Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Conversational Pungi Sticks

Itsbeginningtolookalotlikechristmas (see prior post) practices the art of ambush conversation. As a receptionist, she’s stationed next to the hallway to the men’s room and directly next to the only water fountain at the dealership. Thus, walking past her 3-5 times a day is unavoidable. Her tactic is to start talking, whether eye contact has been made or not, as if we are picking up where we left off in a previous conversation. The fact that I always respond with either:
A. a forced laugh
B. a smile and nod
C. a smile and raised eyebrows, meant to convey interest

D. “Oh, really?”
E. some combination of A, B, C and D

doesn’t phase her in the least.

Here’s the one-sided “conversation” we had early Wednesday morning:

Me: (refilling water bottle, avoiding eye contact)

“That was weird.”

(no response) (I guess this would be choice F. - pretending that I don’t realize that she’s
addressing me.)

“I just had a call from Michigan.”

(thinking: Fuck, she’s continuing to address me.)
Me: choice C. - a smile and raised eyebrows, meant to convey interest

“That was weird.”

(thinking: That’s weird? You’re the phone operator. This is a car dealership. We sell cars made by a company headquartered in Michigan.)
Me: choice D. - “Oh, really?”

Itsbeginningtolookalotlikechristmas: “She wanted to know what to get my mother for Christmas.”

Me: (
thinking: Huh? Great, a teaser to try to get me to engage. I’m not taking the bait. I don’t care.)
Me: (finish filling water bottle, screwing on cap, no response, I figure my last “Oh, really?” is still in force)

(as usual, completely unfazed by the lack of response) “Yeah, we met her on our trip to Hawaii in 1994. It’s a mother and son we met. That was the mother. She wanted to know what to get my mother for Christmas. I wasn’t expecting that call…”

(drifting out of earshot, looking slightly back to convey at least one ounce of attention)
Me: choice E. – “Oh.” slight smile, eyebrows still raised

So now I have more insight into Itsbeginningtolookalotlikechristmas. Just what I wanted. In addition to postcards from such exotic locales as Ft. Lauderdale, Phoenix and Pittsburgh, IBLLC’s desk is festooned with photos (her and her mother), trinkets and tschotskes from the Hawaii trip, now 11+ years in the past. Obviously, that trip was the pinnacle of her adult life. I’m guessing she and her mother live together in a house full of
Precious Moments figurines. Our little “exchange” has put me in the position of feeling sorry for her (slightly). That quickly becomes annoyance, for being put in that position.

One additional creepy tidbit about Itsbeginningtolookalotlikechristmas:
IBLLC, and in fact, all the older, back-office fatty, fat fattersons, love “Little Heather”. Little Heather, a 4’11” coworker of mine in the finance department, is not to be confused with Big Heather (a.k.a. Bitchy Heather, a.k.a. Heather). Big Heather is a personal assistant to the GM and the owners, which apparently involves occasionally driving their demo vehicles to pick up their laundry and stationary.
Big Heather side note:
BH just had a baby out of wedlock. While she was pregnant last summer, I overheard one of our salesmen say, “She’s just hopin’ that the baby comes out the right color.”

Little Heather is the whiniest, most passive-aggressive non-thirteen year old I’ve ever met. Everything in her life, work related or not, is a Sisyphean ordeal for her. She sighs so often, it’s a wonder she doesn’t hyperventilate. She was recently demoted (though she probably doesn’t realize it) to a less stressful, less demanding job, yet her sighing and whining have continued at their previous levels.

But though Little Heather is almost always unfriendly and unhappy, Itsbeginningtolookalotlikechristmas clearly has a Lennie-Small-and-the-rabbits-type crush on her. Whenever one of the receptionists has to use the restroom, they generally call us to let us know that they will be forwarding the calls back to us, temporarily. However, when LH is in the office, then Itsbeingtolookalotlikechristmas will call and ask, “Is Little Heather back there? Can she come up here and cover for me?”

I think that IBLLC fantasizes about braiding Little Heather’s hair and dressing her in doll’s clothes and squeezing her and never, ever, ever letting her go.

25 Days until Christmas


Pink Lady said...

More posts please. MORE POSTS PLEASE.

jookyhc said...

See, this is why I don't have a blog of my own. Because I would be honest, and live in fear that the people I'm being honest about would find me.

I do enjoy, however, that there are people like you though, who will talk shit about others.

Snark is the new... Uhhh I got nothing. This is the real reason that I don't blog.

Anonymous said...

I have never known a person who collected Precious Moments figurines that I felt was worthy of sharing oxygen with me. The fact that I know who you are referring to only proves that I am not wrong.