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Friday, March 17, 2006

PRIVATE COMPANY

In support of my theory that most of my co-workers are wackos, I submit the following.

The other day I had to use the men's room, the urinal to be exact. On my way down the hall, I passed Scott and Kathy.

Scott is a former executive who now consults. He used to be the boss of my boss. I know it isn't very charitable of me but every time I see him I secretly hope it's the last.

When considering my co-workers' various dispositions, tendencies, and idiosyncrasies, I always try to imagine their childhoods. Did they fit in? Did they try? Did they try too hard? I think Scott must have tried too hard and continues to today. He needs to be the center of attention but isn't equipped to do so with any grace or tact. He also wears bargain loafers that are too big for him and chews rubber bands because "it's cheaper than gum." I cringe when he walks behind me with the suction created by his leatherette Rockports snapping his insoles against his heels while the rubber in his mouth squeaks and squishes between his molars. It's what I imagine a gelatinous space alien would sound like as it plods down Hollywood Boulevard after the invasion.

Have you ever met someone who lacks the ability to end a conversation? I have. Her name is Kathy. Every personal interaction with her inevitably leads to awkward backpedaling. She tricks you into thinking that you've gotten away but then at the last second her vocal pitch heightens again and off she pulls you onto another tangent. With Kathy, there's always one more subject to broach, one more point to make or at least one more way to make the same point again.

So there they were in the hall, Scott and Kathy, sucking and squeaking and yammering. Scott was in full backpedal mode. Kathy was saying the same thing over and over again.

"The metrics were off. That's what they told me, anyway, when I called them last night. I spoke with Kent Barstow and he said they were off. The metrics. Kent told me they were off last night. I called them and found out that the metrics were off from Kent Barstow. He told me last night. Kent did. The metrics were off."

As I passed by, Scott started following me, a man-overboard hoping to latch onto a passing lifeboat. Into the men's room I went. As I stood at the urinal doing my business I could hear the conversation gradually moving down the hallway until it settled right outside the bathroom door. Scott's strategy was a good one. Lure Kathy to men's room door, place hand on doorknob, and she'll get the hint that the conversation is over. Nice move, Scott, I thought.

But Kathy just wouldn't stop. Her narrative was too damned compelling for her to stop. Obviously, she had yet to fully relate the experience she had the night before when, upon telephoning one Kent Barstow, she discovered that the metrics had been deemed off.

So when the men's room door swung open in Scott's final attempt to put an end to the situation, and I stood at the urinal more exposed than not, I'm not sure what was more disturbing, the fact that I made eye contact with a female co-worker while I was touching my privates or the fact that SHE STILL DIDN'T STOP TALKING TO SCOTT!

"Last night, I called and talked to Kent, Kent Barstow and he said that, hi Tom, he said that the metrics were off. Last night when I called."



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2 Comments:

At 3/17/2006 9:16 AM, Anonymous said...

I say never touch your private parts in front of women at work---never! When I was at the WB I had an itch in a private part. I was in a hallway near an entrance hallway with no one around. So I told myself to go for it even though the rule is never ever. So I reached down and in and started to scratch. Right then a female co-worker appeared. Imagine my embarassment and hers.

 
At 3/23/2006 2:39 PM, LD said...

laughed way too hard at this --- hurt myself in fact

 

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