April 7, 2010

You Say Hello, I Say Do We Have To?

From an unnamed production office for an undisclosed television show in an address-withheld building in LA where the elevators are shockingly slow...

On my floor at work there is a guy I don't know whose desk is, let's call it, one hundred feet from mine (keep in mind that if you told me that one hundred feet was also the average distance from the floor to the ceiling I would, with only brief hesitation, believe you).  I pass him on my frequent, previously-discussed trips to the ladies' room, and every time I go to the break room to visit the Peanut M&M's in the vending machine (I don't bring them home to my desk, but I like to gaze longingly at them and imagine the day that I learn how to run without doubling over wheezing so that I might- on that day- justify making them my very own).  I do not know this man's name.  I know that it isn't the same as the guy whose desk is immediately next to his, but most of the time I can't remember that guy's name either, so my process of elimination isn't what I would call strong.

Well last week this guy and I literally ran into each other in the hall.  Our office has lots of abrupt turns and narrow passageways, and- full disclosure- I worked with a blind girl before and I- with full sight- bumped into twice as many things as she did walking- literally- blind, so this hallway shoulder check was more than likely my fault.  Anyway, in the wake of our elbows colliding, this guy feels that we now have to say hello to each other.  Aggressively.  Not just in that really awkward way that I already have to say hello to my coworkers around the building when we are walking towards each other from a distance in the hall, and have to choose at which point in our long approach we are going to acknowledge each other with some greeting, and then either look at our phones or some interesting imaginary thing on the floor so that we don't have to make steady eye contact until we clear each other.  I mean, nameless shoulder checker wants to do that, too, but in addition he now shouts from his desk whenever I pass to say hello, and once I say it back, we've exhausted our conversational repertoire.  Because what could we talk about?  Work?  I don't even think he plays Scrabble.

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