There’s a crack in my professional relationship

Ask a Manager, November 28, 2016

There is a time and a place for everything, right? Not really. There is no place for butt cracks and certainly not at work.

Our offices have an open floor plan, and groups get rearranged from time to time. We recently had a new team moved in next to us. The noise level has increased but their tone is mostly conversational, so we can deal with that. However, one employee who sits with this new team has his back to the walk way. If he is standing up, his untucked shirt covers the top of his pants. However, when he leans over to collaborate, up goes the shirt and there for all to view is his butt crack. At least four inches of it! I mean, there is some serious butt showing!!

He is a very large person, so perhaps this is a size issue? We can tell when he is standing that his pants are at half-staff (is half-mast saved for flags?). Maybe wearing his pants halfway down is more comfortable for him?

In any event, do we have to see butt cracks at work? And if not, who do we talk to? The best thing would be for one of his coworkers to say “Hey Fergus! Pull up your pants!” but that’s not happening. Do we ask HR to talk to him about pulling up his pants?

Make a game of it. Try to get objects in there. Start with small objects like paper clips and thumbtacks. Bonus points if you can get one in the hole. Keep score. Tally points in a place he can see it. Like on his desk. Next step: obviously fingers. As you and your colleagues get better, you can move up to pens, pencils, and eventually a stapler.

There is a time and place for butt cracks. The time is now!! I designed open floor plan offices to create this is the kinda of collaboration. Every time your eyes wander across his supple body, take this opportunity to practice gratitude.

Large people are people. It’s very offensive that you’re making an issue about the man’s size. Why did you even include that detail?? The butt crack acts as your red herring for fat shaming. They’re not their for your amusement or to make you comfortable. Of course, I’m reluctant to recommend therapy to any one who isn’t crazy. You are, so you need professional help. We all know if he lost that weight and walked in with ripped abs, you wouldn’t have raised the issue at all. Don’t infantilize him. He can manage his own comfort. You’re becoming your mother. Wow.

Save the dress codes for formal events. Work should be a comfortable locker room-like where you all robotically do your tasks. Leave your emotions about body shape out of it. Don’t you have work to complete? If your boss knew how much thought you were putting in it, he’d put you right on an informal re

Enjoy the game. If a penis slips in, it’s more about how he wears that outfit than it is about you.

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