Despite my complaints to the contrary, I actually do work in a dysfunctional environment. Some of my coworkers are really quirky.
For instance, there’s the Thai guy from New York. He has the New Yorker’s accent, and a cackle-laugh like the stereotypical evil overlord in bad movies. He knows everything, and always prefaces every statement with “I know this because I…”
When he’s explaining something he knows to someone else, he’ll go right on explaining it even though his victim declares over and over that they know it too, and he won’t shut up.
Despite that, he can’t seem to keep track of his e-mail, so you have to re-tell him stuff you e-mailed him about. Plus, he can’t keep track of files on his hard drive, so he’ll occasionally ask you to send back e-mail attachments so he can correct and re-send them.
Then there’s the waving-hands guy. He’s the only guy I’ve ever seen who licks the mayonnaise knife. Despite his best efforts to speak with his hands, the only motion in his quiver is a sort of backwards breaststroke – he puts his hands together, cupped, in front of his chest, then extends both hands outwards, then spreads his arms wide apart.
He’ll do that repeatedly during a single sentance, whenever he wants to emphasize a point. When it’s something particularly poignant, he’ll lean forward while doing it.
He never throws away a defective CD or disk, and has unlabeled piles of good and bad media on his desk.
Then there’s the fat IT guy. Personally, I have nothing against fat people. This fellow, however, looks like the embodiment of the puffy-faced fat people in Ayn Rand novels. When he walks, his profile is shaped like the number 6, with an unbroken curve extending from the back of his head, down along his back, to the rear of his knees. Even his eyelids have chub.
But, none of that would really bother me, except that since I sit right next to the breakroom, where he makes continual trips there during the day.
But, even that wouldn’t really bother me, except that for some reason, he goes into the breakroom, gets food, then comes out and stands next to my cube to stick it in his face. If you were to take a bellows pump, stick it in a big brown pumpkin, and replace the pleated bag with teeth, that’s what it looks like when this guy opens wide.
Finally, this morning, he went into the breakroom, and poured himself a bowl of cereal. He then came out, and stood between our cubes, tapping his spoon in the cereal. I was busy attaching shipping labels to four different boxes, and for some reason, he took an interest in it. Between bites, he’d ask what it was I was shipping, and where it was going. Then, he followed me back to my cube, and just stood there, shoveling Life into his maw, as I typed into a spreadsheet.
Seething rage bubbled up within me, and my voice exclaimed, “Dude, go somewhere else to eat! Don’t stand there chewing right next to me!”
He looked kinda shocked, and I muttered something or other in explanation, and then we all had a good laugh.
But, if he ever chews next to me again…