Saturday, November 6, 2010

Neighbors at work: some day this will make it into a story

The guy in the cubicle next door isn't used to being next door to anyone.  This has become apparent in the last month as he has been working out of this location four days a week.  It was okay when he was only working here one day, but now that he's here all the time, I find myself wishing there were a way to sound-proof his cubicle.

He can't do much about some of it.  He's in HR and has to call people and ask the same 6 ridiculous categories of questions.  I even find it somewhat entertaining sometimes (also horrifying) to hear all of the strange ways people self-destruct in phone interviews.  Do that many people seriously not know their own work history that they just filled out an application about?  Do they really think that the correct answer for "What are you going to college for" is "to keep my parents from bugging me"?

The things that make me slightly crazy are all of the weird noises he makes.  Seriously weird.  Of course, if I had to do the same conversations all the time as listed above, I'm not saying I wouldn't have cracked, too.  Still.  He sounds like he has a horse in his cubicle with him from all the weird, blowing, rubber-lipped sighs he does.  There are certain foods I wish he would avoid because he always does those loud, weird, startling hiccup-burps after eating them.  (Pardon me, but I'm laughing so hard right now remembering these things that just piss me off when they're happening that I kind of need my inhaler.)  Sometimes he will do random movie quotes.  I'm pretty sure he's on the phone for those.  Mostly sure.

I know more about how he got his stupid new cat than anyone should have to.  Except for my other next door neighbor who just escaped and transferred cubes partly because he couldn't stand being anywhere near this person.  The traitor.

My friend advised that when he's making noises, I should play Miss Slightly Dumb and Concerned and go around and ask him if everything's all right when he makes these weird noises.  It would only take a few seconds.  It's a good idea; I just don't think I could keep a straight face with all I've heard.  Too many times I have had to stop what I'm doing and bury my face in my arm to smother the slightly hysterical laughter he is causing me to deal with.  Sometimes, my voice recognition software ends up trying in vain to translate the stifled noises I'm trying to strangle before they erupt as full out belly laughing.  The poor guy has enough problems; he doesn't need me to acknowledge that I'm aware of them.  Mortification.

On that note, I guess my passive-aggressive dreams of going through my old Dilbert calendars and pinning relevant ones about bad cube manners/hygiene on his chair would not be a good idea.

Maybe I should just play deaf and bring my big, old noise-canceling headphones.  Nobody really calls me on the phone anyway.  Maybe when I'm not using my voice-recognition software, that would be the best solution.  Running away is always a good idea, right. :)  Any other suggestions?

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