One of my coworkers does this weird thing where he/she puts his/her hands down the frontside of their pants, itches and rubs around, and then proceeds to touch the computers and other objects in the office. It’s really uncomfortable to be around. When I see it I don’t know whether I should look away or pretend not to notice, and I always wonder if he gets some sort of disturbed pleasure out of it. Should I say something?
Eww! Sick. Gross. I’m about to throw up, which means a lot coming from a person who has record-breaking control over their gag reflex.
But seriously, I can understand your frustration. When I was younger, my older brother would constantly be rubbing down there, rearranging his business and whatnot. If there’s one thing I’m phobic about, it’s germs. And I let him know it. “What the hell are you doing?” I’d ask. “Could you be any trashier?”
Of course, duplicating this dialogue is not the right way for you to deal with your coworker’s itchuation. I think you’re polite to refer to this person as “he/she,” but let’s be honest: we all know it’s a guy. And he’s not a bad person. Just someone who took the “keep your hands to yourself” motto too seriously. But more than likely, he doesn’t even know what he’s doing. Perhaps he has grown so comfortable and “at home” around you that he thinks he can be himself – unedited.
I’m not suggesting that his pube fluffing should be taken as a compliment. Rather, something must be done. Personally, I’d be too embarrassed to say something in person. If I were you, I’d log on to Yahoo!, create a phony email account and send an anonymous yet polite email. Don’t get all angry on him. Simply explain what you’ve noticed and that you’d appreciate it if he could refrain from spreading his junk juice around. Also, make sure you let him know that you like him and think he makes a great contribution at work. No doubt he’ll feel embarrassed, but the last thing we want to do is make this guy feel so ashamed that he won’t show his hands at work.
And one last thing sweetie: Make sure you’re bringing Lysol spray and Purell to the office.