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Spoiler Alert!

A typical day for those of us who have to watch our favorite shows the day after they air...

8:00 AM

The 3rd season of Walking the New Girl’s Dead Modern Family premiered last night, but you couldn’t watch it because you had to go to the airport to pick up your brother’s friend’s mom’s uncle who looks like Elvis. You’ve recorded the episode and can’t wait to watch it tonight, but this morning, as you walk into work, you realize that you’re now in what's known as... the spoiler zone (dun dun duuuun!). This is the time zone between when you get to work and when you go home and press play on your remote that evening. Actually, you’ve already had to change the radio station multiple times on your way into work just to avoid hearing the DJs do any recaps of last night’s shows!  But that’s nothing compared to the unpredictable minefield of office gossip that you now face in the spoiler zone.

8:15 AM

You walk into the break room to get your morning coffee and you see Rhonda and Dave by the water cooler. Uh oh, they’re talking. What are they talking about? Should you turn around and avoid it? Whew, its okay, they’re just talking about the dress that Jackie has on today and how it totally doesn’t match her shoes. You have the green light to proceed to the coffee machine.

10:25 AM

You’re at your desk and you overhear John and Derrick walking in the direction of your cubicle. They mention the name Jimmy and panic ensues - Jimmy is the main character in last night’s show. Derrick continues talking and says, “Yeah, Jimmy really nailed it yesterday.”  Oh no!  Are they really talking about this right next to you?  They’re coming closer and you cringe as you hesitantly wait for John’s response.  Finally, John responds, “I know, I agree, he really did a great job at the executive meeting.”  You quietly sigh in relief.  Thanks goodness it’s a false alarm… only 6 hours and 35 minutes to go!

12:00 PM

You’ve made it to lunchtime.  It’s like making it to halftime and your team is winning - you’re halfway there, but so many things could still go wrong.

A group of people are going to lunch and they've invited you along. As you all sit at the table waiting for your food, Sam starts to say, “How about that episode last night? Man that was something else! It was so intense when they…”

Great.  You’re stuck at the table, and here it comes...

"...when they showed the lion eating the antelope!”

Phew!  You’re still in the clear!

3:00 PM

You’ve got two hours left. You’ve successfully managed to avoid all spoilers thus far. You’ve got this! All you need to do is mind your own business for the next two hours and you’ll be good to go. YOU’VE GOT THIS!

4:35 PM

You’ve still got this! YEAH!

4:46 PM

Mark: “Kate, I meant to ask you, did you see the new episode of Walking the New Girl’s Dead Modern Family last night?”

Kate: “Yes! Oh my gosh, it was so good. I never expected Jimmy to do that!”

Mark: “Same here. He threw everyone for a loop when he…”

Noooooo!  The tragically inevitable has happened. People have begun talking about the show, assuming everyone has seen it, and they have started to reveal the dreaded spoilers. But, do they alert anyone first before they start talking about it? No, of course not. They are oblivious to the fact that maybe someone had to go pick up their brother’s friend’s mom’s uncle (who looks like Elvis!) from the airport. They think they are being covert enough by simply talking in a breathy just-above-a-whisper tone, but really it’s the same volume as a normal conversation, just more annoying, and suddenly instead of being tuned out like regular daily chatter, it becomes impossible to ignore. It feels like they are talking through a megaphone, and you’re tempted to plug your ears and yell, “la, la, la, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” but that may come across as a tad weird.

So, what do you do now? Do you leave to get some water, hoping that they will be done by the time you come back? Do you shove your ear buds in, blasting their conversation away with heavy metal? Or do you use the office supplied tissues that sit on your desk and just cry into them one by one?

While these are all plausible solutions (granted you have enough tissues), there are inevitably only two simple options that are our best-bets for avoiding the dreaded spoilers:

Watch the show when it actually airs (I know, I know - duh, right?)

Master a great amount of ninja social-diversion skills in order to successfully avoid any and all office-based situations where your attendance may result in said dreaded spoilers... or, to say it plainly, just call in sick that day.  Totally worth it.

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