Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Holiday Cheer in Full Effect.
c. David Grim (taken 11/25/10)
Yay.. it's the holidays. But you know what? Just because a lot of folks have some days off in the near future doesn't mean their basic social flaws are going to recede. Obviously the stress and anxiety of having to meet familial (and other) expectations can weigh heavily on the individual. And still there is always the chance that someone is just going to continue demonstrating their essentially loathsome qualities no matter what time of year he/she is currently negotiating.
Unfortunately my day has started with an encounter with one of these cretins.
I went into the copy room as soon as I got to work to use the hole puncher. As I approached I ran across a woman who works on the other side of the building. She's middle aged and seems to resent whatever small failures she's accumulated throughout her life. So she's almost always a bit acerbic, humorless, and definitively unpleasant. I make it a point to keep a wide berth from her, so I don't even know if I made deliberate eye contact. Anyway she felt some need to point out brusquely that she "was done" with whatever she was doing. I hadn't asked... but whatever. I didn't reply, but rather went on with the intention of fulfilling my task.
As soon as I started setting up to use the communal tools I needed, this same crone said "I meant I was done with the copier. I'm not done there!" (indicating the station with the paper cutter and hole punch). Now keep in mind that she wasn't EVEN in the small copy room whenever I first arrived, nor was their a whit of evidence that she had been there previously. She was right outside engaged in some inane chat with a co-worker, with some papers in her hand. She had not even started what she said she was in the midst of doing.
I don't know why, but I stepped aside and let her in. I started to explain that I just needed to punch one page (it would have taken me about two seconds). As I began to explain, "Actually I just had to-", she interrupted me with, "Yeah... everyone just has to do something, but I was here first." She was at least self-aware enough not to look at me in the face for my reaction. I stood there a foot-and-a-half away from her, as she started her all-important mission and continued nattering on about nothing to a co-worker.
Now I've known for awhile that this woman was socially retarded. I didn't want some interchange to escalate because I felt some compulsion to match her nastiness. So I just stared at the top of her head for a moment and left without responding. It would be too easy in retrospect to wish I had returned some cutting retort, but I know it would have simply led to more acrimony on both of our parts. I credit myself with demonstrating the value of forgiveness and forebearance during this special time of the year. Otherwise I would have simply assaulted her mouldering ego and gotten caught up in unnecessary drama (instead of venting on this blog).
Hey. Tis the Season, right?