Friday, June 27, 2008

The Bore War

It has recently become a daily pastime for me and a colleague to see who will get caught for the longest with workplace bores. I usually win, because I use my iPod in the office as a defensive strategy, particularly when I'm busy (yes, that's right, busy) and don't want to be interrupted.

The office bore is a generally pleasant chap who can hold highly opinionated lectures about the relative merits of one national road over another, why MDF is better than chipboard or OSB, what angle should the windows be opened at for optimum ventilation of the office, and Wavin pipes. The lectures are usually punctuated with the occasional "Okay?" to make sure he still has the attention of his audience. I have learnt to never, NEVER let my eyes meet his as he walks into the room, otherwise I am a prime target for his next talk.

A new colleague is still perfecting her evasive technique, and so is the current favoured target. I couldn't keep a straight face today as she was on the receiving end of a five-minute description of some curtains. "Ha ha", I sent in an email as the lecture drew to its conclusion.

Later today, however, I lost the battle.

I received a phone call from a colleague in another office who is notorious, not for being boring, but for taking a quarter of an hour to get her point across when five minutes would suffice. I had already answered the phone before I looked at its incoming number display. The conversation lasted ten minutes, and could easily have taken two. I knew I was losing when my interjections of "Great, I'll sort that out for you and I'll have the forms to you early next week" went unheeded and the time online crept towards double digits.

A pop-up window on my computer screen caught my attention: "You have new mail".

"Double ha ha", it said. (Wouldn't that be "ha ha ha ha"?)


I can't stand losing.

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