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Dear coworkers: I’m sending this e-mail while sitting on the john! Just thought you’d want to know.

May 3rd, 2011 · 73 comments

Writes our disgusted submitter: “All that time on the toilet to think, and this is what you came up with?”
How do you say diarrhea politely? I'll be in when I can.

related: Does your roommate have note-writing diarrhea?

FILED UNDER: all-staff e-mail · D.C. · illness · office · shit · that's disgusting · TMI

73 responses so far ↓

  • #1   berge bang

    The only way to say it politely is to not say it at all.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:21 pm   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   TickleMyBambo

      Would it be polite to say that this individual is full of shit?

      May 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm   rating: 39  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Canthz_B bang

      Not anymore he’s not.

      May 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm   rating: 31  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   eliz

      … but the toilet bowl is!

      May 3, 2011 at 10:53 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   TickleMyBambo

      The bowl was once half empty… Now it is half full

      May 4, 2011 at 12:43 am   rating: 22  small thumbs up

  • #2   Laura

    I feel sorry for the person in this situation. As awkward as it would be to receive this email some brownie points for honesty should be given.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:25 pm   rating: 48  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Shawn Reed

      LOL… “brownie” points. :P

      May 3, 2011 at 5:51 pm   rating: 51  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   An RN

      well, according to his symptomology, there will be nothing closely resembling “brownies” for the next day. At least.

      May 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Sensible Madness bang

      Oh Laura, you sweet naive little fool. “Diarrhea” is the magical word you use when you and everyone else knows you’re spending the afternoon at the golf course or your mistress’s house.

      Even if the boss is 99.9% sure you’re lying, there’s no way he’s going to question you. It’s like taking off work because your grandma died, except unlike your supply of grandmas, your supply of diarrhea is limitless.

      May 3, 2011 at 7:26 pm   rating: 82  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   WMDKitty

      Agreed. At least he sent an e-mail to let his boss/coworkers know he’d be in late.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:28 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #3   Cognitive Dissenter

    Short, to the point, and even a visual. Brilliant. I hear some people do their best thinking on the john.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #4   unsatisfied

    people think it’s gross, but it’s really great on toast.

    diarrhea, cha-cha-cha. diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.

    people think it’s great when it’s sitting on their plate.

    diarrhea, cha-cha-cha. diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.

    May 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm   rating: 24  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Tuesday's Child

      some people think it’s runny, but it’s really kinda funny.

      diarrhea, cha-cha-cha. diarrhea, cha-cha-cha.

      May 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Chamooch

      When you’re driving in your Chevy and your pants are getting heavy…

      May 3, 2011 at 6:35 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   Cognitive Dissenter

      … No pain no strain
      Just sit and let it drain …

      May 3, 2011 at 6:51 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   bean

      When you’re sliding into first, and you feel a little squirt…

      May 3, 2011 at 6:54 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   Meta

      eh, why not:

      When you’re sliding into home, and your shorts are full of foam, diarrhea…diarrhea…

      May 3, 2011 at 7:00 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   TickleMyBambo

      *Starts to sing and dance*
      “Nausea.. heartburn.. indigestion.. upset stomach.. DIARRHEA! YEAH PEPTO BISMOL!”

      May 3, 2011 at 7:27 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #4.7   Harmy G

      When you’re climbing up a ladder and you hear something splatter, diarrhea!

      May 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #4.8   Canthz_B bang

      When for the restroom you must beg, ’cause something’s running down your leg…

      May 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #5   Humid Hockey

    I misread this as “…be in when I’m off the can.”

    May 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm   rating: 22  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   Me

      Me too. It’s probably true.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:20 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #6   Lisa

    I love this! Brief, no ambiguity, perfect!

    May 3, 2011 at 5:13 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #7   Lindsey

    Congrats, “in late”! I’m never shaking your hand again. Ever.

    That said, I believe the office appropriate manner to make everyone aware of your condition is “If you’re sliding into 3rd and you feel a juicy turd…” But my office might just be more formal than your’s.

    May 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   The Elf

      Or using his phone. Ever.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:52 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Lindsey

      And definitely not sitting in your chair. Really, I think this may just be the end of whatever working relationship we had. I’d say it’s been fun, but you’re really kind of a shit head. Buh-Zing!

      May 5, 2011 at 6:46 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #8   berge bang

    Oh, now I get it! Actually reads: “Playing hooky, but if I mention diarrhea, no one will question it, or even make eye contact.”

    May 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm   rating: 53  small thumbs up

  • #9   Atomic Tom

    “Hey gang….servin up the Hershey Squirts! Be in in a bit…”

    May 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #10   An RN

    How about just…intestinal virus.

    May 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   WMDKitty

      “Tummy troubles” is what I use.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:29 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #11   alex

    I actually think this is pretty hilarious….the submitter seems a little uptight. : P

    May 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

  • #12   Auto Title Loans

    That’s one way to air out your dirty laundry! Something along the lines of “I’m having stomach issues” I’m sure would have sufficed.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   bec

      “I have a sore tummy *sadface*” would have sufficed in my office, I work from home.

      May 3, 2011 at 9:48 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #12.2   FeRD bang

      @bec: You send yourself email when you’re going to be out of work? That may mean it’s time for a visit to an altogether different sort of doctor…

      May 4, 2011 at 11:22 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #13   Campbell

    I think this is funny too, but I think that depends on who sent it. I really would not want to get this from certain people, say the elderly coworker who has that old lady haircut and smells like a mixture of broccoli and Bengay.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:01 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   Rattus

      Why? Why is my life any less relevant than anyone else’s? Freakin’ inconsiderate young people. If you ate more broccoli and took better care of your joints you might be a little less tense and a little more respectful of your elders. Harrumph.

      May 4, 2011 at 8:40 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #14   bug

    when you need to write a pan, but you’re sitting on the can …

    May 3, 2011 at 7:10 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #15   pizza

    How do you say it politely?

    May 3, 2011 at 7:33 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #16   TickleMyBambo

    Diarrhea threat levels are now at RED, an ASSPLOSION is imminent. The man on the can is Jack Bauer, and this is his warning for everyone to evacuate the building.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:38 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #17   ligercorn

    Sent via my Crapberry wireless device. Please excuse any splashes or splatters.

    May 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   TickleMyBambo

      Reply via my Hemroid wireless device. That’s shitty bro. Those tacos have a way of dropping a deuce on someone. Don’t leave any streaks behind!

      May 4, 2011 at 1:02 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   Me


      May 4, 2011 at 6:17 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #18   Amy's Cooking Adventures

    Hahaha! That is awesome, it cracked me up!

    May 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #19   pony girl

    I never get diarrhea.

    I have been known to have an upset tummy every so often.

    Really, didn’t everyone learn that particular euphemism?

    May 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   The Elf

      How about “intestinal distress”?

      May 4, 2011 at 6:53 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #19.2   Jimmy James

      Get a little more creative. My favorite is, “Taking the Browns to the Superbowl.”

      May 4, 2011 at 9:09 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #19.3   The Elf

      Well, it is the only way the Browns will get there.

      (So says a Ravens fan).

      May 4, 2011 at 9:22 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #19.4   Canthz_B bang

      Ravens/Browns, Titans/Oilers/Texans, Chiefs/Texans, Jets/Titans…*head explodes*

      May 4, 2011 at 9:55 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #20   G

    With my “allergic little dog” we call it “the squits.” All the squishy imagery without the clinical name.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #21   aaa bang

    Diarrhea is always my excuse for getting out of doing anything. It’s so nasty that nobody every questions it. And it works. Every. Fucking. Time. Bravo, email writer. You truly are the master.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:48 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   TickleMyBambo

      Is that why you’re called “aaa”? as an “Aaaahhhh” from relief?

      May 4, 2011 at 12:47 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #21.2   The Elf

      He calls himself “Aaaaahhh” on days when he’s healthy. But when nature calls, he calls himself “OhGodNotAgainARRRGGG”.

      May 4, 2011 at 6:58 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #21.3   WMDKitty

      Unfortunately, some of us do legitimately have, ah, “digestive difficulties”.

      Fortunately, nobody questions them or asks for details.

      All I have to say anymore is that I’ve been camped out in the loo…

      May 12, 2011 at 12:31 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #22   bec

    Obviously the diarrhea was accompanied by bouts of voracious vomiting, thus the reason for the email. “I am sorry I couldn’t use the phone to call in sick because I couldn’t talk through the continuous vomiting.” Oh please, if you are really sick at-least have the decency to use the phone to ring in sick.

    May 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   Canthz_B bang

      Is that really considered vomiting? I mean, if you just like to swallow great quantities of the stuff back down, that’s just kind of nasty to even think about.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:43 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #22.2   FeRD bang

      I’m worried about the “voracious vomiting“!

      From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

      Voracious, a. [L. vorax, -acis, fr. vorare to devour]

      Greedy in eating; very hungry; eager to devour or swallow; ravenous; gluttonous; edacious; rapacious. [1913 Webster]

      EWWWW!  :shock:

      May 5, 2011 at 12:04 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #23   bec

    I used to have a co-worker who always used the excuse her kids had diarrhea for her not turning up to work, she would use this excuse 2-3 times a month, one day a frustrated co-worker said “your kids have diarrhea so often maybe you should get your house decontaminated it must be a very unhygienic place to live” I don’t think she ever used the diarrhea excuse again, she moved on to sore back, migraine etc etc etc.

    May 3, 2011 at 10:13 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   TickleMyBambo

      Poor kids.. When they get older all they’ll hear is : “So I heard from my mom who used to work with your mom that you guys used to have the shits all the time which was why my mom had to work overtime.” How embarrassing.

      May 4, 2011 at 12:54 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

  • #24   Claire Standish bang

    Can I use “I have cramps” or “women issues” 3 times in one month. Man bosses never question those!

    May 4, 2011 at 12:24 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #25   Canthz_B bang

    Next time I call in late I’ll just say I’m having a shitty morning and see if that flies. If not, I’ll offer further details and hope they can sniff out where I am…in Funkytown!

    May 4, 2011 at 12:34 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #26   Anonymous

    As for politely, I just go with saying “I’m ill,” sans details.

    May 4, 2011 at 12:48 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #27   Me

    No offense, but how is this passive-aggressive? It’s just funny!

    May 4, 2011 at 6:16 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #28   Nunavut Guy

    E-mail from the boss………..So eat a block of cheese and get your ass in here.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:32 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #29   The Elf

    Am I the only one impressed that he spelled “diarrhea” correctly? After all the wicked misspellings we’ve seen on this site, it is refreshing to see a word that is difficult to spell and yet is spelled correctly.

    May 4, 2011 at 6:56 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   park rose

      You should try spelling it the Brit way! I always have to look it up: diarrhœa.
      Scroll down to the chart with different spellings – I find it interesting, at least!

      May 4, 2011 at 8:15 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #29.2   Effy

      I’m from the UK, it is the worst word to spell ever. However, you do get a sense of accomplishment when you spell it right first time :D

      May 4, 2011 at 11:13 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #29.3   MJ

      Its the not-so-shitty autocorrector

      May 4, 2011 at 11:34 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #29.4   WMDKitty

      That is kind of impressive, actually. I like people who can spell.

      May 12, 2011 at 12:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #30   Kara bang

    So what exactly do you say to this guy once he finally makes it in to the office? “Hey, heard you had a shitty morning. Glad things have…solidified for you.” Or do you just pretend that email never happened?

    May 4, 2011 at 8:28 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   WMDKitty

      See, now I’d just leave a box of Imodium on the poor soul’s desk…

      May 12, 2011 at 12:33 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #31   Chesire Cat

    LOL I find this extremely hilarious! If I was his coworker this probably would have made my day for a good laugh!

    Everyone knows the polite way to say it is “Stomach problems” but you know, I like this person’s style.

    May 4, 2011 at 8:46 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #32   piper

    i had an employer that wouldn’t accept the ambiguous “not feeling well; i’ll be in late”. it’s not that he was ever mistrustful, i was seldom late or absent, but he always had to ask “oh, what’s wrong?”
    i would always follow up with the bluntly honest like this fellow and he’d always seem to regret asking… but he’d still ask again the next time it happened.

    i’ve never had much of a verbal filter. i like to share.

    May 4, 2011 at 12:25 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #33   Nathan

    The correct answer to this query is:

    “An infinite series of small bathroom emergencies.”

    That’s what I used to politely describe my situation to a recent group of confederates.

    May 7, 2011 at 7:49 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up


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