Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hoffice Show and Tell

I almost understand why parents bring their reproductions in to the office. Almost. 

They're proud of what they've produced. A little monkeyesque in likeness, but still.. it's theirs, they have successfully completed the mammalian act of reproduction and they want the world to know. Fair enough. Society dictates that you have to be proud of this achievement and show it off (apparently hiding it in the basement until it is old enough to drink is frowned upon. Go figure). 

But why do people bring their parents in for a parade around? Or visiting friends? I just don't get this. Especially as it is apparently protocol in our office to introduce your guest to everyone, even if you don't work with them or talk to them on a regular basis. 

Intern (who wouldn't talk to me if we shared an elevator together): "Hi Koekie. This is my friend."
Koekie: "Hi. I'm Koekie"
Intern's friend: "Okay"
Koekie: "Good talk. I'm glad we could share this moment. May you live long and prosper, stranger-who-I-shall-never-have-reason-to-talk-to-again-so-not-even-pretending-to-remember-your-name. Have a nice day now."

Today, one of the finance employees brought their father into the office. I watched them doing the rounds, getting closer and closer to my desk. And then I did something of which I am not proud. I ran. And hid. 

I couldn't even handle the thought of pretending to talk to the Hungarian's father. So I walked down five flights of stairs and back up again, figuring that this should be enough time for them to do the rounds and skip my absent desk.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the need to show family and loved ones where you spend most of your waking hours. I really can. 'This is where I work, mom.... Now you can picture the base of my misery and mental frustration.'

But why do people need to introduce their family to me in particular? This is a stupid social requirement. Just bring them in, give a general "this is my dad" shout out (if you really must have us know) and then those who are interested/give a shit, can come up to you and your loved one for further conversation. 

Win-win. Dad gets to see the office, gets to see what we look like. If it's really that important to you, you can even point me out and tell him, "that's the one. The Office Bitch." I'm okay with that. 

But please don't drag the poor dude around, subjecting him to individual introductions of everyone at their work stations. Which is always followed by standing around awkwardly while you all desperately try to make conversation out of fragments of stale office air. 

"So... do you like Amsterdam?"

"Yes. But it is raining. It would be great if we could see it in sunshine."

"Yes it rains a lot here."

[polite chuckle all round. What a funny joke the weather is. Every time]

I hate small talk. I really do. 

1 comment:

rd said...

ha! Finally, a pro to people bringing their offspring in -
You don't have to make conversation with it!
Just give a polite "how cute!" and sit down again