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May God have mercy on your ears if you go to work and forget your headphones. You’re going to hear sounds you’re unaccustomed to. Sounds that are usually drowned out by Disney songs and Pandora commercials. Some noises are unavoidable all together. Apparently it’s neither socially acceptable nor professional to wear headphones to the bathroom or your weekly staff meetings. So you hear things. Things that you can’t un-hear. Things that will literally haunt your nightmares. Things that will motivate you to contemplate terrible, unforgivable things. Read Part I here.
1. Susie Sniffs-a-lot
It’s a regular Monday morning. It’s 10:00am and you’re on your second cup of coffee, still trying to reach “functioning human being” status. Who would schedule a staff meeting at this hour? On this day? And Jesus H. Christ, Susie, do you have pneumonia? The year long flu? Have you ever heard of a tissue? Seriously, the only staff meeting you’ve been able to sleep through is the one when Susie took her incessant sniffling to Cabo for a week. God bless the mortal soul on the plane next to her — hope you brought headphones.
2. Carl Cough-ford
This guy is Susie’s partner in crime. He’ll get you when you least expect it. Every time there’s a second of silence, every time a presenter takes a brief gasp of air, he’ll attack. And he’s so old he couldn’t care less about the spreading of germs. In fact, I don’t even think they knew what germs were when he was growing up. Just make sure you grab the farthest seat from him in the conference room. You can escape the germs but the heavy exhales will haunt you for fortnights.
3. Tapping Topanga
I don’t mean to stereotype, but I will. This is usually a lady. A lady Gchatter. Or just a lady who writes novels in Microsoft Word. She averages about 342 words per minute, and her seven inch nails sounds like a hammer hitting a steel rail. In fact, she types so fast you’re convinced that she’s not even writing coherent sentences. I can’t even think at the pace she types, which is probably for the best, because I have some disturbing thoughts.
4. E.S.L. Ester and Ethel
One of my nearby cubicle neighbors grew up in Southern California after her parents emigrated from Mexico. She has a best friend in the office who is of a similar background. Either way, they love to talk to each other in Spanish, but not all the time. Just parts of stories or when they’re talking about someone nearby. It’s been almost a year and I have yet to tell her I’m actually pretty good at speaking Spanish. I mean, I got by in Spain last year on a world tour, and I know more than the word “cerveza.” It would be extremely entertaining if they only talked about other people in the office, but I kind of hate it when I figure out they’re talking about me. SORRY ESTER, BUT I’M NOT SORRY I was late to the staff meeting because I lost track of time creeping on Facebook.
5. Sally Shredder
This is 2013, right? I just wanted to make sure, because I honestly didn’t know shredders still existed until I started here. And now I’m reminded every 17 minutes because Sally feels the need to print off every email she gets and then feels said emails are important and private enough to shred. The shredders are for official use only, Sally. Get with the times and earn to work an inbox.
6. Laughing Larry
I’m going to come clean with y’all. This is me. I’m a sick puppy. Recently, I was informed that if you type a comedian’s name into Pandora there are endless one-liners on a sweet, sweet playlist. When I try to stifle a laugh, it comes off as a giggle. And it sounds weird. And I would feel bad if I wasn’t surround by everyone else’s annoying tendencies. I mean, if I wasn’t drowning you all out, I wouldn’t be giggling.
7. Stan Speakerphone
Do I have to explain this one? Jesus, man, get your junk checked out and use a headset.