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Professor Liddle-Oldman

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Yakety Yak! [Dec. 11th, 2013|12:11 pm]
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11 December 2013

Some years ago, someone published a book of his sermons, and livened it up by titling it (after the first piece) All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I was struck by the concept, and actually find it useful. However, it seems to bewilder my fellow coffee-drinking co-workers.

The coffee machine, now the only one on this floor, seems a fair amount of use. At peak times, I often find myself in competition for its use. Since I use large cups – either my 16-oz insulated untippable mug, given to me as a Christmas present by an office-mate years ago, or a large Dunkies cup, if I pick up a Turbo on the way in and keep re-using the cup for its capacity. Either way, I use at least two envelopes to make enough coffee.

If someone who's going to make one envelope and seems busy shows up, I'll frequently step aside and let them go first, rather than make them stand there and watch me run two or three loads through. I often comment, in an attempt to be friendly and collegiate, "Basic kindergarten lessons – share, and take turns". Seems reasonable to me. Yet, almost to a person, they eye me as though I were declaiming in Etruscan, advocating the destruction of all that is sane and decent. (Not that they could tell – no-on can speak Etruscan now, the Romans did such a good job of stepping on them).

For someone who is basically solitary and sullen, I'm also amazingly gregarious and chatty. You would think, though, that I'd have learned by now that no-one likes chatty or friendly, at least in an office setting. On the other hand, I could decide I was keeping up standards, like with the woman at my last-but-two job who I passed in the hallway every morning. Every day I'd say Good Morning, and every day she'd ignore me – loudly. We did that five times a week for three years, and I stayed polite and friendly. Keeping up standards! Someone has to do it.

That being said, I have a giant cup of coffee to go drink. Ta!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: fairoriana
2013-12-11 06:01 pm (UTC)

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In that particular case, I wonder if they are not taking that as some sort of judgement on their behavior. People can be touchy. I personally prefer the old chestnuts of last night's game/the weather/the upcoming holiday and if they have any plans when making my small talk.
[User Picture]From: liddle_oldman
2013-12-11 08:35 pm (UTC)

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Hmmm! I never thought of that! Thanks!

Well, I never said I had any social intelligence...
[User Picture]From: plantmom
2013-12-11 10:55 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, I bet that's what's going on. YOU know that's not what you mean to say, but THEY don't, and they're probably assuming you mean to comment on their behavior. Personally, I would probably say something more action-oriented, like, "Please go ahead and make your coffee. I know mine takes a long time to prepare." Hopefully, that would be less likely to be misunderstood, and yet make your intentions clear.
[User Picture]From: liddle_oldman
2013-12-12 04:10 pm (UTC)

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Oh, I've already said all that -- please go ahead, you only have one cup.

I've never been very good at primate behaviors...
[User Picture]From: saomigray
2013-12-11 08:59 pm (UTC)

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Maybe I need to start ignoring people - loudly.

Sounds like fun...unless you're on the other end of it.
[User Picture]From: liddle_oldman
2013-12-12 04:11 pm (UTC)

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When they speak to you, flick your eyes at them for no longer than a quarter second. Set our face in an "Ah, it's a cockroach" expression, and then pretend they don't exist. It's easy! :)
[User Picture]From: saomigray
2013-12-12 05:00 pm (UTC)

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How incredibly rude. I will reserve that for people I truly can not stand.

:)
[User Picture]From: buscemi
2013-12-12 09:51 pm (UTC)

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If someone who's going to make one envelope and seems busy shows up, I'll frequently step aside and let them go first, rather than make them stand there and watch me run two or three loads through. I often comment, in an attempt to be friendly and collegiate, "Basic kindergarten lessons – share, and take turns". Seems reasonable to me. Yet, almost to a person, they eye me as though I were declaiming in Etruscan, advocating the destruction of all that is sane and decent. (Not that they could tell – no-on can speak Etruscan now, the Romans did such a good job of stepping on them).

>>I'd probably say, "Ah. Fair enough." However, some people seem to take almost everything the wrong way (including now former friends of mine). Heh.
[User Picture]From: miss_prissy
2013-12-14 12:33 pm (UTC)

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Gregarious when we want silence, silent when we want sociable…you old contrarian you!
[User Picture]From: celestialfire
2013-12-18 08:40 am (UTC)

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Could also be that no one in the coffee lounge so early feels ready for human interaction before they get their jolt on.