WTF. In the modern vernacular, we all know what that stands for. However, when you are in an office governed by an older lady who openly shares her belief that women should always wear pearls (ok I get that) and pantyhose (um..not so much), WTF is not a phrase to bat around willy-nilly. My sweet but stressed coworkers frequently say the acronym here. Having them simply scatter the acronym around has been fine….until today.
Coworker: Sweet Mother Mary. What is wrong with everyone today? I just got chewed out by X, Y and Z. Everyone is in a foul mood today.
Me: Yeah I noticed.
Coworker: WTF man?
Boss appears like a ninja, literally out of nowhere. She says with a straight face, “What is W-T-F?”
(Note: I would not buy this from anyone but her, and perhaps my mom. If you met them you would know they are as innocent as apple pie.)
Coworker and I: silence
Boss: I hear her say that a lot (nodding to the coworker and not me thank you), like she did just now.
Coworker: Yeah. It’s just…um… It’s just…
Me: (Totally butted in) Um. What it means to the rest of the world and what she means is not the same. In here, we say Wow, That’s Fantastic. It’s supposed to be sarcastic.
Boss: Oh. That makes sense. It was fantastic (she used air quotes) that people are in a bad mood today. That’s kind of funny. Do I want to know what it means if I say that to the rest of the world?
Me: No. Just… shaking my head slowly….no.
Boss: Would you use the term in front of your mom? (She’s nodding at me to answer.)
Me: No. No I would not.
Boss: (Nods satisfactorily) Fair enough. I’ll take your word.
Coworker looks at me with huge eyes, appreciating that I have saved her from a very intense lashing from the boss in etiquette, professionalism and language.
I smile. I saved the day AND entertained myself. Go me. Wow. that kind of IS fantastic!
Clearly I need to put that on a shirt. I’d totally sequin it up and wear it on the treadmill.