Caught in the crunch

Things have changed at work. Where once there was research related chat leading to silly chatter, there is now an annoyance.

Social skills seem second nature to most people. There are the finer details of letting other people tell their stories without having their joy diminished by hearing about your similar experiences…

ONE: I’m so excited. We’ve just spent a week in Vienna!
TWO: Oh Vienna! Yes, we went a couple of years ago and it was amazing. It’s the perfect romantic city. We met a man who conducted the Vienna Boys Choir. He told us all about how the city…

Or, worse still…

ONE: Little Jakey said his first words today!
TWO: I remember when our Tom said his first words. I was having a chat with his father and Tom suddenly started going on about his experiences in the womb. So, after I told him about my own womb-time, we celebrated with honey cake and ice cream.

And so it goes.

But then there are people who don’t even have the basics. Sadly, one of them now works on Fridays.

I think he gets on everyone’s nerves but, given they have to work with him all week, I guess they just put up with it. Actually, Terri and Emma have taken to wearing earplugs, listening to whatever kind of music helps them concentrate.

The worst thing he does is join in (and generally finish) every conversation that’s had in the office as if he’s the Great One and all his words are wise and true. I can’t speak for the truth but there is very little wisdom. Particularly when it comes to any form of empathy.

It will get to the point where I just email Nick at Work whenever I have a query simply because I want an answer. It’s very annoying when the atmosphere at work used to be so perfect.

Then, today, the atmosphere was further ruined by the Battle of the Crisps.

Howard (the other Friday volunteer) sits behind me and generally has a packet of crispy crisps with his lunch. While this is always annoying (I get unreasonably irritated by the crunch, crunch, crunch disturbing the silence of the room) I can usually avoid it by concentrating really hard on the task at hand. Today, however, I was forced to use my own earplugs when Kevin decided to have a packet of crisps at the same time.

Kevin sits in front of me (our computer screens form the only barrier between us) and attacks his crisps, obviously afraid they’ll get away if he doesn’t quickly put them in his mouth and force his teeth into them like the feet of a manic jack rabbit. For someone with acute crunchyosis (like me) this was all just a bite too far. Out came the earplugs and I listened to the Royal Ballet Alice in Wonderland score instead.

The problem with this strategy is that I feel guilty about being a bit anti-social, cutting myself off from everyone else. Still, it’s better than getting to the point where I want to rip my own ears off.

It didn’t help that the research was all a bit dull as well. I guess that every week can’t be perfect but I’m afraid there’s going to be more of them now we’ve been joined by social ineptitude. All good things, eh? Pity.

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3 Responses to Caught in the crunch

  1. Mirinda says:

    Honey cake mmmm

  2. Mirinda says:

    You don’t realise how lucky you are! There are loads of pekoe at work I loathe! Not just one plus a crisp muncher.

  3. Mum says:

    You should ask if they would mind sharing that might stop them bringing them out at work, I am surprised they are allowed to eat at there desk bring back the old rules I say.
    love mum xx

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