Friday, April 13, 2007

Do You Have To Let It Linger?

Sometimes the pressure to be entertaining.

I don't mean from you all, of course. I mean from a certain type of person. I call them LTLs, short for Linger Too Longs.

You know the type, they stop by your cubicle for a quick chat, you engage in some witty banter about something or other, you both chuckle, and then instead of following Normal Office Interaction Code and walking away (maybe throwing out a ("See ya!"), they stand there. Waiting.


So you try to keep the coversation going maybe with a "So...what else is going on?" but they have nothing. Nothing interesting to say. No funny anecdotes about their day. They just stand there and wait for you to carry on the conversation when really this little chat is past its expiration date and both parties should just move on.

And still they linger.

I want to say "I'm sorry, I forgot my top hat and cane at home...maybe I can entertain you a little later on! Show's over! Nothing to see here!" but instead I usually just kind of turn away, back towards my computer, and will them to leave.

This type of person has a phone equivalent, the person who calls and has NOTHING TO SAY. Who hasn't been through this

You: Hello?
LTL: Hey
You: Hey, what's up?
LTL: Oh, nothing
You: Oh....what are you up to?
LTL: I don't know, nothing much

This is the prime reason I screen. Well that and I can never find my cell phone in the cavernous depths of my handbag in time to answer the phone.

In any case, some people just lack that internal voice that says "You have nothing to say, wrap it up" and to that person I dedicate this Friday morning bitchery.


LooLoo said...

That is why I hate the phone.

How about the opposite, who wont linger and say nothing but stand there and talk to you about their Aunt Bea's Toenail or some shit for an hour.

Nicky said...

I have developed a serious aversion to the phone as well. I used to know a phone linger-er. It annoyed the hell out of me. I felt the need to sit on the phone and perform for this person like a circus clown cuz THEY HAD NOTHING TO SAY BUT WOULDN'T HANG UP. Which makes me way uncomfortable. I agree with the above comment, too. I screen my phonecalls cuz I have a number of friends who won't even let you get a word in edgewise to explain, "Um, I'm at a funeral, can I call you back?". So instead, you have to block off your entire night to hear about the difficulty of their deciding between mustard or mayo. Ugh.

Libby said...

Hey... Sarah. What's going on? ....

Sarah said...

no you didn't!

Peg said...

and the congregation said "Amen"

Matt said...

Count yourself lucky to never get a voicemail from me. I admit it, I am a LTL! BUT I also am a LWTLVM: Leaves way too long voicemails. Voicemails from me are like a conversation with me, I will ask questions, "Hey its matt, how you doing?" then I will go onto diatribes about why I called, and then at the END of the call wrap it up with a summary of the message. LOL-- sorry!

Sarah said...

ha i am the worst message-listener. as soon as i hear the voice of whoever is leaving the message and figure out who it is I delete it without even listening to what they say. then i just call them back like "you called?".

i'm lying, i hardly ever call people back.

why do i have friends?

Princess Extraordinaire said...

It's annoying - especialy whe you're done (clearly) and there's akward silense for oh about 30 seconds and the idiot wont move

Rebecca said...

Totally work with a person like that. He often injects himself into conversations that he's not a part of as well. He used to sit next to me, one cube over - and if one of my friends came by, even though we'd be talkign really softly, he'd stand over the cube or walk in and interject. My girlfriends would always be like "God? God - can you hear me???" ;)

Perfectly Plump Preppy said...

Your post reminds me of the advice I give to friends who have to make speeches at weddings,etc. I always say, "If you can't be funny, be quick." I think that would be the rule with phone messages and cubicle drop ins.

san said...

OMG, I SO know which people you are talking about... it gets so awkward after a while, but they still wait and say nothing... WEIRD!