Talking into Perpetuity
|August 18, 2012||Posted by wpadmin under Uncategorized|
Have you ever met a perpetual talker? I’ve never quite understood these people. I’m not referring to a garden variety “Chatty Patty.” I’m not one to disparage one who enjoys talking, as I can be long in the tooth myself. I’m talking about someone who literally can’t stop talking. I think I have a unique talent for having people that fall into this category end up in my life including dates, job interviewees, and colleagues. My rule with both dating candidates and job candidates was the 20 minute rule. If they went a full 20 minutes without letting me get a word in edgewise, I eliminated them from consideration. The tough part was getting them to stop talking just long enough for me to end the date or interview. My rule with colleagues was to avoid them at all costs.
I used to work with one such colleague named Tony who we called the “Pit Bull” because once he locked into a conversation with you, he would not let go under any circumstances. I remember ‘checking the perimeter’ before venturing outside my office to fax a contract. The coast appeared to be clear and I began contentedly faxing when I heard behind me a blood curdling,
“Hey! How’s it going?”
“Dammit to hell,” I muttered to myself as the fax machine finished screaming its digital symphony and sucked my paper into its bowels. “Hey Tony. Going well…just faxing a contract…got someone on hold on my office phone and I’m just running back there,” I lied.
“That reminds me, I had a problem with this fax machine last week,” Tony continued, “so I bent over to pull out the tray and I hurt my back…I recently saw the doctor who told me it was related to an old injury I had and…”
“Wow, that’s crazy stuff,” I said grabbing my paper and desperately looking around for an exit strategy.
“…then I had to do physical therapy and I thought maybe I should go on Workman’s Comp but then I thought maybe I would just come back to work for a little while…”
“Hey can you excuse me? I need to use the restroom.”
“…In fact, my mother had a similar issue when she would type for long periods of time…”
I ducked into the restroom and thought to myself, “You are safe, you genius! Nice work!” Then, as in a horror movie, the bathroom door opened as the world seemed to go into slow motion as Tony walked in still talking to me!
“…so then she actually went out on medical leave…”
This was truly a “The phone call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE” moment that I have seen in so many slasher films. As I left the restroom and went to my office, Tony followed me, of course, and I tried to politely end the conversation several times before saying, “I really gotta run,” and just closing the door and locking it with Tony on the other side.
You may think me cruel but you don’t know Tony. We would still be there chatting today, nearly twenty years later, if I hadn’t executed a “hard close” on that conversation. Perpetual talkers are usually very nice people but sometimes you need to exercise some tough love if you want to keep your own sanity.