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Sarcastic phrase used to evoke the image of a high-strung actor or other professional who refuses to continue to work because of some trivial issue. Although the phrase sounds like a serious complaint, its familiarity as a meme or catch-phrase can actually be used to diffuse or lessen the impact of a minor issue that a group of people are unhappy about. Frequently used among theater types or other performers both in and out of the theatrical context.
Person 1: "Hey, we've got coffee, but only French Roast. We're out of Hazelnut."

Person 2, responding, perhaps throwing up their hands: "I can't work under these conditions!"

All: Laughter.
by beagley May 20, 2009
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