Q I’m a midlevel associate at a large New York firm. Our firm’s building has a small gym with free weights, a few Cybex machines, and other miscellaneous workout equipment, plus a locker room. Lawyers in the firm are given free access to the facilities, and a bunch of us use them, including partners in the firm.
Once or twice a week, I’ll be showering after a workout and a partner will also be there. No big deal. Men showering. Over time, though, you see the same guys, we sometimes strike up conversations, talk about our work, even carry on the conversations in the locker room while getting dressed.
Long story short, I was out drinking with some friends after work, including some of my colleagues (all associates). I got shitfaced and I started talking about the gym and working out at the office. I shared details, and though I don’t remember this now, am told I went on at great length about who looks like what in the shower, all to great laughs.
Now I’m a bit paranoid word will get around that I’m a gawker. Advice?
A Do me a favor. Hand write these words on a piece of paper, in large print, with a crayon: I am a fuckwad. Then tomorrow morning, walk in to a showering partner’s office, hand him the note, and tell him you are leaving the firm. If you are asked why, just point to the paper and say “Because I am a fuckwad.”
No. Don’t do that. That’s overkill for something so stupid. But get a few things straight.
You broke an unwritten cardinal rule. We don’t talk about what goes down in the gym shower. Men or women. If you and the partner are shagging each other in your own shower or at a weekend getaway at the Vineyard, talk about that (if you must) while shitfaced at Back Forty with your buddies. Call me a prude if you want, but don’t cross the line from the personal to the professional. In the gym, you and all the other guys are just boring asexual sacks of flesh.
It’s interesting how you go from “No big deal” to “Long story short.” Lots in between there, and you are obviously raking in some surreptitious intel to report later. Why not wear a helmet cam in the shower and get a few mementos of your time “conversing” with the partner next time? You and your associate boyfriends and girlfriends can then snicker later over drinks as you talk about what your dick will look like in thirty years. Hell, post the photos on Facebook. Why not?
This isn’t eighth grade. You’re being paid to be a few select things, and one is discreet. Another is smart. See if you can do both of those at the same time.