The Morning Greeter
You’re running a bit behind schedule this morning and don’t have time to drink your cup of coffee before heading to the office. After rushing out of your door, parking your car, and riding the elevator up to your office floor, you are in no mood to make small talk before being properly caffeinated. Lo and behold, immediately after you open the office door, someone rushes by you and loudly exclaims, “Good morning!” Almost reflexively, you are filled with loathing. You force a smile and provide a much quieter greeting in return as you keep your head down until you can safely make it to your cubicle.
The Routine Guy
As soon as you throw your purse down, you head to the breakroom, praying that the Keurig is unoccupied. As you feared, the Keurig is indeed in use, but the user is none other than the benign, quiet older man in the office who uses the Keurig every morning at exactly 8:04. Waiting to use the Keurig isn’t painful, however, because this coffee-making creature of habit always keeps to himself, or at most, asks about your cat. After all, it’s never too early to have a conversation about cats. As he finishes putting his creamer in his coffee and tells you the Keurig is “all yours,” you finally get to brew your much-needed cup of coffee.
The Sensitive Sniffer
It’s been half an hour since you ingested your coffee, and you are now safe to be approached for any conversation – so you think. Your supervisor calls your office phone and asks if you can visit his office, which is unsettling. You quickly head to your supervisor’s office and are surprised when he asks you if you have been wearing any perfume or fragrance to work. Confused, you explain that you only use one or two squirts of your favorite perfume each morning and that you weren’t aware anyone noticed. Apparently, the lady in the cubicle behind you is very sensitive to chemical smells, and made a complaint about your two baby splashes of perfume. You agree to stop wearing perfume to appease the snitch and sadly sit back down at your desk, fragrance-free.
As the day goes on, it’s nearing lunchtime and things are looking up. When you start brainstorming about where you’re going to take your lunch break, the office Chatty Cathy stops by your desk to “catch up,” because it’s “only been a week” since you last spoke. Apparently, Chatty Cathy needs someone to lend an ear, as she drones on and on about how tired she is from potty-training her grandson, and how frustrated she is with the construction on her way to work every morning. As she continues cutting into the time you could be spending perusing local restaurant menus, your responses become shorter and shorter until she finally runs out of steam and scurries back to her desk.
The Office Gossips
Around 3:00 in the afternoon, you’re typing away on your computer when you hear two voices whispering. You glance over and see two middle-aged ladies covering their mouths with folders while they whisper back and forth (rather than just closing a door behind them and speaking in a normal tone). The whispers are becoming more and more grating, reminding you of all the times your parents whispered in your ear and told you to behave during church services as a child. As a matter of fact, you don’t even remember the last time you whispered anything, and can’t imagine why anyone would feel comfortable openly gossiping on the office floor. Unable to tolerate the two babbling mice in the corner any longer, you grab your earbuds and drown out the noise with a podcast while you work for the rest of the afternoon. Hopefully your snitch of a cubicle neighbor won’t file a complaint about you using earbuds next.