Last week a disgruntled me posted the following on my Facebook page.
My cubicle is in a high traffic area where one path leads to the pantry in one direction and to the bathrooms in the other. There is a constant and I do mean CONSTANT stream of passers-by. For the most part, they blend into the white noise of office life and I do not notice them.
But I then I started hearing the shuffle and it’s not the Cupid Shuffle.
This is someone new to the floor. I know they are new because I know I was not hearing the regular sound of loudly shuffling feet until a couple of weeks ago. They are not someone I work directly with so I do not know who they are, or what unit they work with with.
My first thought upon hearing it was the person was tired. We have all had those days where we are just exhausted and can barely put one foot in front of the other. I was forgiving of it that first day. After a couple of days I realized, no, this is the way this person walks – period. Remember where I said I sit. Think on how exceptional this person’s walk must be to stand out so.
Shuffluffagus™ (I know I’m wrong – shoot me), passes my cubicle hourly on average. I hear them before they approach, as they pass, and after they’ve gone by. The majority of those who also have cubicles in the path wear headphones/earbuds. I envy them. I do. I cannot sit in my headphones/earbuds all day. I can barely get through a multi hour training session without constant adjustments of my headgear because they irritate. Not that it would help for I have conducted virtual trainings, been in virtual meetings and have heard them pass. Muted, but still noticeable. In a seven hour workday – that is a lot of shuffling.
In my head, I often hear my southern grandmother yell “Pick up your dang FEET!” when they pass.
Each time they pass by on their way to the pantry or bathroom it is distracting. My head unconsciously pops up most of the times they pass. Which is its own frustration for even the ten-fifteen seconds I’m pulled out of my concentration. Fine, it’s Shuffluffagus, I refocus on my work but then a minute or three later here comes the return trip. Then a respite that lasts anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour or so, before wash-rinse-repeat shuffle.
Because the distraction is enough to make me raise my head, or at least turn it, sometimes there is momentary eye contact with them. I know me; RBF -Resting Bitch Face to those not familiar with the acronym- is my norm. It’s how God made my face. However, I know on occasion the constant distraction has taken my face from resting to active. I also know from the way they have taken to not look at me now and again means that active face has been seen.
I genuinely thought it was just me being overly sensitive, and as I posted earlier this year, my fuse has been shorter than usual. What can I do? Nothing – their walk is their walk. So I bite my lip, try not to look up each time their shuffle distracts me and bear it.
Then this exchange happened [I am the blue text aligned to the right.]:
I wrote down the name “Shuffluffagus” and showed her. Her peal of giggles made it worth it. I was so grateful to know that it was not just me in my misery I threw emotional confetti. No, it doesn’t stop the annoyance of the Shuffluffagus, but clearly Misery really does love Company, because having someone to commiserate why I want to throat punch Shuffluffagus has lessened the desire to do so. Slightly.
Day 7 of 31 – Come see how the rest of us are slicing it up today!
15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers