Monday, October 27, 2008

Welcome Irritation

A few days ago, I saw a coworker for the first time in a few years. I asked where he'd been, and he answered, "I had cancer." He told me about the special issuance process he went through with the FAA to get his medical certificate. We talked a few minutes, and then he walked away.

I've known the guy since the early eighties. I've always taken him to be a nice guy, but sheesh, he likes to talk. And talk. And talk. People have feigned having to pee to get away from him. Yep, me too. But that doesn't always work. When we worked at the same base in the eighties, he'd actually follow me into the bathroom. Yep. I'd be standing at the urinal, and he'd stand behind me, continuing his story.

The guy has been, safe to say, one of the most notorious motormouths in our company.

On the day I saw him again, though, he didn't have much to say. He walked around slowly, and didn't seem interested in starting a conversation. His motormouth spirit seemed severely dulled.

It made me sad to think cancer had done that to him. I wanted him to be a pain in the ass again, to drive folks crazy again, and to be the same ol' motormouth we'd all loved and avoided.

A couple of days ago, he sat down by me as I checked my email. Just like his old self, he seemed oblivious to the fact that I was engaged in something other than talking. Just like his old self, he went on and on and on. Just like his old self, he crammed a remarkable number of words into one breath.

And, just like before, that silly little smile of his was back.

After the better part of an hour had gone by, and I'd given up on the idea of doing anything involved on the computer, I decided that I needed to use the restroom.

He didn't follow me.

Walking to the restroom, I felt irritated as hell, and damned happy to feel that way.


Debby said...

Man. I wonder if people say that about me? Although I haven't followed anyone into the bathroom to continue blabbing.

Hal Johnson said...

Well Debby, even if you had, at least you women usually have a stall to hide in. It's hard to hide in a urinal. I've never tried, mind you. Not that I remember.

Mary Paddock said...

Motor mouthing and having a lot to say are two different things, Deb. I'll be that's not your problem.

At least that's what my husband tells me from behind the bathroom door. Does it make you feel better too? :)

Hal-- Glad the guy is okay now. I'd take a chatterbox over the alternative any day.

Pam said...

Welcome irritation, indeed!

As for the bathroom chatting... I haven't had any personal space (including bathroom) in almost eleven years or since Connor and Sam became mobile!

The zone of privacy is history!

I tell them to bother me in the shower or when I'm in MY bathroom only in an emergency... them EVERYTHING falls into that category!

Redlefty said...

I'm pretty sure if a dude followed me to the bathroom there'd be an ass-whoopin'.

Algernon said...

A fine comb, this appreciation business...

quid said...

Positive sigh. Even with the prodigal son returning to my nest, we each have our own bathroom. Thus, I never have to worry. Privacy, I've got it.

It was a rough day in the Surgical Waiting Room of The Major Cancer Center yesterday. The universe conspired to have 3 patients with facial melanoma checking in with one 14 year old boy, whose form of cancer was not evident. The Major Cancer Center rarely treats adolescents. It was a tough combination. The 14 year old was trying so hard to not notice the obvious signs of melanoma.

Some Friday mornings break my heart. Others are uplifting.