I just couldn’t help myself at work today. It all started out very serious. It was the kind of busy that you get lost in your head and forget there are other people in the room, so by about lunchtime everybody hates you already because they think you’re ignoring them when you don’t respond to any stimulation that doesn’t take place between your head and the screen.
Then, of course, when you get lost in what you’re doing, you also don’t notice that you probably have a number of irritating habits that are unbeknownst to yourself but very obvious to others. Given that I live with knuckle clickers and gum chewers I do try to monitor whatever it is I might be doing to tick people off, but I can never quite figure it. Today though, I managed to chew through the top of a pen, and without thinking about it, I then put the top of the pen in my mouth and started to blow through it (You do that kind of thing when you’re losing a battle with an excel spreadsheet). It was only after a few minutes that I realised I had unwittingly made myself a little whistle and that I was now whistling a non-tune around the office.
I guess because nobody was talking to me anymore, there was nobody to tell me, but I didn’t really care, after all, they were all sitting around clicking pens and making tapping noises and talking way too loudly on the phone, so I just stopped and silently felt a bit smug that I had inadvertently invented a utensil to get on peoples nerves. It reminded me of a list I once read on how to people off. For those of you interested in doing so, here’s my edited version of it:
HOW TO TICK PEOPLE OFF
1. Leave the copy machine set to reduce 200%, extra dark, 17 inch paper, 99 copies.
2. Specify that your drive-through order is "TO-GO."
3. If you have a glass eye, tap on it occasionally with your pen while talking to others.
4. Stomp on little plastic ketchup packets.
5.Insist on keeping your car windshield wipers running in all weather conditions "to keep them tuned up."
6. Reply to everything someone says with "that's what you think."
7. Practice making fax and modem noises.
8. Finish all your sentences with the words "in accordance with prophesy."
9. Signal that a conversation is over by clamping your hands over your ears and grimacing.
10. Adjust the tint on your TV so that all the people are green, and insist to others that you "like it that way."
11. Staple pages in the middle of the page.
12. Publicly investigate just how slowly you can make a croaking noise.
13. dont use any punctuation
14. Buy a large quantity of orange traffic cones and reroute whole streets.
15. Repeat the following conversation a dozen times.
"DO YOU HEAR THAT?"
"Never mind, it's gone now."
16. Try playing the William Tell Overture by tapping on the bottom of your chin. When nearly done, announce "No, wait, I messed it up," and repeat.
17. Ask people what gender they are.
18. While making presentations, occasionally bob your head like a parakeet.
19. Sit in your front yard pointing a hair dryer at passing cars to see if they slow down.