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January 18, 2017

I Can't Stand My Office-mate

Hey, Bonita…

I hate the person I share my office with at my graduate assistantship. I share a small room with an extremely grumpy old white woman who hates her husband, coddles her adult son and makes racist remarks about her daughter-in-law, who is not white. She also makes remarks about her biracial grandchildren and how she resents that they are bilingual.

She has worked in her department for almost 20 years, and I realize that she has a solo office because most of the other staff find her to be extremely unpleasant, and no one wants to be stuck in a room with her all day. But what about me? Honestly, being in the office with her absolutely SUCKS! I feel that I really don't have much support, since I'm a graduate student, but I really don't want to be in an office with this woman for another semester.

This is a lady who gets to work an hour early, skips her lunch break and leaves an hour late, all because she doesn't want to go home at the end of the day. She takes her frustrations out on students, to the point where I've had to verbally intervene in order to keep her from making undergraduates cry. Her behavior is beyond unprofessional, but what can I do? I'm just a grad assistant who will be gone for good after the semester.

There's really nothing you can do about her job performance from your position, except maybe mentioning it to your superior when you see her doing things that are grossly unprofessional or against policy. Continue to intervene when you see her putting undergrads through the ringer. That's just unacceptable behavior.

Make your own decision on how to address her racism, but I'd recommend calling her out so often that she becomes afraid to even talk that crap around you. She doesn't have to like you. I know the semester just started, but remember that you only have to be around this woman until May. In the future, ask around before you accept an assistantship. Get the gossip on who's a nightmare, and avoid them.


I go to UGA, and before Christmas break I started dating a guy that works at a restaurant downtown. It wasn't that serious—we'd mainly see each other after his shift ended and sometimes get breakfast in the morning, but other than that, we never really saw each other in the daytime. I went home for the break, though, and since getting back, I haven't been able to get in touch with him. I only have his phone number, and he hasn't responded to any of the text messages I've sent.

I'd like to continue what we were doing before the break, just as casual as it was before, but I worry that he thinks me reaching out again is some kind of sign that I want something more serious, and that's why he's ignoring me. How hard should I work for this casual hookup? I'm considering just going to his job and asking him why he's being such a weenie and avoiding me.

Showing up to his job is not a casual act in the least, so don't do that. You feel insulted, and that you deserve answers, which you do. But this guy isn't gonna give them to you. He seems like the type that only digs a casual situation when it's on his terms. Most dudes love a lady who says “yes” to them at the end of the night, but they can't respect a woman who would make the same offer.

It’s classic double-standard behavior. Even when we are in casual situations, we're still supposed to present ourselves as virtuous. When you reach out to him for nothing more than sex, you're showing that you're just as confident and slutty as he is. You're not some last-call angel who saves him from the whiskey-scented morning. You are confident and sexually empowered, and you’re keeping him in your life for a superficial, selfish and mutually-agreed-upon reason. You shattered the illusion.

So, be confident and slutty. This guy's ship has sailed. Delete his number, and find a cooler and more feminist dude to bone for the spring semester.

Need advice? Email advice@flagpole.com, use our anonymous form, or find Bonita on Twitter: @flagpolebonita.

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