Tips for Dealing with the Office Busybody

4 years ago

Yeah, so, there are a lot of things I don’t like about working in a cubicle.

I don’t like that everyone can hear my personal phone conversations, which means I have to find a hiding spot in the building to make calls. I don’t think everyone should have to listen to me schedule a mammogram. “So, you’re getting your boob squished on Monday. That’s cool.”

I don’t like that everyone walking by can see into my cube, which really affects my ability to screw around on the internet and watch cute cat videos.

But my No. 1 complaint is there is no way for me to hide from the office busybody.

Most people in the office loathe lunchtime, because they know they are going to be quizzed about their lunch. If she hears the microwave running, she comes running.

Think you can get away with eating your lunch in peace by not warming it up? False. Even when I’m eating vegetables and hummus for lunch, she will wander into my cube: “Is that your lunch, Sonia?”

Think you can get away with eating your lunch early? Nope. Once I somehow managed to eat under the office busybody’s radar, because I ate my lunch early. I was able to eat it without being pestered. It was awesome. I was living the dream. Then, around lunchtime, I was filling up my water cup in the kitchen area, when the office busybody wandered in.

Office busybody: “Where’s your lunch, Sonia?”

Me: [sighs] “I already ate it.”

Office busybody: “Oh, you already ate it. Ha ha ha. I was wondering where your lunch was.”

Me: “Well, I didn’t mean to make you worry. You shouldn’t worry. I’m getting enough vitamins and nutrients.”

Office busybody: “?”

Me: “?” [goes back to my cube]

One time, she actually bought my lunch off me. I had bought a little half pizza at a local bakery. I had a slice (fine, two slices) for lunch and put the remaining two slices aside for the next day’s lunch.

Office busybody: “Did you get pizza, Sonia?”
Me: “Yep.”
Office busybody: “It smells good.”
Me: “Thanks.”

She left.

Five minutes later …

Office busybody: “Where did you get the pizza?”
Me: “Arizmendi.”

She proceeds to ask where it is and if she could walk there. I tell her no.

Me: “Would you like a piece?”
Office busybody: “No no.”
Me: “Are you sure?”
Office busybody: “No, I couldn’t. Thank you, though.”

She left.

Five minutes later …

She’s lingering around the cube.

Me: “Are you sure you don’t want a piece?”
Office busybody: “I will pay you for it.”
Me: “You don’t need to pay for it. Don’t be silly. You can have a piece.”

There was much back and forth and finally she gave me $3 and went back to her cube with her pizza. A coworker bought lunch off of me. It’s probably the strangest conversation I’ve had with a coworker since I started working here.

After she left, my office buddy Paul said to me, “You shouldn’t have fed her. Now she’s going to follow you home.”

I have this fantasy about how I’m going to respond to her next time she asks me about my lunch, and it goes like this:

Her: “What are you eating, Sonia?”
Me: “It’s a salad. I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday. You know the parking is really terrible at the one closest to me in San Francisco, so I go to the one in Daly City. There is plenty of parking at that one. So, I found a spot right away and parked my car. It’s a Saturn. You know, they don’t make Saturns anymore. True story. So anyway, the spot was kinda far, though, so I had to walk a few minutes to the store. It was kinda cold out. I was thinking, ‘Gosh, I should have worn a warmer jacket.’ I should be wearing a warmer coat, I mean, it’s January, right? So anyway, when I got into the store, I got a cart, and wouldn’t you know it, the cart has a broken wheel, so I had to get another cart.  So, I got another cart, and then I noticed someone else was about to grab the cart I put back so I said, ‘Oh, don’t take that one. It’s got a broken wheel.’ I thought it was a friendly heads up, but the person didn’t thank me. I know, right?! So anyway, I went to the produce section first. I always like to start in the produce section, don’t you? So I got some lettuce and some broccoli and some carrots and some blueberries. I had the blueberries for breakfast. You ever eat a blueberry and it tastes like dirt? I hate when that happens. So anyway, after the produce section I went to the cheese section. I love cheese, don’t you? Cheese is so awesome. I didn’t know what kind of cheese I wanted so I just bought a bunch of different kinds and … Hey, where are you going? I haven’t got to the part where I picked out the salad dressing. Gawd! If you don’t want to know all about my lunch then don’t ask!”

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