Friday, June 16, 2006

The Emergence of a new Office Personality: Mr Loafer

So the temp job that was supposedly a two week assignment has stretched into a month, with no end in sight. Well, actually, the end may be in sight but I probably won't know it's here until it smacks me in the face. I feel as if I am living in that old George Beverly Shea hit, " One Day at a Time."

Well, I was delivered from the Queen of Talk, but nature abhors a vacuum, so I have been stuck with another of nature's anomalies. Let us call him Mr. Loafer. ( He could also be dubbed: Mr. Chatterbox. ) Actually, now that I mention him, I remember that I have written about him before- how he thought Czechoslovakia was in Turkey. Shortly thereafter, he moved into our office to stay. It's a mixed blessing if there ever was one, because he freely shares his interesting perspective on a lot of different things and thus provides entertainment but he's an absolute slacker and it drives me UP THE WALL. The other day I kept track of him by checking my watch occasionally, and for literally a whole hour, he sat in a chair and did nothing. Sometimes he wasn't even talking. I was amazed at his gall. He was looking out the window and pulling a hangnail. He wasn't even doing passive work- like looking at a computer. He was faced in the opposite direction of the computer, doing his little space cadet routine. Wow. These scathing, sarcastic remarks kept boiling up in my mind and it really shocked me to see how mean I could be if I gave voice to my inner annoyance. I don't know who I was more shocked at - him or me.

When I got into work today, I found we had a limited amount of work and that as soon as we were done, we could leave, even if we hadn't put in eight hours. So I was thinking, Okay, let's just push this thing through and get outta here! But everyone else wanted to sit around and go slow and get in their eight hours. I kept finishing assignments and going back to my supervisor and she kept giving me more. Which was fine. But I had this vision of me doing the whole project by myself, going faster and faster so I could leave early, while everyone else lingered over work that they should have been done with hours ago. Mr. Loafer sat there, listening to The Rev. Al Sharpton's radio talk show- another mixed blessing. It's so un-Rush Limbaugh. It's so bizarre that it's almost funny but also a little toxic to hear this off the wall stuff. A whole new kind of education. People actually THINK like this? Yes, they really do.

So I asked Mr. Loafer if he would do me a favor. He said, Sure. I asked him to go get another assignment so that it would be one less thing I had to do. I said something like, " You don't actually have to work on it. You could just have it sitting in front of you. I would just like to get out of here, and I don't want to leave until all the assignments are taken care of/given out..." It worked, sort of. I think he was kind of baffled about the whole idea of me wanting to make sure all the work got done. I didn't leave that much earlier than I normally do, but...it was a small victory.

Along the way, more World Cup talk surfaced. Poland came up in the conversation. I almost chuckled when they immediately consulted me about where Poland was located. "Poland's next to Germany....Right, Claire?" "Yes!" Another terrible geographic catastrophe- averted!

Martin Luther- the original, not MLK Jr- came up. Mr. Loafer thought he was from England. I set him straight.

John the Baptist came up. ( The topic- not the actual person in the flesh.) Yes, this Mr. Loafer is quite the eclectic fellow. He covers anything and everything in the course of his daily conversations. He maintains that J the B was black and had dredlocks. I kept on working and kept my mouth shut.

6 comments:

Avalanche Cowpoke said...

Mr. Loafer be the genuine workplace entertainer it seems... ..try not to climb too many walls---ya' might lose yer grip! 8~)

maldrich said...

Hmmm...J the B, black with dredlocks...maybe VERY tan due to sitting in the desert and dreds from being out there without a comb...I can see it...maybe...

Oh...and I HATE slackers...you have my sympathies!

ljmax said...

Yeeeahh, MmmK...I'm gonna have to ask you to go ahead and fax me over that TPS report.

Claire said...

Mary- Yeah...maybe kinda like Craig...if Craig had dredlocks...

Amy said...

Sometimes I'm amazed by the things my brain comes up with that are really better left unsaid. Since moving to Lawrence, I have encountered more living stereotypes than ever before. This town is full of hippies, yuppies, sorority girls, frat boys, goth kids....and they all hang out together (maybe not together, but on the same street so they can all talk about each other within their own groups). I have started thinking that I'm the only normal person in this town. Of course, to everyone else, I'm a little bit odd. :)

But lately I've realized I need to reign it in. I don't say things aloud, but I can think some pretty bad stuff, and I don't want to be like that.

And the range of popular thought is amazing!!

TripleNine said...

It is amazing how easy it is to forget that Bible characters and most likely looked just like the modern day Jews do. I find myself doing it.

Good thing I don't work with the slacker, I'd probably go postal on him.