Friday, August 3, 2007

Conflict Resolution with Derek

Dear Diary,

Derek, the guy I can't stand the most at work, cornered me this morning, sitting across from me in the lunch room as I was pouring chocolate syrup into my sippy cup filled with milk. I love my sippy cup. I once had to pry it from my mother as she was about to throw it out. The convenience of a covered cup cannot be overstated, plus I love sucking on it as I rock to and fro in my cubicle chair, humming Mary Had a Little Lamb.

DEREK: Is there something maybe we should talk about?

ME: What's your problem?

DEREK: You just seem to be short with me, a lot of the times. And you never say anything when I ask you how you are. You just mumble what sounds like threats mixed with multi-syllable swear words.

ME: You have a problem with me, just be man enough to come right out and say what it is exactly. I don't have time for this beating around the bush, and all this mumbling.

DEREK: I just wanted to know if I had done something to offend you.

ME: Well, if offending me is what you're trying to do, you're on the right track. Keep it up buddy, you're on a roll.

DEREK: I'm confused.

ME: Big surprise. Playing dumb and being dumb: same difference in my book.

DEREK: What are you talking about?

ME: Some people are just really smart. You're going to have to accept that. You're on the outside looking in, at all the people who are a lot smarter than you - people who think thoughts that are huge about the world and how to resolve things like peace, and make bridges and chairs. Some people might like you, Derek. But these are small, petty people of no consequence. And we'd all be better off if they didn't exist.

DEREK: I don't know what's happening.

ME: Derek, I'm probably the only one in the office who doesn't hold it against you that you probably don't tie your own shoes. I'm okay with people who aren't as intelligent as me. Honestly. As long as they don't talk to me and they act invisible when I'm around.

DEREK: Are we okay?

ME: Stop stalking me and I won't call the cops. Is that "okay" enough for you?

DEREK: All right.

He got up from the table then.

DEREK: I'll leave you alone.

ME: I'm just telling you this as a friend... but why don't you call in sick next week? Do us all a favor.

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