I currently work in an office that values long hours and hard work, which in this case means that I’m the youngest person here by 10 years. I get invited to happy hours with my older coworkers frequently, but I have so little in common with them I rarely ever go. The divide in pop culture references and interests in general is so vast that it’s tough for me to hold a conversation with any of them if we’re not on the subject of work. And I’ve basically sabotaged myself from ever having casual conversations with any of my coworkers because of two instances, both of which became incredibly awkward incredibly fast. You know the phrase “It’s only awkward if you make it awkward?” I have a tendency to do that from time to time if it’s someone above me on the totem pole of life. And, personally, I think that’s totally fine, but there are some days when I just need another 20-something to talk about D’Angelo Russell’s snitch ass or laugh at Mr. Krab memes on twitter dot com.
It was about 3:30 in the afternoon yesterday and I had already checked out mentally for the day. I was browsing my various social media timelines when I got a text message from a friend of mine who “works from home.” I’m convinced that he doesn’t really have a job because he’s always snapchatting me in the middle of the day to let me know he’s watching Black Hawk Down without me, but that’s neither here nor there. It was this video, which has been making the rounds on the internet for a few days now:
Absolutely hysterical. I was laughing like a goddamn banshee after the last volley in that video. I was laughing so hard that I forgot I was still at work. And I don’t really know why. Like that video shouldn’t have made me laugh as hard as it did. But I can’t control what I think is or isn’t funny. When I took my headphones out following the end of the Scott Sterling show, one of my coworkers who has three kids and is closing in on 50, asked me why I was laughing so hard. With tears streaming down my face, not even thinking about what I was doing, I turned one of my screens (I work with three monitors, nbd) towards him.
You know that pressure you feel when you start talking about a funny youtube video and then you want to show all your friends? Well multiply that by a hundred when it’s with some coworker who lived through the goddamn Ford administration (gross). But there is no pressure in the world like that. If that video isn’t getting laughter your heart drops into your stomach. One of the worst feelings in the world is turning off a so called “funny” youtube clip halfway through because all you’re getting is sympathy laughs. Anyways, I started the video, and it’s getting no visceral reaction from our 50-year-old friend. I watched alongside, trying to keep it together. Even though it was my second time watching it in under ten minutes, it was still just as funny. When the video ended, he turned to me with a blank expression and said “Huh. I guess I don’t really get it.” Easily a top 10 most awkward moment for me. I slowly turned my monitor back towards me and said “Uhhh, I have to make a phone call now if you could excuse me.”
The other long, uncomfortable conversation I’ve had with a coworker happened a few weeks ago. It was a Wednesday morning, and I was fresh off of a night out with the Justin Bieber Appreciation Society/a girl I’ve been seeing on and off for a few months. I rolled into work hungover twenty minutes late, and a slightly younger coworker (ballpark him at 36) came over to my desk and said “What’s going on, bro?”
He always calls me some variation of bro when he sees me. Brother. Big Dog. Homie if he’s really feeling saucy. I fucking hate it, but I put up with it because I’m a cube lemming. So I respond with a not so nice “Not too much. Had a sleepover last night and I’m a little tired. You know how that goes, right?” I wasn’t thinking. I hadn’t had my coffee yet and I had basically just told this guy not only to go fuck himself, but also that I had a little unprotected sex with a girl from the bar. The “You know how that goes, right?” line was me being a little too sarcastic for 9:30 in the morning, and I think he got the hint that I didn’t want to talk to him because all he said was “Uhhh, yeah. Gotta run.” This guy hasn’t had a one night stand in probably 10 years. I can’t be talking about chasing ass and getting drunk with anyone in my office and it’s maddening. I’ve alienated myself simply because my filter doesn’t work and I have the humoristic tendencies of a 17-year-old.
Maybe I’m better off for it. I don’t really get spoken to anymore unless I fucked something up or to get a drive-by “Thanks for sending that over. Huge help.” My job pays the bills, so I guess I can’t complain. I just wish I had some people to shoot the shit with is all..
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