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Monday, June 26, 2006


I have a problem. I share an office with two space aliens named Rajneesh and Kathy. I suspect they weren't the best of students in their "How to Convincingly Act Like a Human Being" training. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they flunked out and that's how they ended up with such a crappy assignment.

They must have both really not paid attention to the part where they went over which audible bodily functions are acceptable and which ones are not. I often have to leave the office and walk around outside because the sounds are so disgusting. I've started keeping track of all the sounds the two of them make. I've even started rating them on a scale of one to seven earplugs, one being Unpleasant But Acceptable and seven being You'll Have To Excuse Me I'm Going To Go Walk Outside For A While Because I'll Seriously Vomit If I Have To Listen for One More Second.

Setting aside previous transgressions by both Rajneesh and Kathy, let's compare, shall we?

3 Earplugs

Have you ever been in a movie or a class or a restaurant and you take a sip of water and it kind of goes down the wrong way and makes you cough uncontrollably and you know you're out of control but you try to control your cough as best you can by trying to not cough at all so what comes out instead are these short little bursts of cough-air almost like you're not coughing but just clearing your throat in a really retarded way? Rajneesh does this throughout the day. Every day.

5 Earplugs

Have you ever had something like a piece of food or a hair or anything tickling the recesses of your throat and it induces a bizarre cough/wretch hybrid where your throat really wants expel whatever's in there but can't really figure out the best approach so it forces you to take a deep breath and let out one solid, forceful mono-syllabic hack that kind of sounds like a cough but could easily be followed immediately with a dry heave pretty much exactly the way a cat coughs up a fur ball? Kathy does this usually between the hours of 4 and 5. Every day.

5 Earplugs

Have you ever been lying in bed and you know it's time to get up and you're OK with that but you just want to take your time so you roll around and reach way up above your head and straighten out your legs as straight as they will go and tense up all your muscles and suck in a bunch of air and hold your breath and stretch, stretch, stretch like a cat that's been lying in the sun for four hours and if feels so good that when you finally release the tension from your body and all your muscles relax that you let out one really loud breath that shoots across the bedroom? Rajneesh does this throughout the day. Every day.

4 Earplugs

Have you ever been annoyed or disappointed by something minor and you want to say something to express that disappointment so you inhale to get ready to say something but there's really nothing to say or else you're all by yourself so why say anything at all and so instead of saying anything your lungs just give out this quiet little burst of breath that establishes your stance that you are annoyed or disappointed but that you recognize that you can't do anything about it? Kathy does this throughout the day. Every goddamn day.

7 Earplugs

Have you ever come in from the cold and made yourself a piping hot mug of tea or coffee or hot chocolate or even a bowl of soup and the liquid is so hot that allowing it more that a second of contact with your tongue and throat would cause serious burning so you temper each sip with a carefully gauged intake of air that cools the liquid just enough to allow you to swallow safely even though the process creates a viciously loud slurping sound that is only OK to make if you are next to someone else who just came in from the cold and is likewise slurping away at some hot beverage? Rajneesh does this once a day as he eats his spicy, microwaved Indian dishes for lunch at his desk eight feet behind me.

7 Earplugs

Have you ever been five years old and your Mom buys you a gumball from the gumball machine and you're so excited and you pop that sucker in your mouth and start chomping away, activating all those oral glands and you're so into it because you're five and you don't know any better and you don't realize that your mouth is wide open so that every soggy compression and decompression of gum between your molars is making a really loud saliva-soaked squishing sound shoot out of your mouth? Kathy does this once a day when she has her afternoon piece of gum. Every day.

7 Earplugs

Have you ever been 13 years old and your body is growing so fast that it demands extra large quantities of food so instead of having one bowl of cereal for breakfast you have a second and a third and you feel like you could have a fourth and a fifth but you don't because you know that you'll want more cereal later so instead you wolf down the first three bowls with such gusto that you barely chew and swallow each spoonful before cramming the next one in there so your mouth is never not full of so much food that you have to eat with your mouth open and your cheeks are swollen with milk and wheat and sugar and every chew makes a loud, sloppy, wet smacking sound. Rajneesh does this every day when he eats his spicy, microwaved stinkpot of tupperware at his desk eight feet behind me.

7 Earplugs

Have you ever been given one of those super duper sour hard candies that pushes your entire sense of taste to the limits of its ability by essentially tearing open your salivary glands so the bodily fluids flood the back of your mouth in an attempt to re-establish some sort of endocrinological order and it's all you can do to keep up with that production of fluids by sucking and smacking and swallowing and slurping and puckering and sucking and smacking and swallowing REALLY REALLY FUCKING LOUDLY? Kathy has one of those candies once a day.

Because of these aliens my productivity is down. I get up and leave the office several times a day just to get away from all the noise. If anyone out there has any academic clout on whatever planet these space beings came from, I implore you to see to it that their successors are better trained as to which audible bodily functions I find unacceptable. Feel free to submit this list.



At 6/27/2006 3:33 AM, conorinsweden said...

Yargh, this sort of thing drives me crazy. What's with these people? Do they have no friends to tell them how incredibly annoying they are? Are their friends as annoying as them?

I also have a thing with leg jigglers, who I put in the same class as tea slurpers and consta-sniffers. I secretly wish agonising leg pain upon them. In exams I have to sit next to the wall so that I can face it in case one of them sits next to me.

At 6/27/2006 9:10 AM, Tom in L.A. said...

And as you can imagine, I've only touched on some of the things my officemates do that annoy me.

I wonder what I do to annoy them?

At 6/27/2006 2:06 PM, DasGort said...

Again, well put. It's funny that you get put into an office, a seemingly good situation, if it weren't for such annoyances.

I've got a few of my own. My nearest cube buddy puts the customer on mute and shouts expletives pretty much on every call. That, however, is mostly funny. I've got a few that come visit me and have no conversation skills...like my own Miltons. There's a lot of silence and me implying with body language and vocal tone that the conversation had been over a few minutes ago. Then there's the middle-aged southern women who sing terribly things like "So you've had a bad day" everyday and "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas" in the middle of summer.

That's all to say...I feel ya.


(i wish I had the desire to make quality blogs...mine has suffered as of late)

At 6/27/2006 3:27 PM, Tom in L.A. said...


Too funny. Singing Christmas songs in the summer?! WTF. Anyway, I've just been so blown away by how bizarre office life in America is that I feel the need to document as much as possible. Frankly, I can't keep up.

Thanks for reading as always, Gort. Everyone go to his site now!


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