Tuesday, April 26, 2011

miss manners

My desk is in the basement of my building. I may have mentioned this once or twice. It's not a bad basement; it's well-lit and thoughtfully-arranged and really doesn't feel basementy at all.

Except that they totally half-assed the walls down here.

Upstairs, the walls are...the walls. They're always there because they've always been there. We've got more of a temporary vibe going on down here. And the walls to my half of the floor aren't 100% stable. They won't FALL or anything, they just rattle. And the doors rattle. And people let them close themselves. Hard. Because the doors don't have anything to slow them down. And it drives me nuts. So I always take a second to close the doors gently behind me. Always. And people have asked me why I do. My answer is usually, "My mother would kill me if she knew I let a door slam like that." They're still confused because apparently they're deaf and blind to the XXXTREME RATTLING.

My mother would not be so ignorant. She employed what I like to think of as Guerilla Etiquette Lessons when we were little. The example that comes to mind most clearly is sneezing. She would sneeze - somewhere on the other side of the house - and a second later, we would hear, "IS SOMEONE GONNA BLESS ME?!" And we'd all scream, "BLESS YOU, MOMMY!" to make sure she heard. Because if she didn't, she would suddenly appear at the door, unblessed and indignant, and ready for ass-kicking and name-taking.

I'm so compulsive about blessing people post-sneezes, that I was scolded at a previous job for saying "bless you" TOO OFTEN. The VP had awful allergies, and I said it after every sneeze. I didn't even realize I was doing this because it's so automatic. They told me several times to say it once after her first sneeze and then to ignore her, but OMG WHAT IF MY MOM SHOWS UP?!

Dear Mom, my coworker who sits right next to the crazyloud door sends her regards.

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