There is, right this moment, a man in my office having a mental breakdown. I don’t even know his name – he’s some engineering manager in a function I rarely deal with. I have no idea what caused the breakdown – merely that he’s sobbing at the top of his lungs from his office “I don’t know what my fucking problem is!” and similar vaguery. Thankfully a co-worker who’s better at this sort of interpersonal relationship thing than I am has closed his office door and gotten him a tissue. I say thankfully not because his breakdown is resolved but because I no longer have to listen to him. Harsh? Maybe, but read on.
Meanwhile, another guy across the office is having an argument with his wife about buying the expensive backpack at REI vs the cheap one at Walmart. He’s in favor of the Chinese cheepie. She’s in favor of the gold plated one from REI (which for all I know may also be from China). Given the tenor of the conversation, I fear his marriage is not long for this world regardless of which backpack they buy. But mostly I just want him to shut the fuck up about backpacks or at least use his indoor voice. Personally, I’d be embarrassed to spend half an hour arguing about a $50 consumer goods purchase and wouldn’t want anyone to hear it. But shame doesn’t seem to be a major gating factor here.
Now, given my current circumstances, you want to guess how much work I’m getting done right now? If you guessed “not a damn thing” you win a prize. Continue reading