Questions have been raised about some of my past interactions with people in the office.

I never intended to offend anyone or cause any harm. I spend most of my life at work and colleagues are often also personal friends.

At work sometimes I think I am being playful and make jokes that I think are funny. I do, on occasion, tease people in what I think is a good natured way. I do it in public and in private. You have seen me do it at briefings hundreds of times. I have teased people about their personal lives, their relationships, about getting married or not getting married. I mean no offense and only attempt to add some levity and banter to what is a very serious business.

— from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s apology

I guess I’m just confused! I spend so much of my life at work that work and life have started to blur. I honestly never know if I’m at work or just in life!

For instance, sometimes I am talking to my brother, and it turns out that I’m on TV being interviewed by CNN? Very confusing! I never know what is going on! Am I at home where I can perfectly acceptably hug and even kiss and ask people invasive, personal questions I mistook for jokes, or am I at work? It’s literally impossible to know, and I keep getting mixed up.

Here I am telling an unwanted, rambling story about my daughter’s boyfriend! Am I at work? I am asking, honestly. Your guess is as good as mine! Seems like kind of a weird thing to do at work, but I guess … that was work! You see! I literally don’t know, so I dwell in this strange between-space, all the time!

I am talking about spaghetti and meatballs! Is this work? Am I at home? Why is this happening? Here is a drawing of the boyfriend dangling off a cliff, based off a family joke! Is this something I made in the home? It sure seems like that would be the place for it. But … it’s a work infographic? For the people of New York state? Fascinating!

You see how confused I am! I understand there are some ways you act when you are in life (kissing) and other ways you act when you are in work (yelling)! I just wish I could ever understand which one I am doing. I am like a tortoise, always at home wherever I go, whether or not the people around me are!

I thought I understood friendship, at least. Friendship is when you are the boss and people have to laugh with you when you ask them an invasive personal question! Friendship is when people are paid money to do work in proximity to you, and you have supervisory power over them! Friendship is when people lose their health care if they want to stop being around you! I have a very good clear grasp on boundaries, and I understand what is good.

Look, nothing says “healthy work environment” like “I, the person in charge, make a point of never knowing whether I am at work or surrounded by my personal friends, having a laugh, making someone uncomfortable with an overtly sexual comment as friends love to do.” This isn’t a workplace! I look around, and I don’t see employees. When I’m here, I just see family. Wait, are we at an Olive Garden?

What a mess. I guess we had better investigate this properly. Since this is a home problem (I think), maybe we should get a friend to investigate? A friend or even a nice acquaintance is just right to look into things in the home, and we would not want to bother a detached professional with something that after all is just a family problem, I hope!

In any case, I am sorry if I made someone feel like they were not a good employeefriend for not laughing at my funny friendboss jokeproposition. The point is, it is impossible to know what context you are in, ever. Where is anyone, at any time?

With your family?

In an office?

In a nursing home? I make a point of not knowing!

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