviously it’s different if you’re going to drive a train).

    4. Batgirl*

      If you work in an office in a UK city it’s more or less standard practice to have a drink at lunch if you’re being sociable in a pub as opposed to grabbing a sandwich. It varies: for example I work in a school in the suburbs so it would be kind of frowned on for me, as well as impossible time wise. Though it’s more or less the law on last day of school! As a non drinker I have to reassure people on the day I’m honestly fine not drinking.

  15. Well-dressed teacher*

    I tracked my outfits in high school because I had a lot of church and dressy social activities. Tracked all my outfits daily as a secondary teacher because I didn’t want to bore my students with the same clothes and because I finally had enough money to dress professionally. I think I inherited this attention to detail from my father who always carried a small notebook with the birthdays of his children and grandchildren, the dates he purchased major appliances, changed his oil, etc. He wasn’t a nerd but a very nice man who people relied on for accurate information.

  16. RagingADHD*


    So you know that Renton didn’t pat your boss’s butt, you were actually there, but you didn’t actually tell anyone the truth? That’s not cute or funny. I’m glad Renton didn’t need a real friend to support his reputation, because he doesn’t seem to have any.

    And you’re the co-worker keeping a spreadsheet on someone’s wardrobe? It was creepy when the person being stalked wrote in about it, and it’s still creepy.

    1. AvonLady Barksdale*

      Yeah. If this story unfolded the way the LW describes, then it is neither cute nor funny. Perpetuating a rumor, especially one that paints a colleague in a negative light, is profoundly uncool and, yes, immature.

      “Boss, I’m so sorry, Diane’s sandwich seems to have run away from her! There may be mustard on your skirt. Here’s a Tide pen.” That’s… kind of all this needed to be.

    2. AvonLady Barksdale*

      I thought I had replied to you but it’s gone. In short, I agree, there are several parts of this that make me uncomfortable.

    3. KAZ2Y5*

      I replied, but think my phone lost it somehow. Anyway I just wanted to let you know that you aren’t the only one who was unimpressed with this update. I just don’t think this was near as funny/delightful as most people seem to think.

    4. LTL*

      My main issue here is that if FrostyBoss thought someone sexually harassed her, someone should have really informed her that’s not the case. Being sexual harassed sucks.

      But given that Renton is not in trouble, I hope this was a misunderstanding and FrostyBoss didn’t actually think that? Who knows. I really wish someone talked to her, intimidating as it might be.

  17. ecnaseener*

    Now the big question is who on earth would have started such a ridiculous story?

    Oh, I sincerely hope we get a 3rd update revealing that Diane started the rumor in a bizarre attempt to avoid suspicion. That would be the icing on the cake.

    (To clarify, I say that because it would be funny as heck. It’s probably not true.)

  18. Another British poster*

    There’s no way this letter was written by an actual British person. They completely mangle basic British words (“patios” are things you have in your own garden, no Brit would ever use that word to refer to a pub garden) and the letter veers between like four completely different parts of the UK.

    It’s someone desperately trying to sound British but I’d bet money the LW is not actually British. No actual British person would be fooled by this.

    1. Another British poster*

      Just saw Alison’s other update from the LW, where they say “back to Banana Republic with the other plebs.”

      Banana Republic doesn’t exist in this country.

      1. Student Affairs Sally*

        Banana Republic had locations in the UK in the 2010s and you can still shop online. Not sure why you’re so vehement that this person is a “fake” British person (and why would it matter if they were, on an anonymous online blog?)

      2. Batgirl*

        British person here who has shopped at Banana Republic at home. They’re not everywhere is all.

      3. Sasha*

        You can still get it online in the UK. The bricks and mortar stores closed a couple of years ago.

      4. Allison Wonderland*

        I believe the LW pointed out in the comments of the original that she and Renton are both British expats living in the US (which explains how they could watch European soccer at lunch)

      1. Mid*

        I’m not sure if this matters, but this comment from you isn’t showing up as blue, while all your other comments do.

    2. Kimmy Schmidt*

      I read it as a British person leaning heavily into British stereotypes for the giggles of the story.

      1. The cat’s ass*

        This is perfectly hysterical, a wonderful update to a completely out there post, and I’m imagining it read aloud by Bridget Jones. Made my day!

    3. Batgirl*

      Eh, she doesn’t sound at all like me, but she sounds like people I know from university, including the patio reference (I don’t know many Brits who just use one word for things when another one is just as handy anyway). I certainly haven’t ever heard the phrasing from someone who’s a non Brit, put it that way. It’s certainly not mid Atlantic or even standard British phrasing but.. good? It’s not desperation to have a distinctive voice.

      1. kicking-k*

        I’m Scottish, and I’d call it a patio or just maybe a terrace, and I’m kind of assuming with the Trainspotting names that OP might be Scottish too.

        1. kicking-k*

          Oh wait, no, they’re cheering for England’s football team below. So much for that theory ;)

          1. SarahKay*

            As someone with both English and Scottish parents I cheered for England while living in Scotland. Now I am in England I cheer for Scotland; basically I am contrary.
            I would suggest that OP might be English, living in Scotland?

        2. Sasha*

          There are definitely pubs that have patios, and I’m in London. I would never say terrace. It’s a patio out front by the roadside, or a garden out back (or with grass on it)

          1. restingbutchface*

            Terrace is what posh people would say IMO. I’m English and it reads fine to me, just someone who is using various local idioms for comedic purposes.

            Not sure gatekeeping Britishness is really what we want to be doing, especially in the current political climate.

    4. miro*

      I’m not sure how meaningful the mixture of stuff from different parts of the country is–I’ve lived in several different regions of the US and picked up words/phrases/cultural touchstones from each, and the OP might have had similar experienced moving around throughout the UK. I think that’s a pretty common thing to happen, as people are naturally influenced by their surroundings!

      1. Kathlynn (Canada)*

        I’m from Canada, visited the USA before y’all became (more) popular/common everywhere in NA. and used y’all due to that. and given how long the internet has been around, I wouldn’t use “regional” usage of a word as a reason to say a LW is lying about where they live.

    5. Marthooh*

      Squints suspiciously at Another British Poster

      Now we know who started that rumor about Renton.

    6. The North Remembers*

      Uhhh… I’m British, and I use slang from different parts of the country. Because I have lived in different parts of the country, as have my family. It’s not that unusual to move house.

      I wonder if people think I’m fake British because I use Lincolnshire, South and West Yorkshire, Wiganese and stuff from the Wirral in my day to day life. I would never call anything a patio, that’s for posh people. It’s a deck to me, and pub gardens do have them. I would assume that pub gardens have patios in to people that call them that.

      And you know, as someone who is working class and from t’ North, gatekeeping Britishness really rubs me the wrong way, especially when there’s a high chance LW is Scottish, or perhaps lives and works there since they’re supporting England.

      1. pandop*

        To this Northerner, patios and decks are different. I have a patio, because it is made of paving slabs, if I took it out and replaced it with wood, then it would be a deck.

        Regarding pub outdoor spaces, mostly they are ‘beer gardens’ when advertising that they have outdoor seating (especially when not clearly visible from the road), or just ‘outside’ in the context of ‘do you want to see if there is any space outside?’
        One of the nearest bars to work, has extensive outside seating, and trades on this by being called ‘The Terrace’ – but we would probably still just talk about sitting outside – I don’t think anyone refers to sitting on the terrace at ‘The Terrace’

    7. londonedit*

      I thought they sounded more Australian (no British person I know actually says ‘footie’ when they’re talking about football, and ‘patios are open’ is not something I can imagine the fellow British people I know saying…especially when actual pubs are open in England…I’d be more likely to say ‘beer gardens are open’ because I don’t know any pubs that specifically advertise having a ‘patio’).

      But maybe they were just playing up to what the American readership here would think of as British? Maybe they are Australian living in Britain and supporting England in the Euros? I don’t know.

  19. GraceRN*

    The original post was hysterical and this is a great update! The only thing I’m confused about is: why was the title “I accidentally threw a sandwich” when Diane the coworker was the sandwich-thrower? It did create some confusion for me initially and I had to read the original post twice to make sure I understood it correctly. I know Alison creates the post titles, but I hope the OP didn’t actually believe they were the person directly responsible for starting this incident.

  20. Elizabeth West*

    I COMPLETELY missed this one, so I’m really glad it got (a satisfactory) update!

  21. Bowserkitty*

    OP, this has been a delightful saga! I will absolutely find that clip. I love Graham Norton.

  22. a reader*

    Just here to see if anyone else got the “Trainspotting” reference. Not disappointed! :)

  23. LilPinkSock*

    Are the rumors still going around that Renton sexually harassed the boss? How unfortunate that Diane refused to do anything to deal with the issue she (inadvertently) created, and now an innocent bystander may have a reputation as a groper.

Comments are closed.