Stop pushing my buttons. Stop unsnapping my buttons. Stop sneaking up behind me and poking my neck, saying, “This is a beautiful button. Tell me about this button.” You know it’s not a button. It’s a mole I don’t like to talk about. A real office clown, you.
Stop pushing buttons on my keyboard. Stop ripping apart the Velcro on my sneakers. Stop staring at my buttons during meetings. After I complained to HR, you cut out little pictures of my face and glued them to all the elevator buttons.
Stop pushing the buzzer in my lobby at night. I’ve told the doorman not to let you in since your last visit, when you locked yourself in my bedroom and rearranged my button collection. You think it’s some kind of joke? That collection took years to organize by color and size. I wish you’d just leave my buttons how I like them.
Stop honking my horn. Stop flicking my windshield wipers on and off. Stop setting my cruise control button at unsafe speeds. Stop waiting for that Sam Smith song you know I like to come on the radio then twisting my tuner button to another station. That’s why I stopped giving you rides to work. That, and because you kept unbuckling my seatbelt—which is illegal—and my pants belt—which is distracting.
The other day someone broke into my apartment, cut off all my buttons, and sewed them on upside down and backward. What kind of sick person does something like that? I think it was you. Stop it with my buttons already.
I began wearing only zippers to make it stop. You walked up without saying a word and started running my new sweater vest zipper up and down, up and down, like a goddamned idiot. I tried to ignore it, but you wouldn’t quit. Forty-five minutes, you zipped and unzipped, only stopping once the zipper broke off. You kept the zipper.
While we’re on the subject, stop getting my goat, too. I know it’s you stealing my bobblehead goat off my desk and hiding it around the office. Everyone gets a kick out of the daily scavenger hunt for my goat. It’s big fun until it goes missing, but then what? I wish you’d stop yanking my chain as well. I don’t know why you think it’s lucky to tug my necklace every morning. It’s a family heirloom. It’s only a matter of time before the clasp breaks.
Stop unhooking my fasteners. Stop lifting my latches. Stop monkeying with the knobs on my ergonomic chair, which have to be set just so or my neck will ache. Stop swiping the lock button on my phone. Stop un-friending, un-linking, and un-following contacts I’ve spent years compiling, then hooking me into a network of strangers. Stop messaging someone named Melanie, who also happens to be into button collecting. Stop sending Melanie pictures of unbuttoned buttons with notes: “How do you like these buttons?” It’s weird.
Stop pulling my leg. Stop tugging me around the office in my ergonomic chair. Here I am, a grown man, being pulled all over everywhere by another grown man while everyone claps and hollers and places bets on how long I’ll hang on before I crash. As a company, we need to stop fooling around and start getting work done. But you’re the boss and you need to set the tone.
Finally, stop putting your foot in my mouth. Stop taking pictures of me with your foot in my mouth. Stop making photo buttons of me with your foot in my mouth then giving them to all our colleagues. Stop telling people not to give me one of the buttons. Which is cruel, considering you know how much I like buttons.