I Have No Balls
I’m a big pussy. Confrontation makes my sphincter tighten up, my throat fill with angst, and the ‘flight or fight’ response kicks my ass so I can usually be found hiding in a bathroom stall or taking an early, early lunch.
(Unless someone is threatening my kids. Or I perceive a threat. Then I have balls the size of 600-pound record-breaking pumpkins and turn into the meanest bad-ass mama lion you’ve ever seen. I WILL tear your head off with one swift bite to the throat, and leave your dead, mangled body for the vultures to consume. Just so we’re clear.)
Even through the white noise at work, I can hear the high-pitched nasal whine of our Night Computer Operator. He’s a bizarre man. He rarely showers. (One year at Christmas, we gave him a ‘care package’ that included soap, deodorant, shaving cream, and razors…we don’t think he touched any of it. I’m not kidding, sometimes the stench coming off his body is so bad, it makes our eyes water…I’m not exaggerating.) He lives on regular Coke and boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes. He’s here from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. While he does his job really, really well, and never misses a day, and is a valuable asset to the company…he creeps us all out. Mightily.
He used to live in a van (down by the river!), seriously! Then when it got too full of used computer equipment, he got a small apartment. No phone. No pool. No pets. He married a Cuban National or something, knocked her up twice (which we shudder at...the thought of him naked…’scuse me while I wipe up the pre-vomit). Then she moved with the kids to one of the Dakota states and divorced him. He’s lonely, and we all realize that, but he’s one of those guys that doesn’t stop talking…ever…and won’t leave when social morays dictate.
Also…he never cuts his hair…and he never shaves…and he’s mostly gray…so he looks like the Abominable Snowman from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. I mentioned this to the guys in my department a few years ago at a meeting (without Night Operator) and we all laughed. Then they began buying me Abominable Snowman action figures. I have half a dozen in my cube. Now every time Night Operator pops his head in my area, and he looks particularly hairy, I have to stifle a screamy-laugh at his ‘Bumble’ appearance.
When I hear Night Operator in the morning, talking way too loud, way too much, I pray he won’t come looking for me. It’s like being caught in a trap I can’t walk out. We even have a ‘save-me’ system, if I hear him in a co-worker’s cube, droning on and on and on, I’ll call co-worker and make some excuse for him to come see me, some software problem or whatnot. That’s usually enough to make Night Operator find something else to do or someone else to bug. The problem is, Night Operator usually has something company-related to talk about. But what a normal person could get the answer to in one minute, Night Operator takes ten. Painful.
He was here this morning. I made myself a small little worker-bee and didn’t venture out of my little space. I was the Invisible Woman.
I know, I know, I’m a bitch.
I feel bad about that, I really do.
It’s exclusionary tactics, and after my post yesterday about girls being evil, here I am being…EVIL.
If Night Operator took better care of himself…if he didn’t talk so much…if he didn’t stand so close…if he left a group discussion when we’re all pulling ourselves along the wall to get away…or if he looked like Johnny Depp in ‘Don Juan DeMarco’…then it would be different.
So. I’ll keep being nice, polite, I’ll answer his questions, I’ll gently back away when the conversation is really over, I’ll save my co-workers and be saved, and try to see things from his point of view…a lonely man who just wants to belong.
His care package at Christmas this year will still contain soap and razors, though. Oh yes.