Thursday, September 29, 2011

The rest of the day should go smoother

My very first day at my current job began much as you would expect it to begin when working for a Fortune 500 company: I walked into the main lobby and spoke to the guy sitting at the front desk. Or at least I tried to talk to him, but I was shushed. He was listening to General Conference on his computer, and apparently, I had walked in during a really riveting part*.

*Having listened to more than a few General Conferences over the years, I'm not sure what could have been so captivating four months after it was originally broadcast. I mean, it's not like when in 1978 God changed his mind about black people.

So I patiently waited until he had heard the part he needed to hear and was free to give me his full and undivided attention. In the intervening months, I have seen him maybe once or twice and interacted with him not at all, since my office is in a different building, and if I go in his building, I go in through the back door.

This morning, however, I had just finished a meeting (OK, fine, I was just chatting with Aaron about things not work related) and stopped in the restroom on my way back to my building. As I'm washing my hands, who should walk out of the stall but the front desk guy, whom we'll call "Jamie."

I'm not typically chatty in the restroom--it's a get in, do your business, get out kind of environment as far as I'm concerned. But since General Conference wasn't on, Jamie seemed to want to talk. He tried kicking off the conversation with some small talk:

"Well that makes things a little better."

By "that," I could only infer he meant what he had just "accomplished" in the stall. I steadfastly focused on washing my hands.

Undeterred, he continued:

"The rest of the day should go smoother now."

Uninterested in how this act would lubricate the remaining hours in the day, I remained focused on rinsing my hands and began drying them so I could make an exit.

"Is your day going OK?"

If by "going OK," he was asking whether or not I had already "made things a little better," I wasn't in the mood to satisfy his curiosity or to clarify his intent with the question.

"So far, so good," I said with my back turned, heading for the exit.

I was relieved that he didn't cut the hand washing short in order to continue the conversation.