(Working in corporate America is bizarre for me. Having spent the great majority of my adult working life either slinging coffee at Starbucks or slinging peanut-butter and jam sandwiches at African kids in Johannesburg, this whole office environment is a little weird to me. This week, I’ll share a few of the many stories that are emanating from my time as a corporate lemming. Yesterday, this space addressed meaningless hallway greetings.)
Part 3: Ted from Accounting
I think Ted from Accounting is probably a nice guy. He gets decent haircuts and likes to wear khaki pants with colored shirts and ties. He always has a Big Gulp from 7-11 with him and it always seems to be half-full of some foreboding elixir. Guys who down 88 ounces of Diet Dr. Pepper in a day can’t be all that bad.
Somehow, despite all the redeeming qualities he possesses, Ted is the most awkward person on the planet. I’ve considered darting him like they do cheetahs in Africa so I can monitor his whereabouts and avoid him at all times.
For example, our first meeting went something like this:
Ted strolls over to my cubicle on my first day. He peeks over the top, rather than walking the three extra feet to get to the opening/door/portal that would render our interaction somewhat human. (The conversation with someone peering over the padded cubicle wall is always creepy. There is just no getting around that fact.)
Ted reached his hand over the cubicle wall and says, “You must be the new guy.” Sigh. “Yup,” I reply and he stares at me and nods for a good 4 seconds. Count that – four seconds. One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, four-one-thousand.
“I’m Ted from Accounting.”
More silence. Eight-one-thousand…
“I heard you were coming on board.”
More silence. Twenty-three-one-thousand…
“Thanks. Great to be, um, on board.”
And that’s pretty much how that goes every time. Ted from accounting, this Bud’s for you.