When Hugging a Coworker is Totally Appropriate

As a manager of employees in the State of California, I am required, by law, to attend and complete some very lengthy and detailed courses designed to keep the workplace “appropriate.”

The courses are always very alarming because they teach to the worst possible examples, things that make you think “do people really do that?”

But it’s good. Having a safe, conflict free work environment is essential. Everyone has a right to feel comfy at the place where they spend the majority of time during their weekdays.

As a new hire, I recently completed the mandatory training for my new company.

It’s made me all very aware, very sensitive to potential “situations.”

That said, I almost walked right through all my training to drop a big hug on a coworker.

That coworker is the nice man working the grill at the company cafeteria.

Today’s special is fish and chips, one of my fave meals.

I figured they’d pull a pre-battered fish plank out of the freezer, dunk it in the fryer, and serve it up.

Fair enough, I’d still eat it.

But no.

After placing my order, the gentleman at the grill pulled two fresh fish filets out of the refrigerator. They were real fish filets, not some amalgam of fish parts.

Then he hand dipped them in batter and laid them gently in the fryer.

He then he served them golden brown over fresh-from-the-fryer, made just for me French fries he’s hand seasoned by tossing them in a big bowl.

When he handed me the plate, he smiled and said, “enjoy.”

Really, I almost wrapped him in a big bear hug.

He deserved it, California laws be damned!

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  • Lucky

    Not a co-worker, but a male student walked behind my desk and tried to give me a massage the other day. He's 11, and all around inappropriate, poor baby. We quickly had a conversation about unwanted touching and personal space bubbles. ..

    I've got you topped for food, though. The head of my department brought in home-made carne adovada today. Yum!

  • Karen Fayeth

    Lucky – you win on both counts!

    Way awkwardness at work…


    YUUUUUM! Carne adovada is a particular obession of mine…

  • Anji

    I bet you did enjoy it. We get lots of good food in France but nothing like fish and chips – I miss them.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Anji – it was delicious! I don't often order fish and chips here in the US because it's rarely any good.

    But this…it was a treat and a great way to begin my holiday weekend!

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