Tag Archives: observations

Ways to Make Interacting Always Feel Awkward

"So I just hit reply all, because you know, screw him."

“So I just hit reply all, because you know, screw him.”

It’s Tuesday after a long weekend and you’re about to see a lot of people that are going to throw a lot of small, itty-bitty, pocket-sized talk your way. If you’re one of those lucky people that gets to spend your entire day with a bunch of sort of strangers in cubicles, rushing past you, stopping to waste your time, or not stopping to waste your time when you want them too, then you know what I’m talking about. If you happen to woman the front desk, then you really feel me.

I’ve began to categorize these people, these chit-chatters, or stare-at-the-ceiling passersby. I was lost playing the character of Jane Goodall in Office Chimps–the television series I have invented in my head–when I hypothesized that there were quite a few species of office talkers or non-talkers. Here are a few:

office-internet-down-workplace-ecards-someecardsThe sideways smile: This person isn’t completely sure of their place — like, in the world. Upon closer look of the sideways smiler approaching the front desk, you will see the indecisive nature of his stride, and the insecure anticipation oozing out of eyes that never really meet your gaze: “Will she look at me back?” He thinks. Or, “Am I sure I zipped my fly back up?” The key is that this person will never actually say a word to you, because then, their identity as a low key, has-something-better-to-do lone wolf will be meaningless.

The Walking By One-Liner: This could be a simple “How’s it going?” or “Good morning.” A key characteristic of this species is lacking original thought. They also are seemingly unable to stop walking. It’s as if they are floating on a work cloud that disallows them from ever not being in motion — unless it’s work related. Some types of One Liners are also known to do a “drive by” work assessment. Like, “Hey, get back to work!” or “Is that work related?” The one liner attempts to be cool in his drive by judging, but in reality he is thinking of all the ways in which he works harder than you. Also his job is more important — you’re just the angel that ordered the chocolate Mousse cake for this month’s birthday party in the break room.

"And I said to him, not bald. SHAVED head."

“And I said to him, not bald. SHAVED head.”
Photo Credit: Forbes.com

The lingerer: It’s an awkward job but someone has to stand by your desk uninvited for twenty minutes and confess he is “secretly” into restoring old cars. He just wants to get to know you, and your dietary restrictions. He’ll say things like “You’re vegan? No wonder your so trim.” And obviously, these comments are important to hear and always welcome, but it’s the remaining five minutes of summing up the conversation and shifting from left foot to right foot that makes it uncomfortably unmanageable. By the third “allllrighttt well…” you’re already about seven minutes past the time I’ve allotted in my mind for this conversation to begin, progress, finish, and wrap up again.

What I actually enjoy are the people that come up to you and ask a genuine question, like it’s actually conceivable they have remembered your name. I’ll also take a hardcore, eye smile because good for you. And I accept solid eye contact with a smile as a positive and meaningful exchange. You don’t necessarily have to come up to my desk and compliment me on my new shoes to win my affections, although that is always welcomed. On the flip side, why ask me how I’m doing if you’re not going to wait for the answer? I think I’m getting this office thing down.

How do you interact at work? Is working from home the dream I imagine it to be?

The Walmart Microwave Hunt

Welcome to Wal-Mart. Sorry are the giants bin displays of fun pops, batteries, and aloe vera in your way?

Welcome to Walmart. Sorry are the giants bin displays of fun pops, batteries, and aloe vera in your way?

I would’ve put up a better fight, but I was feeling bloated and hungry and the appeal of a cheap and easy nuking machine beat out my conscience.  So we went to Walmart for a microwave. I don’t take this sentence lightly, I assure you — I spent an entire semester Sophomore year of college on a journalism research project about the class action suit brought up by women against the corporation; I’m convinced I only got an A- because my teacher was halfway through having her tenure revoked and fully on her way to becoming a crazy conspiracist.

But Walmart’s just so much cheaper. Sometimes, we compromise our supposed morals for low prices (especially when unemployed) and, of course, for the chance to watch an entire family go from clothes shopping to vision appointments to toy shopping to grocery shopping and finally, to a quick dinner at McDonald’s without having to leave the comfort of their local Walmart SuperCenter — It’s like watching the ultimate Supermarket Sweep challenge live.

mckayla-notimpressedBut Walmart still triggers the spoiled six-year-old brat response in me — My face morphs into a McKayla Maroney “I’m not impressed” look like a true diva. If walking down a frozen aisle where there’s fifteen freezer doors worth of frozen pizza variety and only six worth of frozen veggies doesn’t elicit an automatic face-palm-response then we obviously just wouldn’t get along.

I knew I was losing my mind when Matti held up frozen mozzarella sticks with a remember-how-I-used-to-eat-dairy-and-fried-foods-before-I-met-you face and I said, “Are you fuc– well, actually, I’m kind of in the mood for mozz sticks.” Translation: Sure, I’m kind of in the mood to turn into Ursula from the Little Mermaid later, when the fried dairy starts to Perfect Storm my stomach — but at least I won’t know when it’s coming.

But when we get to the microwave aisle I’m less “not impressed” and more about-to-turn-into-the-Hulk because it’s not even that cheap — it’s basically the same price as Target except I don’t get to venture off next door into the aisle of plates that perfectly matches our apartment’s color palette as Matti pays for makes the hard microwave decisions. (I can sense olive green home decor from an unparalleled distance.)

But we have to get the microwave, because we’re here, in Walmart, and I’ve already started drinking my unsweetened tea without paying for it. As an attempt to make this trip worth it I stop to glance at the bath mats, since we’ve been using a dirty white towel with the word “fun” on it since we moved in. Apparently though, bath mats are the only product where the price, despite the store, never changes. I swear to Mindy that I’ve been in 20 different places looking for a bath mat and they never get cheaper — no, not even at Walmart. What are you good for, Walmart, if not for everyday low prices?

flowersI start to get mad at Walmart like it’s my half sister– what’s up with your flower section? You have carnations, carnations, florescent carnations and dying roses. You could maybe utilize the space being taken up by the giant bins of batteries and fun pops in the middle of the main aisle for a blossoming, slightly neater flower station. Maybe? How about just getting that old man that works in produce to get his hand out of his pants?

I leave Walmart right after handing the cashier an abandoned rotisserie chicken left on top of the People Magazine rack. She seems appreciative and I immediately start worrying about what they are going to do with the chicken. How long could it have been sitting there, getting cold, decomposing, alone in an aisle of candy and soda and last minute grabs. I hoped like me, the chicken would get out of there soon.