Saturday, August 15, 2009

Standing in de Nile

I promised you all an update on the Egyptian contingent, and the time has come to deliver.

As I have no idea how to pronounce most of the names, I have begun labeling them with appropriate monikers.

We have:

1) Lady-who-keeps-weird-food-in-our-refrigerator

2) Man-of-incessant-and-too-cheerful-greetings

3) Young-man-whose-key-never-works

4) Man-who-is-always-chatting-online

Some of these descriptions match more than one person...I've learned that making eye contact is a Bad Idea. It just encourages more conversation or ... other things.

Young-man-whose-key-never-works was an enigma for quite a while. He always smiles (fine) but his key never works (as his name describes). I'm always having to reset it. I found out yesterday the reason why. He hadn't thought to tell me that he is sharing the room with another person. So when one of their keys stops working, they would bring it up. I would double check that they were in the room, then replace the key set, rather than adding to it. (general practice) This would mean that the other key would stop working, so the two men would constantly be coming up, getting their key redone, but in the process, voiding out the other person's key.

As for Guest Number Four, he has been known to kick other people off the computer in order to chat with the famfam. Inexorably, John Smith or Betty Brown will come along to check their email or print a boarding pass, and will take a seat on the nearby couch/bench thingy. Computer use is governed by a number of behaviors:

1) I'll just keep checking back and see if they're done with it later (not too serious mode)

2) I'll wait until they're done (patient mode)

3) I'll hover, that way they know someones there (passive aggressive mode #1)

4) I'll ask them how long they're going to be (passive aggressive mode #2)

5) I'll say "Are you going to be on much longer?" in impatient tones (aggressive mode)

The only 2 that work on GN4 are 4 and 5. If the person starts setting themselves up for failure with 1-3, I have to decide whether or not to take action. Because word has been passed down from on high that they can't spend more than 10 minutes on the computer, I wait until 10 minutes have passed, then it usually goes something like this:

Me: Sir? SIR? Excuse me, SIR!!

Him: (looks up) yes?

Me: Do you mind if this guest checks their email?

Him: Oh...sorry....sorry...only...One minute! Sorry...

Me: Don't worry about it.. reason to be sorry...

Incessant-greetings-man is annoying. In order to not get into conversations with them I try to avoid extended greetings such as:

How are you today?
Oh, I'm good. How are you?
Good...veeerry good.

Often I'll just give a quick smile of acknowledgement and look down, as though I'm very busy. (And I AM busy....with my webcomic) Incessant greetings man, however, does not like this. He feels it is his DUTY to teach me to be more friendly, to him in specific. After this incomplete (to him) greeting, he will try to get the extended one by asking me how I am. I will just smile and ignore him. He will then come up to the actual desk and repeats his question, then tries to give me a weird sort of lecture on how to exchange pleasantries. Uggh.


I go to my aforementioned male coworker for tips. ('re a guy....) His advice? Just tell them you're busy, they'll understand.
UnderSTAND? Giving personal details about my life was not in the job description. Otherwise, it is the shallow sort of greeting that we in the world have come to expect. (Future blog topic...stay tuned) Either way, I rebel!
He then gave his personal commentary on the situation. That if he squinted really hard, I was "kinda cute" and that they had probably heard all sorts of things about "American Women".


With this in mind, the following happened later that day:
2 of the men came up with large purses. They wanted to know if they were leather. (how would I know? Feminine intuition? I've never been a purse-as-more-than-a-place-to-put-your-wallet-when-they-don't-give-you-pockets kinda girl)
Me: they usually have tags that will tell you....(begins to touch one of the purses, looking inside for a tag)

Man: Cause I want leather, I like to please the ladies...

Me: (drops purse like hot potato) aaahh...well, I don't see tags, so I can't tell

Other Man: what about mine?

Me: I don't know, I can't tell

Other Man: but leather for the ladies...!

Man: She doesn't know!

(They leave)

Me: (in my head) I don't think being leather would make any difference with those purses....

Ok, stay tuned, I've got a lot of backlog to post :)


lifeshighway said...

Where are the men who walk around offering rich buttery leather saddles to "the ladies". That approach would work on me.

Boots and Saddles 4 Mel said...

I like the part about if he really squinted, then you were "kinda cute". HA! As if a leather purse could make up for that!