Pointless Office Chatter

There are moments when I sit at work waiting for a query to run, and it’s something that will take 10 or 15 minutes, and technically I could be working on something else, but my schedule is never so packed that I don’t have these “down times” to fill (not entirely true, but the days when I’m truly crushed by work are not that frequent).

I think everyone has these times except for maybe 20% of the people in the office who truly are overworked or through the vagaries of organizational inefficiency and mismanagement, have found themselves as they lynchpin in some critical process — point is, most people do a good amount of work, with some downtime. It’s human nature.

What drives me nuts, or whatever, is when you run into someone and start a conversation. In an office environment, there are kind of two things that conversation immediately turns to with a casual acquaintance. First is the weather… and who gives a shit? I’m smart enough to figure out what the weather is like without someone telling me. I’m also smart enough to figure out how other people generally react or feel about the weather. I simply look outside, and then extrapolate the emotions of the masses based upon what I see.

For instance, if it is snowing, people will tend to comment on how much it is snowing outside, how much they are not looking forward to driving, how much they are going to freeze walking home from work.

If it is raining, most people will complain. Especially if it is a Friday, or if it supposed to rain for a few days, or if rain is predicted for a weekend. This point of view is also understandable and predictable.

If the sun is shining and the temperature is pleasant, on the other hand, people will say things like “I love this weather!”

The point is, I don’t derive personal satisfaction from talking about the weather, and it seems to happen way too often.

But what other people say when you ask them, “What’s going on today?” is inane crap like, “Oh the usual… just super busy as always.” or “I’ve got a lot on my plate today.”

To me, people who say this kind of crap sound like bots. Intuitively I’m inclined to think they’re being disingenuous. At the very least, they irritate me. Vague, pointless blather is what it is. Now if someone actually talks about what they are working on, and gives interesting (or at the very least — relevant) details on their projects, that is a different thing altogether.

Ironically, even though these people are not actually bragging/complaining about their workload, I am much more inclined to suppose that they are actually working hard.

And thus, for those who care to notice, we have my human psychology lesson of the day.


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