Mar 052010

Psycho KillerWe all seem to know someone who during the course of interacting with them in any way, shape or form display an annoying habit which perturbs us to no end. Some seem to be much worse than others and some we simply tolerate, never to be spoken of. I realized just how many I can think of off the top of my head who I personally have known. I became aware of this due to the interaction with a person I work with. Well I would not say WORK with. Basically, I do the work while he sits on his ass and goes to meetings all day. That is what really valuable employees do all day on the job in America: go to meetings to make plans that never come to fruition. I call them the cloud people. These are people who make the craziest proposals and convey the silliest ideas. Management being too embarrassed to admit they hired these idiots, just sit back and listen to their latest idea on how utilizing a wild wolverine, let lose into an enclosed play ground full of 5 and 6-year-olds will sell routers. It might make for a great Pay-Per-View spectacle!

His name is Wing Woo. Not to be confused with Woo Wong who works with him and not to be confused with Wong Wing and Wing Wong. Oh, I cannot forget one other, since when we get excited some of us scream “WOO WOO!!!!!” And then we hear a voice in broken English say, “What you want!” The Chinese are HUGE on “W” names and ran completely out of them in 1997. They put together a consortium of their most brilliant scientists to come up with more “W” names. Their first attempt left something to be desired, but now there are 12 million Wostillians in the world. “WOO WOO!”

Let us return to Wing. He has 2 habits that drive all of us to distraction. The first happens to occur when you are in a face-to-face discussion with him. I did a favor for him and he sent me an e-mail stating, “I own you!” I replied to him, “Wing, I am afraid that is impossible since president Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation which forbids that from occurring. Unless of course you wish to give me a huge amount of money and we then call that prostitution.” As you carry on a conversation with him, he has this horrible habit of looking to the right or left at the ceiling. The first time this occurred I thought he was having a seizure and knocked him down, dragged him to the break room and was ready to get the defibrillators out to use them. I am always looking for an excuse to use them! Since then I catch myself looking at the ceiling also expecting some mythological creature to be staring at me. I guess he is fascinated to distraction by ceiling panels and such. Now when we converse, he looks at the ceiling and I look at my groin. His second distracting habit is he loves to run his open hands from the chin to the back of his head. He does this a lot. He looks like he is in horrible agony. We always think he is having a cerebral hemorrhage and of course drag him to the break room and grab the defibrillators. Damn, I will get to use these things one time and not on myself again!

These habits escalate until the individual is performing them almost on a constant basis. I use to work with a pleasant young man named Chris. He had the habit of moving his jaw left and right and cracking it. This was quite disconcerting as it was. It became intolerable when it came to a point that while conversing with him he did this every 2 seconds. The only way I could talk with him was to imagine I had placed a mouth piece similar to the one used on Hannibal Lector in the movies. Little do people know I can do the exact same thing with my testicles, but of course no one sees that, they just hear a little “CLANK”. I am sure today Chris has no lower jaw and had to have the lower jaw of a hyena surgically attached to his skull. Last we spoke he said he was always fighting this overwhelming urge to lick his groin.

Another I actually would get a chuckle out of was a young man named Jack. I had taken an early shift at work since I could pull data and crunch numbers for hours before anyone started to pester me. I worked from 5 A.M. to 2:30 P.M. There were 2 phone techs on duty at the same time and they sat a considerable distance from me. The first morning I get in and start setting parameters to pull data, I hear, in a loud and booming voice, “THIS IS JACK! MAY I HAVE YOUR COMPANY NAME AND ACCOUNT NUMBER AND THE TICKET NUMBER YOU ARE CALLING ABOUT!” My reaction was “WTF was that?” I just laughed since it sounded so crazy and the customer must now have a shattered ear drum. Jack sounded as though he had gotten off the little yellow bus. This occurred over and over. I would laugh every time he did it. The next morning I happened to be in the break room before shift getting some tea and Jack walks in. He seemed unassuming enough and I spoke with him with no 100 db outbursts. So why all the screaming? He was holding a 62 oz Big Gulp insulated mug. He proceeded to pour an entire pot of coffee into it and then added 24 packs of sugar. I came to discover Jack drank 2 of these each morning. Now I understood the screaming and the need for him to wear Depends since he needed to urinate every 27 seconds. Needless to say, Jack only lasted 6½ weeks when his head exploded one morning to no one’s surprise.

I would say one of the nastiest habits I have encountered was discovered during a staff meeting. We had hired a contractor to deal with cell phone bills and she was, to say the least, a VERY unfriendly person: no sense of humor to be found in this person. She made Mr. Spock look like the happiest man in the universe. One day we are in a staff meeting and it is her turn to speak as to what is transgressing in her realm of responsibility. I noticed she was picking at her knuckles. Then, I was aghast to see how much blood was coming from the wounds she was creating. I was repulsed and mesmerized at the same time, much like watching a video of Michael Vick being thrown into his own fighting pit and being eaten by pit bulls while holding his fake penis he got caught with at an airport and claimed it belonged to his mother’ cousin’s 3rd brother’ wife’s stepchild. I leaned over to my co-worker Ed and told him to look at her hands. 45 minutes later when the meeting ended Ed says, “Thanks a LOT, Lee, All I could do for 45 minutes was look at her hands!” Well that is all he could do in every meeting afterwards, and he is now spending time in a mission with monks trying to teach him tranquility. The twitching is almost indistinguishable anymore. He tried stand-up comedy for awhile but the patients at the mental institution just had NO sense of humor.

So next time you speak to a friend or colleague who says, “UM AND” between every 2 words spoken, try to remember that cultivating patience pays off in the long run when you discover your punches to the face are less expected and much more accurate.

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