BioBooksAwardsComing NextContactBlogFun StuffHome

Friday, April 15, 2005

Comic Karma?

When the same thing happens over and over, there's usually some kind of message in it for us--something that we need to learn to advance our lessons as human beings. This morning, I started contemplating one of the things that seems to be repeating for me. Loud people. I should probably say LOUD People, since they may as well be shouting.

It started when I began working in Technical Publications. The woman who sat on the other side of the cube wall from me was obnoxiously loud. And she'd make these theatrical kinds of noises, like "Wah!" or "Uff da!" out of the blue and startle me. (Uff da is a Norwegian thing. You hear it a lot in MN.) She didn't bother me at all for the first three years, but after that, the noise just started grating on me.

I eventually moved to Maintenance Programs, and although I was still on the same floor, I was as far away from her as I could get and it was nice and quiet there. Maint Prgms was split up and each of us became part of a different engineering department depending on fleet, but the us three quiet women still sat together.

Then 9/11 happened and one of the women was laid off. The other was moved up to fifth floor and one of the Tech Writers picked the cube next to me as his new home. OMG, he was (and is) so incredibly loud and it's constant. He can't stand quiet for ten minutes without picking up the phone and calling someone. If someone walks by his cube, he calls out something and tries to get a conversation going. And he talks loudly--very, very loudly. The only time it's quiet is when he's away from his desk. This too started grating on me after a year or two.

But then the universe became much, much crueler. This is the reason why I think there must be some lesson in it for me because otherwise, WHY?

They moved LOUD vendor guy in one cube away from me. He's not an NWA employee, he works for some company that supplies interior components for our airplanes. The interiors engineers are on another floor. This man is quite literally the loudest human being I've ever been near. I can hear him walk when he turns down the hallway from the elevators and that's half the length of the entire floor! And when he gets on the phone.... shudder! Apparently, he believes instead of modern technology, that he is talking into a tin can with a piece of string connecting it to another tin can and that he needs to TALK REALLY LOUDLY SO THAT THE PERSON HE'S CONVERSING WITH CAN HEAR HIM.

It's irritating most of the time, but when it drives me insane is when it's my lunch time and I'm trying to write. Like yesterday. First of all, this guy usually doesn't stomp himself in until some time after 10am. Usually it's after 11. I go to lunch at 11:30. So when did he pick up the phone yesterday? Like 11:31.

Do I need to say that I wrote almost nothing in TOD during lunch?

I have ear plugs. I had them in. They don't help. I want a ear mufflers like the guys directing airplanes into the gate wear. You know, those big huge headset things.

So what do I have to look forward to today? More of LOUD vendor guy, no doubt about that. And lucky me, the chatty Tech Writer is back after having the last four days off. I'll now get to hear about his week spent hunting at least half a dozen times--if I'm lucky and don't have to hear it more than that. And he tells stories the same way my dad does, with excruciating, unnecessary details added in along the lines of what everyone had for lunch and what time they woke up, etc. I don't like hunting and I don't like hearing about him killing and maiming birds. I don't get a choice. Sigh.

Now I figure if I can learn whatever it is that the universe is trying to teach me, I can get away from these obscenely loud people. At first I thought maybe my lesson was tolerance, but I don't think that's right. I think three years of it not bothering me is pretty darn tolerant. But I'm not sure what else it could be. All I know is that I need it to be quieter while I'm working--either for NWA or while I'm at lunch writing.

And yeah, I know how lucky I am to have a job, even surrounded by these people. I work in the airline industry. I've been there through round after round of layoffs and bumping and it's starting again as we close more hangars. But man, I'm actually dreading going to work today only because of the decibel level. There's no cube in my department I can move to that's far enough to let me escape the noise.

End of complaining.

MN Weather Report: 48 degrees.