Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cornered by Blather

This "muse" was from several years ago when I worked in a cubicle and I would get frequent passers-by.  Nowadays, I have my own office with a full-fledged door!

I wanted to post this in light of today's Dilbert


One of the toughest situations I face every day is being cornered by a blathering idiot.

The other day at a social gathering, a bag of hot air blows over my way and kicks up a conversation. "How ya doin' Rocky?"

I barely nod my head and begin to open my mouth to respond, but in that split second he starts up his bagpipe. "Yeah that's great! So my son made the football team. Yep, he's only a freshman and he made first team. We're real proud of Roy. Gonna be an all-American."

The bagpipe continues to issue steam. Every fifth sentence, I attempt to interject my own comment. "When I was in college, I played ..." Bagpipe blows louder for several more minutes. I try again, "Oh yeah, I remember when ..." Bagpipe shouts out to a passer-by and then says to me, "What were you sayin'?" "I was just going to say that I remember ..." "That reminds me" and the Bagpipe is going full-steam ahead.

Ten minutes later, I shout out to an imaginary friend and say goodbye to Bagpipe "I'll catch you later Bo!"

The key to dealing with a blathering idiot is to head them off before they gather steam. Usually, thinking up a good excuse to suddenly leave a conversation is vital to extricating youself from the corner.

When you're at your office desk and a blathering idiot enters, you can accomodate them for a few minutes and then pretend a meeting notice from your calendar just popped up. "Uuuhoop, sorry Brian, gotta run to a meeting. I'll talk to you later." Then you proceed to an office on the other side of the building and hide for 30 minutes.

The unexpected cell phone call will work too. You can pretend it's on vibrate and act like someone just shot you in the hip. "Oh man! Don't you hate it when the phone shocks you! Let's see who this is. Ooo! I need to take this call. Excuse me." Then you get up and rush out of the office like it's on fire. Head to the nearest exit and call your wife in case the blathering idiot follows you.

Sometimes you can instant message an ally to rescue you. Have him come over and pretend that he needs you to sign some important papers at his desk. Then promptly excuse youself from the blathering idiot and run like h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

If you fail to come up with excuses and extrication plans, then you will be forced to endure long, boring conversations. When the blathering idiot finally runs out of hot air, you will then have to endure several minutes of awkard silence interjected with several concluding remarks. "Well, that's one heckava story Jim." At this point, Jim is supposed to say, "well, I better get back to work" but no ... he lingers like a noxious fart. You may try to wave it away, but it spreads and endures. And with each passing moment, more and more brain cells are expiring. Eventually you marshall the courage to stand up and pretend like you're leaving. This causes Jim to release his grip. You're free.

Finally Jim leaves and you can breath freely again. While you can, you begin to jot down ideas for rescuing yourself the next time a blathering idiot corners you.

No comments:

Post a Comment