February 8, 2008

STYMIED!

Posted in Office Hijinks at 7:20 pm by devilwearsbrooksbrothers

Have you ever been sitting in front of the TV with the remote in your hand, when you nod off, drop the remote and are awakened by the sounds of a television show wholly unfamiliar to you.

Or maybe you are like my dad, and you fall asleep in your recliner and then your wife pries the channel changer out of your grip and you wake up exclaiming, “Hey, I was watching that.”

Or maybe you have gotten so fat from holiday eating and not sticking with your new year’s resolutions that you don’t even feel it when you are sitting on the remote. Then, when you lean forward to get a handful of popcorn or chocolate or some other tasty television-watching snack, your shifting weight changes the channel for you.

Regardless, you are sitting there, watching one thing and then suddenly you aren’t. And the switch is never a subtle one. You are never watching, Rock of Love II, for example, and then suddenly watching The Girls Next Door. That sort of switch one might not even notice until the program comes back from commercial.

No, typically the switch is quite severe. One minute you are catching the E! True Hollywood Story of Eighties Child Stars and the next you are watching a History Channel biopic on the real Oscar Schindler.

Well, imagine that feeling of complete confusion and multiply it by 1000 and then you may begin to comprehend what it is like sitting through a meeting with New Boss and the Oracle (formerly known as one half of the tag-team duo His Two Bosses).

Now, you know, I am pretty good at tuning out during meetings, but still being able to take away all the important and necessary details. Well, the secret to this parlor trick is training your brain to mostly listen for key trigger words when others are talking off topic. For example, when the group starts talking about the formerly undefeated New England Patriots, I tune out and start thinking about, oh, I don’t know, what Jerkface is doing at that very moment, all the while listening for someone to say, “but back to the point,” which is when I will turn my full attention back to the meeting.

But New Boss and the Oracle aren’t so kind as to provide transitions from their off-topic tangents. No. Just like when I lean forward to grab my glass of wine and then suddenly I am no longer watching a Law & Order re-run, one minute I will be writing out a grocery list the very next minute everyone will be staring at me waiting for my opinion.

There we were, discussing relevant, important topics to the firm and without a moment’s hesitation, we were talking about the Oracle’s sons. Then, almost as if he didn’t hear the Oracle, New Boss continued on with the discussion at hand. And, as if the Oracle had never broken in with the off-topic comment, he responded back.

I blinked rapidly a few times. Was I the only one that could hear the off-topic banter? I tried to catch someone else’s eyes to shoot the what-the-heck-is-wrong-with-the-Oracle-look, but no one was obliging.

Then it happened again. This tangent was a bit longer, with more people involved. But then just as quickly and without any transition, it was back to the reason we had called this meeting. They hadn’t even finished the tangent topic. Nor was there a pause in conversation. One minute someone is telling a story about a guy in New Jersey that wrote the “F-word” word on a parking ticket, the very next sentence is a question about end of the year billables.

I left the meeting feeling nauseated and the beginnings of a migraine. But mostly I just felt sad that I would no longer get to spend those meetings drafting new blogs; I couldn’t keep up when I was paying attention. There is no way I can fake note take here.

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2 Comments »

  1. Rockin' Roxette said,

    “Nobody’s Listening” by Linkin Park! ;-P

  2. Tim said,

    “Nobody’s Listening,” indeed.


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