Monday, July 19, 2010

Just Shut Up Already

Ok, so for someone who talks a lot (and loudly) I’m very familiar with the looks and general vibe of someone who wants you to just stop talking. Usually I’m aware of it and I just ignore it. But sometimes I will actually stop talking and try to stop annoying the person(s) I’m yelling stories at. And yes I realized that's a dangling preposition and no I don't care...

So this man who comes in to work to pay bills for my "company" once a week is just the worst. We sit in the same room for a few hours once a week and at some point he decides to tell me some sort of story that I don’t want to hear. I'm convinced he brainstorms what topic he's going to delve into each week.

I usually remain staring at my computer responding with phrases like “uh huh” and “yeah” until he’s done. And I don’t just stare at my computer, I actively partake in G-chat conversations while he’s talking to me. I also use his random burst of conversation to make myself seem really busy by shuffling papers and actually doing a little work. But he keeps on going until his story is done.

This week’s convo in particular stuck in my mind. I told him that I’m moving to California in a few weeks and he responded with tales of his own road trip to the wild wild west when he was in his early 20s. This man is probably in his 40s now and has a family and lives on Long Island. I’m pretty sure his wife is mentally unstable as she calls him at least once every time he’s in my office and he usually has to talk her off some sort of ledge and tell her to “calm down” 20 times.

Anyway, his story was about road tripping out west by himself and deciding if he was going to stay out there or come back. He said he kind of wishes he had stayed (surprise surprise, I have friends who graduated college a year ago who are more competent at accounting than you are). But then he told me a detailed account of going to Las Vegas alone and he literally used the words “ORIENTAL HOOKER” when talking about an apparently Asian prostitute who was hitting on him while he was gambling.

He also described a conversation that he, the dealer and the Oriental hooker had without saying any words. They all were just looking at each other and knew exactly what was going on. He declined said Oriental hookers advances (I don't remember if he did that with words or with his eyes...) and then got dealt a 21 and won some money and the dealer gave him a "you shoulda kept her around" look. And that was the story.

He literally had no clue that “Oriental” is a completely inappropriate word to say. And it’s not like we’re friends. Like if someone who I joke around with referred to an Asian person as an "Oriental" I would laugh because it would just sound strange coming out of the mouth of a 20-something and it would obviously be used in jest. But if you’re over 40 and saying “Oriental” you really are out of touch with the world. And PS, we were in a work place, yes it’s a man in an apartment but this is a job for both of us, we’re not out for drinks hanging and talking about the good old days.

So yeah… I'm not sure what the point of his story was. I guess it's good for him that he could reminisce about better days (back in an economy that rained Oriental hookers on us all!) but if anything it just disturbed me and made me want to get him out of my office that much sooner. But what if his story was about how he banged an oriental hooker in Vegas? I'm not sure if I would have more or less respect for him if that's how the story had gone... But I do know that I'm thoroughly grossed out either way.

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