Savage Love

My workplace in the Bay Area is a heterosexual scene, except for Ricardo. Ricardo is smart, cool, and professional. It's generally known that he's into bondage and hairy men. Ricardo is our buddy and our bro. Nobody's weirded out by his kinks.

Along comes Milton: well groomed, built, somewhat effeminate, and weirdly reserved about sex. We conclude he may be that rarest of species: the San Francisco Closet Case. Then, last week Milton suddenly resigns, and goes to HR claiming that Ricardo made him feel so uncomfortable that he had to leave. Ricardo freaked out Milton with a simple IM exchange: Milton: "What did you do today?" Ricardo: "I did my laundry and masturbated." It's the kind of flippantly transgressive banter that everyone in our office engages in. But Milton's resignation has provoked a spasm of administrative wrath that has impacted everyone, not in the least poor Ricardo, who may lose his job.

Then we learn something else: Milton left his previous job under similar circumstances. What's going on here, Dan?

Names Have Been Changed

Milton may be a closet case, but Ricardo engaged in flippantly transgressive banter with the wrong coworker. Why would he mention masturbation to a coworker who's clearly fucked up about sex? You and Ricardo's other "bros" can still save his job, however. Just walk into HR en masse and pull an "I am Spartacus!" Tell HR that you're all guilty, each and every one of you, of sending flippantly transgressive IMs to each other. HR won't be able to crucify all of you at once—they can't fire everyone, right?—and will opt for extracting an HR-face-saving/Ricardo-job-saving promise that the transgressive banter will stop.

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