Another week begins as I arrive at my desk. I go through the automatic routine of unpacking my backpack, moving the piles of junk out of the way, looking for an area vacant of papers to place my overflowing coffee cup. Have I mentioned coffee is in the top five gifts from the gods? Well, it is and the quicker you realize the extreme importance of coffee, the happier we all will be. Anyway, it is time to start the day. Powering on the ball and chain computer I will be tied to the next few hours, I work on getting my piles of forgotten work into some semblance of organization to be pushed off another day. Then heavily sitting my ass into the confines of the torture device known as the office chair I am ready; welcome to a Monday morning.
I am still clearing the fog out of my head when I see someone hanging over the top of my cube. If only I could ignore them and they would go away. That is what you do with pests, right? Ignore them or spray them in the face with insecticide, and I don’t think that falls within office protocol. I should be so lucky…
“So, how was your weekend?”
Seriously? They must realize that it is way too early for a stupid question. With that one inane question, I feel my IQ dropping a few notches on the scale. It isn’t like these people actually know me outside of work. They are not even my Facebook friend, which is a true sign of knowing me, right? They don’t know my family, where I live, or what happens to me when I leave the office. The question ranks up there with “So, how’s married life?” on the scale of stupid icebreakers. Such superficial, rhetorical questions are a pitiful way to segue into what they really want, which is for me to do something for them. Well, as it is Monday morning, I am having no part of this office etiquette.
Maintaining my blank look, I run through all the responses that could potentially derail the coming work request. Which one should we pull out of the mental grab bag today?
- “Oh, my weekend was great! I found out on Saturday from the neighbor’s wife that the baby isn’t mine as she feared. You know what a relief that is?”
- “Honestly, I don’t know. I went out after work Friday on a drinking and coke filled binge. I don’t remember any of it. I was just getting ready to scan Facebook and YouTube to see if I enjoyed myself”
- “Not bad! Hey, I am having a little issue with my lab. What do you know about cooking meth?”
- “Exhausting! Do you realize how difficult it is to make a buck when your pimp takes his cut? The things we do to make the mortgage payments, I am telling you.”
- “PORN! That’s how it went! Me, this new lube I picked up, and high speed internet. I was in heaven for the past three days. Though, I might have over done it some” (shifting the front of your pants)
- “Why do you ask? Seriously, that picture on the news looks NOTHING like me. Don’t you dare tell anyone that is does! I was nowhere near that store. ”
- “Ever see the movie Hangover? It was nothing like that. I sat at home, played video games, and ate pizza. Well, except the whole monkey thing. I really like the monkey.”
- “Ask your wife. She really needs to be the one that explains it to you.”
- “Wrote my manifesto, cleaned my guns, and thought about how much I hate my job.”
Any of these responses will completely change the way my week starts off. It may not always change it for the better but I can guarantee it will change. Who needs a boring start of the week? Live a little! Let’s see how quickly we can be introduced to the new HR associate. I have a few questions for that little hottie. This might just be the ice-breaker that I need to make my move.
As you realize that they are still hovering, you mumble something like “It was pretty uneventful.” Any boring answer just might get this over with and allow you to get back to your coffee. However, if you are faced with the Monday morning situation and feel a little uncertain about using any of the above responses (or the mundane canned response) , feel free to respond in your best Gordon Ramsay impersonation and say “Piss off!”
Until next time…
Related Post: Five Winning Ice-breakers For The Office