Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Space Invaders, Sprinklers and Punishers

Listen up people, is it too much to ask that when you speak to me, you kindly observe the following simple rules? 

1. Thou shall not invade my personal space. 
2. Thou shall not slaver your spittle all over my face or on my person. 
3. Thou shall not use my arm or any part of my body as a punching bag.

The Space Invader: I was in a meeting last week with people I had never met. Before I sat down, there was a need to scan the table and position myself next to somebody who won’t ask to borrow my pen, who won’t lean over to read my Twitter messages with me and more importantly, who won’t invade my personal space like people - especially car dealers tend to do when queuing up in the bank to pay their URA taxes.
                                     
I perched next to David because he looked harmless enough. Ten minutes into the meeting and there was a shoulder tap. It was David and turning round, to my horror, he hadn’t just invaded my personal space. He had broken into my face and practically had his tongue down my throat.

My recoil didn’t quite go to plan because he leant further over like it was a cat and mouse game and short of falling off the chair, I steadied myself as he rolled his eyes at me then went back to the presentation. Hmm.

The Sprinkler: Months ago and in another meeting, I sat next to The Sprinkler. Even when he was not talking, you could see the blobs of saliva building up in the corner of his mouth that when he opened mouth to speak, the first three to four blobs were always heavy, they didn’t projectile that far and merely ended up on his note pad. It was what followed that did the sprinkling. The sprinklets flew out of his mouth that there was just need to raise our arms to fend them off. 

Just when I presumed he was done, he talks again and I saw the blob leave his mouth and in slow mo that honestly, I could have gotten up and relocated myself to the far end of the table before it struck. But it whizzed through the air, my eyes following it right until it landed on the bridge of my nose.

And this is where it got embarrassing. He too saw it land on my nose and I read what he was thinking. 

1. TB, has not noticed it. 
2. Ouch, should I apologise? 
3. Should I offer him some tissues. 
4. Should I just carry on.

He opted for the latter while giving me this deadpan look. Then it was my turn. 1. Should I pretend I don’t have a blob of spit on my nose? 2. Should I reach for a tissue and wipe it off? 3. It’s not polite to embarrass him, so I will wait until he’s looking away and wipe it off. I opted for the latter.

The Puncher: Sometimes when we talk, we use our hands to emphasize a point and there is nothing wrong with that. Except of course, when you sit next to The Puncher. 

The Puncher, is the sort of person who feels the need to punch or nudge you on your shoulder, your thigh or poke you in the chest when they feel your attention waning. Except my attention wasn’t waning. I was looking at him dead in the eye and giving him the attention he wanted, but the moment I blinked or looked down at the table for my TML, he would punch me.

And when he had made his point, he would slap me real hard across the back and have a hearty laugh to himself.

The last time I met him, I took the stairs up to the fourth floor rather than share the lift with him and get battered all over the place. 

Pictures: Internet