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Friday, December 09, 2005

office party blues

Here's what I like: mini quiches.

Here's what I don't like: awkward silences.

Our offices are housed in what's known as "Executive Suites" on the 11th floor of a large office building in Huntington Beach. The entire floor is made up of single offices which are rented out to people who only need one or two (or in our case, three) offices for their company, and we share a nice reception area, kitchen, copy room, and two conference rooms. The floor is managed by a company who also provides us with receptionists, so if you ever call me, the girl who answers the phone and says, "Good morning, thank you for calling L_____________ B_____________ Group," is not me, nor does she actually work for our company.

Anyway, today the management team threw us a very nice holiday brunch. Unfortunately, I'm the only one here today from my company, so that meant I had to go mingle. With perfect strangers.

So I go in, load up my plate with mini quiches, half of a ginormous breakfast burrito, and a quarter of an even bigger cinnamon roll, and I thought I had it made: I spotted one of the receptionists chatting with another young woman about our age. So I went and sat down, introduced myself to the girl I didn't know, and almost immediately, the receptionist got up to go answer phones, and the other girl got up to go back to her office.

What? Have I got quiche in my teeth?

I'm left alone, sitting by myslef, looking like a lonely wallflower. So then, a very nice lady whom I have exchanged plesantries with in the elevator and halls occasionally came and sat next to me with her husband in tow. We introduced ourselves and I tried to engage them in conversation to ask them about what they did, and then, suddenly, they had nothing to talk about.

This is something of a trend that I've noticed: until older people get to know me, they assume I will have nothing of interest to talk to them about, or, they assume that they have to know all the latest music/pop culture/hip slang to communicate effectively with me. Message to all those people: I'm a total dork. I'm a 45 year old hiding in a 24 year old's body. I probably know less about current music/pop culture/slang than you do (unless it involves Harry Potter).

So, the awkward silences ensued and eventually they started talking around me, so I got up and left. I did, however, learn this morning that this floor is made up of about 60% financial planners, 20% lawyers, and the other 20% oddballs like us.

Which explains quite a lot, actually.


Anonymous said...

OK so what is my pw? I like tried everything, I could think of ...(probably got locked out and didn't realize it) so send to hm acct...Sorry - it has been Monday all week.... and I do so love my icon!!! You would think I would remember. (BTW, love the Eloise icon!)

But more to the point...I gotta tell you there is nothing wrong with dorknicity, being 45 (good year for me tho, perhaps I got fired again that year...) and financial planners ARE a breed unto themselves...Next time, simply ask them to explain the GDP and what is going on with the market and would it be smart to diversify...And a final note: everyone at those things just wants to talk about themselves - whether financial planner or no. Just lean into the conversation and remember they will be rapt if you speak only about their favorite subject: themselves. Work that room honey - hm

Charlie said...

I feel ya dawg. ;)
Yeah, I'm often the victim of trying to make conversation with people, young and old and the whole thing going down in flames. I get the look of "are you talking to me? I don't know you." And I usually get the you're-a-dolt-look. I feel like I need to keep my SAT scores and college degree on hand to flash at them just so we can chit chat.