Ade: Hey, y’all. It’s Ade.
Zach: And it’s Zach. Hey, look, we did it the other way. How does that feel?
Ade: Yuck. I can’t stand it.
Zach: [laughs] It’s also alphabetical, and we’re going from A to Z with these listener letters. Yo. Bars. [laughs]
Ade: All right. [?]. I’m just gonna let you have it.
Zach: Man. Y’all, I might be–yo, I might–I need to take these talents, like, to NBC, man. Like, I need to write for somebody. Like, these are good jokes.
Zach: Or maybe I’d be, like, a ghostwriter, ’cause, like, this is crazy. I have bars. Like, this is great. Did you hear that? I said alphabetical ’cause you–
Ade: No, I got the point.
Zach: You know what I’m saying? Come on, man. Don’t hate. Okay, so look, we’re doing these listener letters today. Now, look, we kind of said it last week. The names y’all put in these letters, we’re going to say those names unless it seems a little too specific, then we might, like, just call it something else, right? But, like, just know we’re gonna read these letters as you send ’em, right? So, you know, sign your name with what you want to be addressed as, and we’ll make sure that we respect that, but, you know, we don’t want to, like, go into our fake bag name and then, like, give you a fake name, but that might mess around and be your real name, you know what I mean? So just help us out. Help us help y’all. Yeah? Okay. So look, we got these listener letters. We’re gonna go ahead and get going. I’ma read this first one. The subject line is “Too Friendly.” Uh-oh. What’s that mean?
Ade: It sounds like a call to HR.
Zach: I’m saying. Like, what you mean too friendly? Relax. Okay. “What’s up, Ade and Zach?” Look, they kept it alphabetical. What’d I tell you?
Zach: “I feel–” [laughs] “I feel like everyone else is super close at my job and I’m always on the outside of whatever inside jokes they’re telling. It makes me question who I can trust, since everyone is friends with everyone but me. They’re always going out after work and will come back from the weekend with their stories of what they did. I just want to come to work, do my thing, and go home. I don’t want to give up that much time, but I’m also feeling like the odd woman out. What should I do to feel more comfortable at my job? Thanks.” She wrote her name as Tracy. Okay, so what should Tracy do?
Ade: Well, Tracy, you can’t have your cake and eat it too, friend. I don’t know what to tell you. It sounds like you’re saying that you don’t want to do the things that make–that have made everyone else become closer and, you know, more vulnerable with each other, right? So I understand wanting to come to work and go home and have that be the extent of your responsibilities at work. That being said, it means that you’re not going to have a relationship with the depth that you are admiring and coveting. I mean, you can certainly do the things that we encourage. You can ask your coworkers to go get coffee with you, maybe bring donuts, but you can’t have the conversations with people, you can’t–honestly, if they’re having, like, inside jokes because they went to Happy Hour three times and you went zero times, you’re not gonna get any of those contexts. Am I missing something?
Zach: No, you’re not, and I think ultimately to make friends you have to be friendly. That’s what my mom always tells me. Right? Like, you have to actually put yourself out there. So looking at your letter, I’m not really sure–I’m imagining, because of our platform, that you’re a person of–a woman of color, and if you are–and even if you aren’t, like, it can be hard to put yourself out there and–’cause to show vulnerability with, like, a group of people that you don’t really–you don’t know, to, like, really try to make friends, and it’s tough because, you know, like, the cliqueiness and stuff, like, those things don’t just stop after high school. Like, there are definitely, like, work cliques.
Zach: And so I can understand and empathize with you, you know, feeling a certain kind of way, but, like, if you [?] these insecurities, one way to combat those insecurities is to one, just, like, maybe go out every now and then. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but just take the time. Like, if you know they go out somewhere every weekend, maybe you go one time with them on a weekend, or just start maybe with baby steps of if you know they’re going out to Happy Hour every single week, you know, maybe choose one or two times a month that you’re gonna go with them, right? Like, and then that way you can start kind of easing into it, and that way you will feel more comfortable, and then they’ll feel more comfortable, and then, like, it’ll–barriers will just kind of come down, I think. But I’m not a woman though, and, like, my wife always tells me that, like, women are different. Like, I’ll be kind of talking to her about something and she’ll be like, “Look, Zach, women are just different.” So help me understand, Ade, what I might be missing in this.
Ade: I do not want to project things that aren’t there. I don’t want to project off of my own personal experiences, simply because I don’t think that it does Tracy any good to hypothesize about what could be happening. I mean, her letter doesn’t say that she’s ever been invited.