A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

24 April 2007


On the office intranet today I, along with every other member of my company, including those at the other two sites which are some 3000 miles (5000 km) from here, received the following:

Subject: Sad Things

My Husband and I have decided to go our separate ways.

Divorce papers were sent out on Wednesday. So I am, literally, just hanging on by a thread.

I have been advised to seek therapy - so I have made some appointments. Unfortunately, they are during the workday. I do not want anyone to formulate the perception that I take a lot of time off -- for one reason or another, so I will be coming in earlier and working later on the few days that I have therapy scheduled.

Thank you for your understanding during this difficult time.

I will be reverting back to my maiden name--Maiden

Thank you for your sympathy and patience,

Elizabeth Maiden.

And I was left thinking:
"Hey! Did I ask?"

I'm sure it's none of my business in any case. But equally to the point, and not to sound callous: I don't really care. And honestly I cannot see what the out-of-country branches might need with this information.

In the course of normal workplace communications I would eventually have found out from somewhere. But writing about and putting it on the company 'net is just TMFI, okay? If we hang out together off work, I'm sure you'd have let me know. If we don't, then why would it matter to me?

If you feel that people need to be apprised of your absences, then for FSM's sake, apprise the ones who need to know. A simple: "For personal reasons, I will need to be away from the office at frequent intervals for the next year. I ask you to bear with me," would probably suffice. Note that said circle of need-to-knows still does not include me.

I bet her ex-husband's not out there telling his workmates: "Yeah, I've been advised to seek therapy." Much less the ones in other countries. And definitely not in writing.

We're humans. We have struggles, trials, and miseries, all of us. Unless they affect a lot more people than just you and yours, yours are no more important than mine, no matter how life-or-death they are.

And until the advent of Phil Donahue, Geraldo, Oprah, YouTube and the Self-Help Society most people suffered them in near silence.

I'm so tempted to reply to this missive:

To: Elizabeth Maiden

So does that mean you're free tonight?


Telling the world of your workplace that you've been advised to seek therapy, by the way, seems to me to be a great way to ensure your promotion prospects.

Oh--and I'd be a lot more sympathetic had the author of this piece not used the term "reverting back to".

$#!7! Couldn't she just get a blog?

Elsewhere: I swear I haven't forgotten that I have been tagged by the Meme of Mur. I'm just trying to sort out the blogs that make me think from the ones that I read to confirm my worst suspicions regarding humanity.


At 2:23 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Metro-Man,

I pegged you for a SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy) but apparently I'm wrong. Not only must you feel sorry for this woman who has burdened you with her sad story of marriage dissolution (it was no doubt her husband's fault), you should consider sending her a bouquet of roses or a George Michael CD.

Shame on you, Metro-Man, for being so damned insensitive! You are both a curmudgeon and a cad. I will no longer offer my support until you make full repentance.

Yours in sharing,


By the way, the Canucks effin rock!

At 2:50 p.m., Anonymous alissa said...

yeah, I know what you're saying. It was ironic, though, to be reading with some interest the second hand account of this e-mail that you didn't give a damn about the first time around.

At 3:37 p.m., Blogger Metro said...

Okay, EK. Y'got me. I'm just now typing my credit card number into Amazon for the Kenny G. CD and the healing herbal bubble-bath.

You got me too. The truth is I ran out of words in my keyboard and had to use someone else's while I reloaded. ;-}

I'm a sympathetic soul. I just feel that distributing this for general consumption through a public e-mailing is as intrusive to me as I would be if I had walked up to her and demanded in the café whether it was true she had filed divorce papers on her husband.

I know this person and overall I like her. But this is beyond the boudaries of healthy expression. Hope the therapy helps.

At 8:50 a.m., Anonymous azahar said...

How is it intrusive to you? It looks like it's mostly embarrassing for her and she maybe sent it off after getting into that second bottle of chardonnay.

I'd just shrug something like that off and think - oh well, people sometimes make a bit of an ass of themselves when they're hurting, what the heck .. .

Any particular reason why you took this so personally and took to using icky terms of reference like 'beyond the boundaries of healthy expression'?

As someone often accused of overly expressing myself I'm always intrigued at the various personal guidelines people set up for others.

But in all seriousness, I reckon this woman regretted sending that email the morning after the chardonnay wore off. d

At 10:16 a.m., Blogger Metro said...


She sent it at 8:30 in the morning from her computer at work--which is the only way for her to access the system.

She may indeed have been embarrassed about it after the Chardy wore off, but that, I feel, would indicate the presence of another problem.

As for the boundary issues--why do I want or need to know that she's getting divorced? What earthly business is it of mine, much less of the poor schmoes toiling, for example, in our Virginia office?

It has been suggested that this missive may actually have been an explanation for the absences, to still the poison darts of the co-workers who will be inconvenienced. This worker apparently had some crisis last summer that meant she kept missing days, and some of the fallout may have been unpleasant.

But in that case why not simply say "I'm going to be away periodically. Here's who to call if I'm not around, and here's how to reach me in a crisis if I'm out of the office. I will also be available for longer hours and on weekends," or similar?

Why the insistence on sharing deeply personal information?

The withdrawl of your support only provides me with the opportunity to stand on my own two feet, ideally atop your crow-pecked bones.

I still have my teddy bear when I feel like I need a good weep.

Luongo count the dead!

At 5:55 a.m., Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Monsieur Metro sensitive !!??

Tthis is l'Homme who approves Her Britannic Majesty's Government's enacting regulations that will discriminate against Christians

.... so that they'll all have to emigrate to Australia .....

Tot siens


At 11:52 a.m., Blogger Metro said...

M. Eagle:

Uncharacteristically false of you. I did not state approval for discriminating against anyone. Rather I expressed my support for the creation of a law forbidding discrimination.

Christians may choose to comply with the law or not, just as may any other group.

At 7:15 a.m., Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Bonjour M Metro

You are of course too young to remember such things, but all this brings Cromwell et Louis Quatorze to mind

Cromwell gave the Irish a Choice :

"Hell or Connaught"

It seems your Liberalismus would present British Christians with the Choice :

Hell .... or .... Australia (Canuckistan being a little Chilly)

Perspective affects Comprehension

If a Man (or increasingly in these EnLightened Times, a Woman) uses State Laws to impose his Religion by forcing a Religous Minority to act against their Religious Beliefs, he may flatter himself that this is "support for the creation of a law forbidding discrimination"

However, such a law itself imposes Religious Discrimination against Christians

Chrstians (Muslims & other Dissenters) on the Receiving End of such Godless Laws would be unable to have employment or run a business without risking persecution by the State & its Courts, if they follow their Consciences

.. unless of course one emigrates .. to Australia

and what about Louis Quatorze in 1689 & his Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, withdrawing legal tolerance for [protestant] Christians

The Huguenots too had a choice :

"to comply with the law or not, just as may any other group"

Many of them chose a 3rd alternative - Holland, Prussia or Inglaterra ... or South Africa, despite having to learn Afrikaans - there being no Flights to Australia

Your much-obliged

G Eagle


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