Tasteless jokes bother new co-worker


Dear Amy: My little sister died almost two years ago by suicide after years of struggling with PTSD from sexual assaults that happened when she was a teenager.

I started a new job three months ago. I love all of my coworkers.

We are prosecutors and victim advocates. This is difficult and draining work.

For my colleagues, this pressure manifests in self-deprecating statements about mental health, like: “I don’t think I’m going to make it to tomorrow,” “Hopefully no one finds me dead in the morning,” and after something annoying happens in court: “I guess I’ll just go kill myself.”

I’ve been forced to hide my discomfort with their jokes for the last months, resulting in many a quick run to the bathroom to express my emotions.

This seems to bond them, giving validation that the job is hard. I feel awkward for not participating.

I’ve been silently waiting for jokes to be over, but honestly this happens almost every day.

With the holidays approaching, my sister’s loss has been more difficult for me.

I want to speak up but I’m unsure how.

Is it better to interrupt one joke when everyone is at the lunch table and accept it is going to be awkward?

Or should I say that I’m struggling with the holidays approaching and it would help if those jokes weren’t said in front of me?


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