I’m sure everyone has experienced, in one form or another, that conversation born out of desperation in the morning at the office. Usually started by someone shortly after they come in, not even having logged onto the network or opened their e-mail. They will say to someone, usually whoever said good morning to them or responded to their greeting, something along the lines of “how was your weekend?” — “isn’t it lovely outside?” — “i can’t believe its only (insert day of week here)!”
I know which people in my office do this and I am conditioned to respond very curtly and usually in a mumble that can’t be parsed. Since if these steps are not taken, I’d be drawn into a conversation that has the ability to suck people into it that would make the Borg drop their collective jaws. Though the reason for the assimilation is the same, when new people are drawn in, there’s new material to be gained thereby giving the conversation more life, more steam, sometimes allowing it to go on for nearly an hour and a half or occasionally longer.
I’m usually one of the first people in, so after I check my webcomics and friends’ journals, I’m in work-mode and don’t want to be pulled out of it. The conversation starters often come in from 30-60 mins later, and sometimes even our manager walking by doesn’t disperse them.
This doesn’t bother me all that much as say.. people in the office (usually women, no offense meant) flagrantly disobeying the dress code and always getting away with it (I’d love to wear jeans or cargo pants and t-shirts too, but I’d be sent home). But it does annoy me when I overhear, “Wow Brian, you’re quiet today.” – an implied challenge of “Don’t you like us? Why aren’t you gabbing away with us?” And I usually respond, trying to erase every iota of snark from my statement, “I’m working” or “I’ve got a lot of work today” – hoping to spark some recognition of the word work in their heads.. you know the thing we’re paid to do here?
However, once the clock hits 2:30pm, then all bets are off. And I will happily chat over my shoulder with my manager who’s also sitting at his desk and also working/chatting, or sometimes get up and the team will congregate around someone’s cube or the microwave, but this usually only lasts about 10 mins or so unless we all really don’t have anything to do. Unfortunately today isn’t one of those “virtual paper pushing” days and I have too much stuff to get out the door, though typing while eating means I’ll need a short break to get the lettuce out from between my keys.
I’m not posting as much to livejournal lately, I’m not sure if this is a slow move away from it completely since everything I post here is copied there and I’d rather people come to the main site, or if it augurs other more sinister reasons (cue John Williams music). Still LJ-friends won’t be bombarded with my multiple daily musings unless they come here. They’ll just have to deal with the occasional long-form ramble and cry “Dude! lj-cut! lj-cut!!”