"Chocolate's a fun word, no ones feelings were ever hurt by the word chocolate"
That's what she said when I was in her office.
I knew I had been bothering my co-workers. Part of it was my hyper talkative, lonely and obnoxious self. But part of it was because I asked one of my coworkers to stop talking to me about the affair she was having and the other about the pot she was smoking.
I knew I bothered my boss because she was an angry woman that wore the same shirt in different colors every day and wasn't being promoted any higher than she already was and somehow this was my fault.
But, I just couldn't believe that she just said that.
I had been pulled into her office and told that I annoyed my coworkers and they would prefer that I just not speak at work anymore. Even about work things they could barely stand to hear the sound of my voice I was so annoying. So they all got together and decided it would be best if I just didn't speak anymore.
My boss said that probably wasn't possible seeing as I needed to speak on the phone for a living. She came up with this brilliant plan. They all agreed on a code word.
When I got to be to much, when I was to annoying and when one of my coworkers would feel like I should just shut up already they would sing song out the word chocolate. That would be my cue to not speak for the rest of the day unless I had to answer my phone.
Because chocolate is a fun word, no one's feelings were ever hurt by the word chocolate.
Furthermore, she felt it would only be appropriate for me to write letters of apology to my coworkers for the trials I put them through by being so annoying. I would be required to apologize specifically to the two aforementioned coworkers because I had made them feel terribly about their life choices.
We would begin as soon as I left her office. I sat there gaping at this woman with nails the color of nicotine and struggled to find my voice.
How do you respond to this?
Somehow, I found the courage to say, "Well let me take this to the HR Rep and if she's ok with it then we can put it in my file"
My boss said, "Oh, well it was just a suggestion you don't have to do it. Go back to your desk and get back to work"
Two years I worked in that environment.
About 6 months in I got saved and immediately began to beg and plead with God to remove me from that situation. I applied at other jobs, I knew I had heard God tell me I would be moving to Cincinnati but He didn't tell me when. I would cry on my way to work some days because I just couldn't take listening to my coworkers talk around me and act like I was invisible sometimes.
But I learned to start finding my voice in that time.
I learned it was needed for me to start learning how to stand up for myself and that just because someone has the balls to say something to me doesn't mean it's true.
Thankfully this experience didn't ruin chocolate for me, because that would have been a real travesty.