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This Was A Big Mis-Steak

, , , , , | Friendly | June 14, 2019

I work in an office for a large engineering company, it is a fairly laid-back office and the staff are all quite nice, for the most part. One of my coworkers looks like he has been picked out of a catalogue for 1950s suburban America. He has a set routine which, from what I can tell, never changes — the same lunch every day, skittles league every Thursday, a walk to the library with his wife to change their library books every Saturday, and a suit with waistcoat and tie everyday. (During the summer I am usually in shorts and baggy hoodies during the winter; it’s not a customer facing position so no one cares.) But he is a good worker and amiable enough.

Recently, his wife has been in the hospital — minor surgery but enough to keep her at the hospital — and he has mentioned several times that he hopes she is home soon as he is nearly out of the frozen meals she had prepared for him. Assuming that he is just anxious about his wife, I decide to offer to have him round for dinner one day. I explain that if he is happy with vegetarian food, my husband and I — both males — would be happy to have him round. I give him the address and let him know that dinner will be around 7:00 pm but if he is a bit earlier that’s no problem.

He turns up at 6:00 pm, brings with him a pack of steaks, complains that 7:00 pm is too late to be eating, comments that it is rude to have the TV on “with company present,” wanders into the bedrooms of our flat, complains that he “doesn’t really eat foreign food” when served vegetarian spaghetti bolognese, leaves half his dinner, wanders off to help himself to a drink from the fridge, complains that he doesn’t like the beer we have, complains that his wife didn’t leave him enough frozen food, complains that she isn’t around to “look after the house,” complains that he is still hungry, and is generally rude. At 10:00 pm, and after many awkward silences and Oscar-worthy yawns, we have finally had enough and manage to corral him out the door. Minutes after it has closed he knocks with a bag of laundry and makes it clear that because I had invited him around he expected me to do his laundry, as well!

He is only in his mid-50s, so I am unsure where this sort of attitude has come from, but apparently, the gender revolution is something that passed him by. If I were his wife, I would be signing up for all the elective surgeries they could offer!

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