Monday, November 03, 2014

The working life with engineers: Am I old?

I was minding my own business, walking down the hall at work, squinting at the person approaching me in case it was one of the very few people at work I have met. It's always awkward to be greeted by someone I can't see and not be able to return the greeting - indeed, not even know about the greeting - until I am only two feet away from him. I could wear glasses all the time, but really, there isn't that much that I want to see and I can't use my distance glasses for working on the computer so I would just be switching glasses out and that's a pain in the neck. It's easier just to be blind.

Where was I?

So I was walking down the hall when, even in my state of blindness, I saw a man approaching me carrying a huge potted palm.

Of course you know what I had to say.

Of course you do.

You do, right?

I asked him if he was bringing me a shrubbery.

He just said, "Hi!" and continued walking.

He did not stop in amazement at my amazement-causing wit.He did not tell me to run away! run away! He did not say, in a bad French accent, that he farted in my general direction.

What is the world coming to that in a place where I regularly hear men talking about role-playing games that someone had no idea what I was talking about?

I sighed, went into the bathroom, and looked in the mirror for wrinkles. Not a lot of wrinkles - sagging, yes, wrinkles, no. Sunblock gets you only so far.

Then I thought, "It is not I! I had the bad luck to run into another immigrant engineer, like my boss, who grew up in another culture and does not understand this very specific Anglo-American reference!"

I walked down the hall and stuck my head in Dave's office. "Dave," I said, says I, "if I asked you - while you were carrying a huge potted plant if you were bringing me a shrubbery, what would you say?"

He cocked his head to the side and furrowed his forehead. "What?" he asked politely.

"A shrubbery!" I said. "If you were bringing me a shrubbery!"

He smiled politely, the smile you give to crazy people who work in a cubicle and aren't even engineers. "Sorry," he said. "I'm not sure what you are getting at."

"Monty Python!" I said in frustration.

"Oh! Yeah, I think I saw one of their movies a long time ago." He shook his head and returned to his computer.

I wanted to scream. Who were these engineers and who was responsible for their complete and total lack of education?

I went back into the bathroom.

This time, I found wrinkles.



John0 Juanderlust said...

I'm older than you and it rang no bells. What it is is that only a small cult of people take works of entertainment to cult levels. Some such cults are larger and have better memories than others. Many Monte Python enthusiasts were very much under the influence at the time.
So, can't be age. Aha!!!! You out nerded even the elite of the nerd world, engineers!!! Only a bona fide Class Factotum could do such a thing. Congrats!!

Anonymous said...

I got it. I would have done the same, but then I became a Python in high school (mid 70's). My sons became Pythons in the womb. Come, hang out with us!

AKJ said...

I wouldn't have known either.

wellfedfred said...

I would have responded appropriately. Obviously your workplace is full of uncultured dolts. Bet they walk funny, too, and don't even notice it.

Anonymous said...

...with a herring!


PS: How was the haircut?

Kaye said...

I flashed back immediately to SHRUBBERY !!

I was fortune enough to see the Holy Grail on Broadway and have never laughed so hard in my life.