updates: coworker sounds drunk on work calls, the marshmallow challenge, 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 coworker sounds drunk on work calls

There have been so many great updates this year that I feel bad mine doesn’t involve tense post-car-accident nuptials.

So, my coworker. She’s one of those people who, even in the best of times, feels a sense of purpose when she’s taking on work projects with a kind of crazed vigor. In the first year or so of the pandemic, this migrated slowly out of control, to the point where we’d get emails from her 5 or 6 hours before the workday started. Half the time, these would not be emails related to her work. They would be emails attempting to complete other people’s projects.

After the incidents I described in my letter, a couple of us reached out to my coworker asking generally, gingerly, if she was okay. She seemed to wave it off and insisted that she was fine, and in the months after that, there didn’t appear to be any issues of the what-will-our-client-think-of-this-conference-call type.

Oddly, just when I thought we were out of the woods, she took on a crusade in response to our company’s RTO plans. This crusade built in vehemence over increasingly long emails, and a couple weeks into it she had an episode where she publicly accused one of our department leaders of selling us all out because he had an ADA accommodation.

A number of us talked to her after that about how wildly inappropriate and hurtful her behavior was. She’s made an effort to be very careful and conciliatory since then. I think it was something of a wake-up call for her. She has a tendency to go off on self-appointed quests to take down a perceived enemy. Sometimes the enemy is honestly just the workload. But sometimes it’s a person.

I still don’t know what was driving all this, but it doesn’t matter because the point is that she seems to be doing well now and isn’t at risk of detonating her career.

I continue to think she could use a pet.

2. I failed the marshmallow challenge (#3 at the link)

I wrote you about an office party where I made my great-grandboss lose a party game. Thank you so much for your kind words at that time, I really was besides myself with shame!

But: something good came out of it, because that night, I couldn’t sleep and stayed up all night updating my CV and writing a cover letter for a position I’d been eying for a while. I applied the next morning.

I didn’t hear back from that particular company, but because I now had all my materials updated, I kept applying for jobs. There were more frustrations in my current job than just the marshmallow incident: a colleague that encroached on my responsibilities, a promised raise that never came through, a long and cumbersome commute, and a new all-virtual working culture which made me feel very lonely. I landed a new job that looks to be absolutely great and will start soon! It’s with a smaller company where everyone is much more connected, and chatting with the CEO would just be a regular, normal occurrence (in which I will be totally cool, calm and collected, I promise).

I’m sure there’s a lesson in there somewhere about lemons and lemonade, but I’m just glad the marshmallow incident gave me a much-needed kick in the pants to finally do something about a job that was no longer working for me.

3. Can we pool our funds for an office couch? (#4 at the link)

I wrote a few years back about our couch being removed from the employee break room and the possibility of buying a new one as a staff. After a few months of not having a couch, some more information came to light that brought clarity into why management took the couch away from the break room in the first place. Yes, the initial complaint from satellite office employees was the catalyst for the removal, but also the non-profit is entertainment industry-adjacent, and because couches had become this symbol of inappropriate sexual harassment/assault during the Me Too movement, the leadership decided that there would be no new couches in the office at all. There was a caveat though, higher-ups who already had couches in their personal offices got to keep them, while everyone else was SOL. (which, in my opinion, is very reflective of the problems brought up by Me Too, but whatever). One particularly brave employee asked HR if we could buy a new couch and they were shut down immediately.

On a personal note, due to COVID and the entertainment industry basically shutting down for several months, I ended up getting laid off from the organization. Despite the loss of income, I realize now how terrible the working conditions were at that company. I also realized that since I was unemployed for the first time since I was 16 years old, I finally had time to apply to law school! I got in and am working my way through my first semester now! I’ve been going through old AAM posts to help me get my new professional bearings.

4. When to tell my office I won’t be returning when they reopen (#4 at the link)

I ended up telling my manager after we’d closed on our new home. Not particularly shockingly I was laid off about two weeks later. In general the lay off worked to my advantage despite them going back on some promises regarding continuation of benefits, but I’m fortunate that it was more of a hassle than a burden.

Some commenters mentioned that moving to a new state permanently while working remotely could cause some tax issues, and they were right! We had to deal with a state audit from our original state, but our case manager was understanding about us not realizing we were actually moving when we initially moved and despite some hair pulling on my end it worked out.

Being unemployed meant I could stay home with our toddler until we felt like there was enough vaccine uptake to feel safe sending him to daycare. The job hunt did take awhile, and I only just started a full time job, but I’m feeling pretty good about it and I’m really loving our new city.

{ 106 comments… read them below }

  1. learnedthehardway*

    OP#3 – the irony that the publicly situated couch had to leave, but the in-office couches of senior executives remained is definitely causing some serious head-tilting in my tiny corner of the universe. Emblematic of the problem, indeed!!!!

    1. jane's nemesis*

      Right? The couches to remove to make this statement they were trying to make would have been literally the in-office couches, NOT the break room! :facepalm:

    2. hbc*

      I wish I was surprised, but I’ve seen so many situations where no one circles back to “What was the intent of this again?”

    3. Maya*

      Boss: Alright, ladies, we heard about this whole “Me Too” thing, and we are committed to making this office a better place for women by…
      Women: Hiring more female employees? Taking sexual harassment reports seriously?
      Boss: Getting rid of couches!
      Women: Uh… we liked having couches to sit on? How is that supposed to help anything?
      Boss: Whoa, what more do you want me to do? I mean, I already went through all the trouble of getting rid of couches for you, so…

      1. LemonLyman*


        Boss: Getting rid of couches! Your couches. Not mine. The ones behind closed doors in offices get to stay.

    4. Thumper*

      I almost want to believe they got rid of the couch for an entirely different reason that the company didn’t want to disclose and pulled that explanation out of their behind.

      1. Jaybee*

        This seems pretty likely TBH.

        Or they just hate hearing comments/jokes about casting couches from visitors and guests.

    5. Artemesia*

      Because where there are casting couch issues, they are definitely the proles sharing couches in large public spaces and not the higher ups with their private office couches.

  2. The Rafters*

    Somehow I missed OP 1’s first letter. Glad I didn’t see it because I might have not been kind in response. I had a coworker who sounded drunk on calls and was sometimes scolded by callers who did not know because it was no one’s business that she had ALS, aka Lou Gehrig’s disease. I was beyond outraged on her behalf. I also work in the same agency with someone who sounds drunk but he had a traumatic brain injury. I’m glad someone reached out to your coworker but didn’t accuse her of being drunk. There are so very many reasons why people may sound impaired when they are not.

    1. Snarkaeologist*

      My grandmother sounds drunk after her partial seizures – which from the outside just look like she’s lost track of her conversation, and from her perspective just seemed like random confusing tired spells. She would have probably never been diagnosed if we weren’t able to tell the doctor what we saw.

      And when I was training as an EMT they made sure to tell us that when someone seems drunk who isn’t obviously drinking, step 1 is to check their blood sugar. Cognition changes are a medical issue until you know otherwise.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        A friend of mine does when her blood sugar gets either really high or really low. She very definitely does not drink because, well, alcohol and diabetes aren’t a great combination, but occasionally if she’s extra stressed or some other thing her blood sugar will get out of whack. (She has a helper dog for this. It’s pretty amazing. One of her regular pet dogs, years ago, actually trained herself to detect blood sugar swings and would pester Friend into checking on herself if she detected a problem.)

      2. PT*

        Former first aid instructor here, “altered mental status” is a red flag for a TON of serious health conditions. It means “slow down, put on your kindness/patience hat, and see what’s going on” not “get belligerent and start accusing this person of moral failures.”

      3. Sasha*

        Yep – my dad slipped on ice and fractured his skull, and people stepped over his unconscious body assuming he was passed out drunk, until my mum came to look for him (he hadn’t been drinking at all – he’d left her and us in the car while he ran out to buy a Christmas present, and when he didn’t come back after 15 minutes she got worried and went to look for him).

        He didn’t come to any serious harm (lost the hearing in one ear but nothing life changing). But if my mum hadn’t known exactly where to look for him, he could have lain there all night.

        1. Metadata minion*

          WTF, that’s horrible! Even if he *had* passed out from alcohol, that would still mean he needed medical attention.

          1. AnonToday*

            A few years ago I got yelled at by my then boyfriend’s roommate’s for calling an ambulance for someone who had passed out drinking (outside for over an hour on the ground in winter after urinating on their clothes) and blamed for ‘thousands of dollars of medical bills’. I think the roommate ended up confessing that he ditched the person outside of their apartment and was trying to displace the guilt, but I guess there are people that think that expensive medical bills are worse then letting someone lay outside all night after a medical emergency.

            1. WellRed*

              Passing out from alcohol isn’t automatically a medical emergency (see: sleeping it off) but I’m appalled that anyone would leave a passed out person outside in the winter. Or in an otherwise vulnerable situation.

              1. AnonToday*

                The person in my story had a BAC over .3 at the hospital, which was probably an hour or two after they stopped drinking. Certainly a medical emergency in that case!

              2. Barbara Eyiuche*

                I was in the hospital once in Finland, in the middle of winter, and the window in my room overlooked the walkway up to the hospital entrance. One day I saw an older man crawling toward the front door, and then passing out. People passing by just walked around him. Eventually a nurse came into my room and I told her about the man. She said, “Oh, no, that couldn’t be happening.” I told her she didn’t have to take my word for it, she could just look out the window. Finally she did, looked confused, and said maybe she would tell someone. After about an hour the police came and took him away in a van. Later I asked some Finnish friends about this, and they all agreed that if they saw someone passed out on the street, they would just assume the person was drunk and do nothing.

            2. PT*

              I have called 911 because I was concerned about someone who was passed out on the sidewalk in the cities (multiple) where I lived. Men, appeared unconscious or in one case the guy appeared dead, not just sleeping outside.

              I got chewed out by Dispatch for not shaking the guy awake to ask if they were ok. I told them, no, I am a small woman, I am not OK walking up to a strange man and shaking him. They continued to give me attitude.

              This is why people don’t call it in.

              1. Candi*

                Okay, when I took first aid training (granted, it’s been over ten years), one of the things they said was NOT to approach the victim unless you yourself felt safe.

                Granted, the examples they gave were of the “not running up to a car leaking gas” type, but the principle still applies!

                And it’s very, very, very up to the system if filing a complaint does anything at all. >:(

              2. Freya*

                First thing I was taught in first aid training was to take care of yourself first – once a first aid trainer asked me what I’d do if I came across another person in the class seemingly passed out in the woods. That person was a friend and I knew their reactions, so I said that I’d yell at them first, then if that didn’t get a response, poke them with a stick and immediately run! I knew my friend woke up swinging, you see… Trainer said it was a good answer, because as a paramedic, they’d been knifed by someone seemingly passed out, who also lashed out when startled… You don’t know and your first responsibility is to keep yourself safe.

                1. Marzipan Shepherdess*

                  Plus, in this culture, you also don’t know if that person has a loaded gun and is sufficiently oriented and coordinated to fire it at you. The biggest, strongest, bravest individual is no match for a firearm! So yes, call for help but don’t put your own life at risk by startling someone who may be belligerent and dangerous.

          2. allathian*

            My adopted uncle (really my dad’s cousin who was adopted by my grandparents when his parents died in a car crash) was an alcoholic, and one day when he’d been drinking, he slipped on the ice and passed out. He did get picked up, but because his breath and clothes smelled of alcohol and he was incoherent when he regained consciousness, cops just took him to the city lockup to sober up. He died in lockup, and the autopsy showed that he’d fractured his skull and should’ve been taken to hospital.

        2. Retired Prof*

          OMG that’s awful. I’m glad it turned out mostly OK.

          When I was 5 months pregnant with my first child but already big as a house and having a difficult pregnancy, I got very lightheaded in my university’s library. I had to lie on the floor to avoid passing out. The librarian glared at me, then ignored me. Eventually a student worker came out from behind the desk, asked me what was wrong, then got me a damp cloth and called the campus police to take me to the infirmary. While the boss librarian continued to glare. When the cop arrived, his first question was what drugs I was on – prompted by the librarian, I suspect. “I’M PREGNANT” I wailed and he finally got me to the health center.

    2. Despachito*

      Why “not kind” and “no one’s business”?

      It is definitely NOT a matter of scolding, but if you notice something is seriously off with the caller, I’d consider it natural to be concerned (and not to just let it go). You can save this person’s life.

      I mean, if your coworker had a condition that made her sound drunk on calls, it is possibly not a good idea to let her make the calls, if you insist on “it is no one’s business why”. I’d think people on the other end of the call (who do not know what is happening) would either be concerned that she might be in danger, or put off because they think she is high on something. (If they knew that she is basically OK but suffering from something that makes her sound that way without being drunk/intoxicated that would be different but if it cannot be disclosed – and I understand why – I’d think it would be better not to let her communicate with the public).

  3. fiona the baby hippo*

    I’m trying to write a ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’/’marshmallow that broke the spaghetti tower’ pun but I don’t think I can quite get there. Sounds like a lot of stress was building over a long time and it just took the tower tumbling down to be the push the LW needed, which seems to often be the case with a lot of AAM letters. we’re all just little office frogs unable to realize the water around us is boiling.

    1. Your local password resetter*

      The marshmallow of managerial incompetence the spiked the spaghetti rod of job unhappiness.

    2. Retired Prof*

      At first, I thought the letter would be about the infamous marshmallow test where preschoolers were given a marshmallow and promised another if they waited to eat the first one until they were told to. Supposedly it’s a measure of ability to defer gratification? Anyway I was wondering if this was now part of some company’s weird interview process.

      1. Loubelou*

        I thought it was the ‘fluffy bunny’ challenge where you have to keep adding marshmallows into your mouth and saying ‘fluffy bunny’! I wasn’t sure how you could actually fail that challenge, except perhaps to demonstrate you have a very big/small mouth..?

  4. NeutralJanet*

    @3, if anything, I’d think that couches should be removed from private offices and left in communal break rooms—but of course, that would inconvenience important people, so not possible! (I also think that it is not that hard not to harass someone even if there are couches nearby, but that’s obviously asking too much.)

    1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

      Yeah, basically, they got rid of the most visible couch because it looked MeTooey, not because they really wanted to do away with couch castings.

  5. Falling Diphthong*

    *boggles at #3*

    This reminds me of the belief that sexual intercourse is only possible after dark, so your anti-nookie policy only starts during civil twilight.

    1. Shirley Keeldar*

      I’m just so confused. That office’s response to sexual harassment is….to remove furniture. Not, say, create a reporting mechanism that is simple for victims to access…protect victims who report from any kind of retaliation…make sure offenders face consequences…

      Nope. It’s the couches. The couches for peons, naturally—not the couches for highly paid people.

      Those evil couches.

      1. Imaginary Friend*

        They weren’t even responding to actual sexual harrassment in their own workplace! They were responding to optics, because they’re “entertainment industry-adjacent” and #metoo had just been happening. But guess what? Couches have been a symbol of sexual harrassment *in the entertainment industry specifically* for decades! That phrase “casting couch”? It’s been associated with movies since the beginning and probably with theatrical entertainment before that. I think that someone just got a bug up their butt and couldn’t be talked down/overridden.

        1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

          Yeah, it was purely a matter of it looking bad, and so they only did a cosmetic change. And tough for the workers who might need a comfy chair to sit on during their break.

  6. The Smiling Pug*

    Yikes OP#2, that sounded like the tip of an iceberg that had been building for a very long time. Glad you got out of there.

    1. Sasha*

      The absence of couches doesn’t prevent it either. It’s not exactly hard to find other surfaces, if that it your intention. Are they going to remove desks, chairs and floors too?

  7. Dust Bunny*

    because couches had become this symbol of inappropriate sexual harassment/assault during the Me Too movement, the leadership decided that there would be no new couches in the office at all

    What–and I cannot stress this enough–the actual eff?

    1. Dust Bunny*

      Also, I super love that they took couches away from everyone except, you know, the rank of employees who are the stereotypical offenders.

    2. I'm Just Here for the Cats*

      What I want to know is did they replace the couches with any type of comfy seating? Are you supposed to just not sit in the break room?

    3. Dramatic Intent to Flounce*

      Possibly the most bizarre justification for something I have ever seen, but then there is a LOT of competition.

  8. Pikachu*

    #2/3 It’s so interesting to see how many letter writers send in updates when they leave their companies for reasons unrelated to the original letter, but still look back and recognize a boatload of other toxic weirdness they had normalized along the way.

    Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      I wonder if at times it’s a case of the whole place is slightly toxic, but the problems are so overwhelming that our Letter Writers focus on just the problem bugging them the most – and when they do leave they realize the prior job was just full of bees.

      1. The Prettiest Curse*

        And of course, when you’re in a toxic situation, the constant stress of that means that things which would bother you a lot less in another situation just become unbearable.

  9. Jaybeetee*

    LW1: I might be way off, but I randomly looked up Captain Awkward’s letter from the young lawyer worried about disappointing her “partner” (boss), and your follow-up reminds me of that again.

    Some people… want to make their lives about work, find their safety and identity and fulfillment in that, and I don’t think that necessarily has to be a bad thing. But a potential hazard of that kind of life is inadvertently requiring too much emotional labour from bosses/colleagues/clients who never signed on for such an arrangement, and who have other emotional priorities as well. It sort of sounds like colleague is someone who falls into this bucket, and they’ll have to be careful, if they’re struggling emotionally, to not rope bystanders into it.

    1. coffee*

      I can’t see a way that making your life about work can ever be a positive thing. Leaving aside the fact that you have to retire someday, it sets up a really unhealthy dynamic where you are dependent on your employment for money AND your emotional well-being, but your employer is only dependent on your labour (which they could hire someone else to do). Plus, as you say, the emotional labour required of other people in the workplace is excessive. And in this case, the person isn’t even doing a good job.

  10. Wisteria*

    I was expecting to read that the impetus for management taking the couch away was people sleeping on it/living on site.

      1. Dust Bunny*

        This was my thought–the sofa got infested with something and they didn’t want to risk that happening again.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          See, a normal place would remove the couch, and would tell everybody sorry – we had to toss it because parasites. We’re not getting a new couch for a while to make sure they’re all gone.

          But we don’t normally hear from the functioning workplaces – we hear from the messes up ones.

          1. quill*

            This is true! So I didn’t account for people who, you know, had good office health management protocol…

    1. turquoisecow*

      I assumed it would be some concern about people not working enough, like you can’t be that comfortable at work.

    2. Golden*

      My old job had a cloth couch in the bathroom (wedged right against the stall! it was gross!) and apparently had some issues with a woman sleeping on it regularly during the work day. They tried several rounds of signs asking for people to limit use to 15 minutes, and then removed the couch altogether one day. I never saw the sleeper in action (colleagues on that floor confirmed it happened a lot), but I can’t imagine what would make you want to take a long sleep in a well trafficked bathroom.

      That couch made me feel a lot of things, but harassed was not one of them.

      1. BubbleTea*

        When I had a significant fatigue problem (basically cured now but moderately disabling for a few years) I would have slept on a bathroom floor if that was the only option. But not at work. I couldn’t work more than a handful of hours a week.

      2. Lucy Skywalker*

        I once attended an event at a church, and when I went to use the ladies’ room, there was a bed in there! It was in a separate area from the toilets, but still!

    3. A Wall*

      I thought for sure it was gonna be that someone had peed on it or something like that, the way they phrased it as something quiet being discovered. Was not prepared for “we think women think that couches are a symbol of workplace sexual assault”

  11. awesome3*

    Oh man if only someone had asked for the bosses’ couches to be moved out to the break rooms. Best of luck in law school!

  12. Scorpio Szn*

    I feel so bad for everyone involved in L#1. LW1’s coworker is clearly going through something mentally/emotionally, and she’s not in a place where she’s willing to ask for support or take a break. I hope 2022 is better for her.

    1. New Mom*

      Me too, LW1’s coworker reminds me a lot of my sister whose unaddressed mental health issues definitely bleed into her workplace. I’ve cringed when she has told me how’s she dealt with work situations but she has rejected any and all feedback from her colleagues and me. It’s hard.

    2. pancakes*

      I hope so too, but the last thing she needs in the meantime is a pet. It’s not fair or kind to subject an animal to “crazed vigor,” etc., and it’s not reasonable to think that getting a pet would stabilize someone as erratic as this.

      1. Anonymous Bosch*

        I thought so, too, until I read a comment about a friend whose dog alerts them if their blood sugar gets too high or dips too low.

        If the woman has a medical problem, a dog can act as a furry alarm system.

        Of course, if she has a drinking problem, then I would not want her to have an animal.

        1. Jaybee*

          If someone needs a medical alert dog, they should buy one trained for that, not just any pet dog. Not all dogs show the ability to alert like that.

        2. pancakes*

          There are countless potential problems this woman has besides low blood sugar or alcoholism. An extremely well-trained service animal would only help a certain number of them.

  13. MainelyProfessional*

    Entertainment Industry Management: The Casting Couch is very problematic.
    Solution: No more sofas.

  14. pcake*

    #3, this isn’t reflective of problems brought up by the Me Too movement – it’s reflective that the higher ups at that non-profit are idiots. Sexual harassment, groping and even rape can happen anywhere – standing, sitting, lying across a desk, table or floor.

    A couch is a good thing to sit on for multiple people, and getting rid of every couch in the place wouldn’t have the slightest effect on sexual harassment, assault or the perception of sexual assault. Plus the “casting couch” scenario is higher ups molesting lower downs, so letting the higher ups keep their couches makes no sense considering the reason they said they were getting rid of the couches.

    People who are very supportive of the Me Too movement have couches on a regular basis – even those in the entertainment industry – and no one thinks anything about it.

    1. Dramatic Intent to Flounce*

      The emblematic issue they were getting at was that the public couch was removed, but the ones in private offices of higher-ups weren’t. Couches obviously aren’t a MeToo problem. Even couches in private offices aren’t necessarily a problem, though that is I believe where the ‘casting couch’ saying came from so if they had said ‘we’re removing couches from private offices because optics’ it would still be WEIRD just resembling comprehensible. But letting the higher ups keep something you’re removing from employees’ shared break room for bizarre reasons? That’s emblematic of MeToo issues, because the people with more clout are allowed to break this new policy being instituted on the rest of the staff. (Only the new policy is about sitting on couches, which, again, unspeakably bizarre takeaway from a discussion about societally-endemic sexual harassment and assault.)

      1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        “if they had said ‘we’re removing couches from private offices because optics’ it would still be WEIRD”
        Yeah. And ‘we’re removing couches from private offices to prevent sexual harassment’ would look even weirder. Weinstein’s couch did not go to prison.

  15. anonymous73*

    #1 I don’t think you’re out of the woods with this colleague yet and need to keep an eye out on her behavior. You’ve now mentioned 2 times in which she was inappropriate with her behavior/words and once confronted, changed that behavior for a period of time. This sounds like a pattern to me and it needs to be escalated and addressed by management.

    1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

      Yes! The update says I don’t know what was behind it, but it doesn’t matter now as it seems to no longer be an issue. I would be really surprised if there *isn’t* another incident / re-emergence of this at some point in the near future.

      1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        Unless it was symptomatic of something that the colleague now has under control via medication? Was it necessarily even the OP’s problem to sort out? It’s not like the colleague reports to her.

  16. Anon4This*

    “the non-profit is entertainment industry-adjacent, and because couches had become this symbol of inappropriate sexual harassment/assault during the Me Too movement, the leadership decided that there would be no new couches in the office at all. There was a caveat though, higher-ups who already had couches in their personal offices got to keep them, while everyone else was SOL.”

    Talk about missing the damn point!

  17. GelieCoi*

    When we removed the couch from the break room we found mice had lived in it . We replaced with a couple of tables and chairs which was great. Gave more practical places to eat and we ended up with a group puzzle that people would work on during their break.

  18. Marthooh*

    #METOO Movement: [happens]

    Entertainment-Adjacent Industry: OK, so what’s the shallowest, pettiest, most obviously insincere response we can make here? Hmmmm…

  19. Candi*

    #: “because couches had become this symbol of inappropriate sexual harassment/assault during the Me Too movement, the leadership decided that there would be no new couches in the office at all.”

    I can’t remember off the top of my head when I’ve ever seen a sentence that sums up dysfunction and ignoring the root of issues so succinctly.

    Glad you’re out of their OP, and congrats to all the OPs that have awesome new jobs.

  20. A Wall*

    I am trying to think of literally any time I have ever ever ever heard someone indicate that they believed a couch was a symbol of anything, let alone this.

    I don’t believe for a single second that anyone actually believed it, either, this is definitely something someone came up with at a meeting as a way to try to signal that they were the good guys.

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