Office Small Talk

“Good Morning! Did you enjoy your Thanksgiving?”

God, I hate her. Some people are just too damn chipper at 9 AM. Everybody hates Mondays, but the Monday after a holiday is particularly unbearable, and here she is, standing outside my cubicle, rocking on the balls of her feet, barely taller than my 3-draw filing cabinet, eager to hear me reminisce about my Thanksgiving feast. God, I hate her!

“I ate, watched football, went to sleep.”

“What did you have to eat? Did you have family over? Did you go somewhere?”

Now she’s sitting on the corner of my desk, the toes of her red faux alligator skin flats just grazing the carpet. God! Just scan whatever papers you need to and go! Just because the copy machine is located behind my cubicle, that does not give you reason to make small talk with me. Do you see this face? The bags under my eyes, the slight curl at the corner of my mouth, the wrinkle on the bridge of my nose. This is a face that is not interested in small talk. Do you feel how your lips blab on and on? Like the sputtering exhaust pipe to a classic 1950’s Chevy truck. You are small talk. I am not interested in you.

“The typical Thanksgiving dinner, I guess. Turkey, ham, mac and cheese, dressing—”

“Dressing or stuffing?” she says with a wink. I just look at her. She flaps her hand in my face, as if to say she’s only kidding. I really don’t care.

“Either way, it’s delicious. With stuffing, you get the juice from the turkey to season it even more.” She licks her lips. “Mmm! I love the Stovetop brand.”

“I prefer it fresh,” I say flatly.

She sits there quietly. Her eyes roll as she searches her mind for something else to say. God, just go already! I swear, some people come to work with so much vigor while the rest of us are only here to collect a paycheck. The highlight of our day is logging false facilities tickets and having the cute maintenance guy from the basement bend over in front of us to check on a problem we know isn’t there. Sexual harassment, my ass. Eight hours dealing with dumb asses like her—we’ve got to find a little light to bring into our day.

Because we damn sure aren’t trying to be friends with our co-workers. We definitely don’t want to waste another second of our lives with them going out for a drink after work. And we absolutely abhor pointless copier conversation. God, it’s worse than elevator talk! Nice weather we’re having—yes, this day is moving by so slow—four more days to Friday. 

UGH! Kill me now! Does she see me making a gun with my thumb and index finger, pointing it to my head? I know she sees me. God, let her see me. Pull the fucking trigger!

“Well my daughter and son-in-law came up from Tallahassee. Tallahassee, Florida?”

Like I don’t fucking know.

“It was great seeing them. He travels a lot for work, so—”

I wish I could travel for work. Book me a trip to India. Half our jobs are outsourced there, anyway. Anything to rid myself of this incessant woman.

“I’m still waiting on grandkids. They’ve been married five years, you’d think it’s time.” She brushes her hair off her forehead. “I know, I don’t look like a grandma.”

We all know you dye your hair, bitch. With that Ellen DeGeneres haircut, and that Whoville nose, and those 101 Dalmatians freckles—better get those checked, bitch, they could be skin cancer. Heaven please, let them be skin cancer!

Maybe I’m just a bitch.


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