Thursday, December 30, 2010

A walk in the park

There are precious few places within walking distance of my office that are agreeable and far away from all signs of blue shirts.

There's a cute little park though where I like to go during my lunch breaks. For the first year of my present employment my trips there were blessedly uneventful. But recently...

One bright fall afternoon I was sniffing some late-blooming roses when who should be heading towards me but two blue shirts! Not from my office, but still, they were blue shirts all the same. I figured if I ignored them I would be safe. Not so:
BLUE SHIRT #1

How do they smell? (meaning the roses)

ME

Good.

BLUE SHIRT #1

What about you? Do you smell good?

ME
(WTF????)

(pretending to misunderstand)

Uh, it must be the conditioner.

BLUE SHIRT #2

*snickers*

ME

Gotta get back to the office. Bye.

(I beat a hasty retreat.)

"Do you smell good?" What kind of weird question is that? Lord what freaks these blue shirts be! And ruined a very nice lunch break in the park.

But the most memorable meeting in this park - all too memorable, horribly memorable - was a month later. I'm sitting on a bench, checking my Blackberry. This pudgy glasses-wearing middle-aged man approaches me.
PUDGY

Look at you, wearing black, checking your Blackberry. What are you doing here?

(I had the impression he was gay, although my daughter claims that my gay-dar is for shit, but in any case, I didn't think he was trying to pick me up.)

ME

You know, had to get away from the office.

PUDGY

Need to get away from it all, huh?

ME

(too polite to tell him to bug off, trying to make small talk - why did I do that?)

You know how it is. Office politics.

PUDGY

Oh tell me about it. I worked in an office, a government office and...

(he proceeds to tell me - I look at my Blackberry occasionally, hoping he'll get the hint I want to read my email, but then...)

Yeah, she slept all the time back there. But there was nothing we could do about it. Because she was black.

ME

What?

PUDGY

Oh yeah, didn't you know that? It's impossible to fire a black public employee. They get away with anything. She used to spend all day watching soap operas and sleeping.

ME

Is that so?

PUDGY

Of course.

(He then goes on to give more examples of this woman's irrepressible sandbagging. I'm riveted - the circles I travel in, nobody ever says such blatantly racist things. I'm sure many blue shirts believe racist things but they don't say them aloud in the office - and I certainly don't socialize with them. Such naked racism was just so freaky coming out of nowhere from a stranger. I considered what to do next. Just let him ramble? Argue with him? But then my course of action became clear. As I watched him spout his offensive claptrap, the dappled afternoon sun falling on the sidewalk, the bench, his balding head, I saw something glint near his face. Then disappear. Then glint again. What WAS that thing? I waited and watched. And then. Oh dear God. It was a GIGANTIC NOSE HAIR jutting out of his left nostril, occasionally catching the golden autumnal light as he yammered on. I wrenched my head away, fighting the wave of nausea.

ME

Gotta get back to the office. Bye.

(I beat a hasty retreat.)


Well, now that I've written it down... MAYBE THE HORRIBLE NIGHTMARES WILL STOP!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:36 AM

    The huge human Spasbo !

    ReplyDelete