First World Problems: Doing TGIF Right (And Wrong)


Dec 3, 2015


Article Icon - First World ProblemsFirst World Problems is a weekly advice column for India’s first world population. Write to Judy (confidentially!) at contact@theswaddle.com if you’ve broken a nail, felt a little blue, yellow or green lately,
or had a strange encounter of the any-numbered kind.


PROBLEM: My coworkers always go for drinks together every Friday. They’re nice, but no one likes working here, and if I have to spend the whole week listening to them crib in office then I don’t want to ruin my weekend by listening to them more. How do I get out of these and still stay friends?

And you want to remain friends because …?

While you mull over that, perhaps you could send the entire office a memo on TGIF. And how someone, somewhere, was so exhilarated with the idea of not having to see his colleagues for the entire weekend that he decided to name his restaurant chain after the expression. The success of said restaurant chain goes to show just how widely said feeling resonated with the world. Do you see it now? You are the normal one here. You have nothing to apologise for. Just tell them that weekends (which technically start on Friday evening) are for people you don’t spend weekdays with. Like, Peter Quinn.

On second thoughts, forget the memo. They’re going to hate you anyway. No need to give them a reason in writing.

PROBLEM: I recently had sonography. In the clinic, only a curtain separated me from the next person taking sonography. The doctor seemed to be giving them bad news and at one point in the conversation I realise I know the person. I want to reach out to offer support, but they don’t know it was me behind the curtain. How can I offer help?

Call them. Keep it breezy. See if they tell you about it. If they don’t, they don’t want you to know. What you consider support might be an invasion of privacy – and it was, for no fault of your own. Trust me, people are weird about medical issues in this country. I mean, I know people who guard their sugar and cholesterol information like it’s the bloody nectar of Olympus. And if it was something a sonography revealed, it’s pretty serious, so you can’t blame them for wanting some privacy while they process the news.

Before you offer a helping hand, make sure they want to take it.


Written By Judy Balan

Judy Balan is a bestselling author and blogger popular for her quirky, often self-deprecatory humour. She is a self-proclaimed expert at American pop-culture with a sitcom/romcom quote for all of life’s situations. Judy believes that if she’s made you laugh, smile or even snort in the middle of a stressful day, her job here is done. Follow her at her website judybalan.com, on Twitter @judybalan, or on Facebook.


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