Dear Male Colleagues,

I’ve started to get the feeling lately that maybe my incessant apologizing is beginning to bother you. I’m never totally sure what rises to the occasion of repentance, but I get the distinct feeling most things do? In passive interactions, I’ve always tried to make sure to apologize for myself as often and as awkwardly as possible, but I feel like maybe it’s starting to make you uncomfortable?

And not to prattle on, but it does seem like maybe you want me to ask for your forgiveness each time my brain sends a signal to my mouth to put forth words. But then, and so sorry guys, but I feel like you somehow also think this makes me look absurdly weak, self-effacing, and possibly even slightly dim (If reading this aloud, this is the part where the sound of your voice should trail upwards an octave, as mine does near the end of all my sentences, giving the rather faint impression that I don’t so much form declarative statements, as I question deeply all words that flow from my head hole. Interrogating my every thought using just the flection in my voice may come off as wishy-washy and non-committal, however, I assure you this parlance of mine is in no way an indication of a profound distrust in my own ability to communicate?)

For instance, and I may be reading into this, but did I upset you the other day when I conveyed my solemn remorse for using the microwave in the break room? Honestly, I should have anticipated one of you would need to use it at some point this month to warm your frozen chicken tiki masala meal from Trader Joes. I feel like a high-pitched, overly-enthusiastic apology was definitely in order for that one. I’m sorry, did I read that wrong?

And maybe I’m beating a dead horse here, but I feel like I might have embarrassed you last week when I prostrated myself upon the conference room table, self-abnegation—and a little snot—pouring from my facial orifices, before raising my hand to show Dan where the volume button was on his laptop. I wasn’t trying to make him look stupid or anything, I just felt like making a public display of my intense regret for knowing what he somehow didn’t, was absolutely warranted. You know, take one for the team. Sorry about that!

It’s just that honestly, I was under the impression you wanted me to apologize for any attempt at trying to be anything or anywhere, or, you know, just being. And, so sorry guys, I’m totally willing to do that (?) (again, voice trailing upwards towards dogs-only frequency) but I also just want to make sure I’m not somehow offending you for doing exactly what you implied that I should, but now feel like insensitive dickheads for planting in my tiny, impressionable, people-pleasing skull—you know?

Either way, from now on I’m going to try really hard to stop this irksome, constant public atoning of mine. Again, I’m not totally sure you actually want that? But, I’m willing to toe the line of your ambiguous, exceptionally-high, unattainable expectations of me anyway.

Thanks so much guys! Oh, and on that note, and sorry, just one more thing—but does my effusive gratitude for even the tiniest crumbs you sometimes kick my way make you want to scream, but also orgasm? So sorry if it does, or doesn’t? Anyway, thanks again!

Your Female Colleague