In one of the more misguided social-distancing efforts, tables have been removed from the break room, and chairs have been removed from the tables that are left. That would be all fine and good, but the truth of the matter is that it forces people to sit together (even when they wouldn’t have, before) and it increases the amount of circulation between groups. If there’s no chair at the “regular” table, people move on to contaminating other tables, and groups of people they wouldn’t normally have contact with.
It’s an introvert’s nightmare.
And that is how I found myself at the same table as one of those people. I don’t like her. She doesn’t like me. Neither of us has managed to live up to the other’s expectations. Specifically, I expect competence, and she expects a fun social experience.
She’s the kind of girl where every man she meets is Mr. Right until he’s Mr. You Bastard, and she has the Facebook feed to prove it. I’m not on Facebook. I still have to hear it. How can anyone post their own relationship-related diagnoses… on their own page… under their own name… on the internet… and then be pissed off that people know?
I sit down and put on head phones. She sits down and absorbs herself in her phone. Neither one of us says a word.
All said and done, it’s probably the best conversation I’ve ever had with her.
Until the next person sat down.
I was happily minding my own business when their conversation apparently takes a turn.
The Future Mrs. You Bastard shouts, “BUTT PLUG?!!
Yup. Butt plug. In a crowded break room. Loudly enough that I can hear her through my headphones.
More than that, I can hear the immediate silence afterward. And the uncomfortable laughter that inevitably follows the phrase “Butt plug” any time it is shouted at volume in polite company.
I take off my earphones.
Nothing good ever comes of sitting near that girl.
The Unfortunate Creature who brought it up is now blushing bright red. She’s stammering out an explanation. Why, no. As a matter of fact, the Future Mrs. You Bastard had never heard of such a thing. And there are questions. (Mostly centered around what and how and why.) The spotlight makes it painfully obvious that Unfortunate Creature is also an introvert. She’s beginning to hyperventilate from the sudden attention. And…
She Googles it.
Thou shalt not Google “Butt Plug” In Thy Workplace Break Room.
And then–either to save Unfortunate Creature, or to save us all from Google Images, a Genuine Extrovert halfway across the room starts talking about tails.
If Personnel asks, I never took off my headphones and I don’t know a thing.