Monday, June 12, 2006

Get into the Groove

Well, this seemed to work last time, let's give it another go round, shall we? Full week number 1 of my new job went well. There's still a lot of downtime while I get all trained and up to speed. So far, so good. Oh, and I found out that my new boss knows Journey. Like, KNOWS them. Incredible. I just wonder why they didn't mention that in my hiring package to lure me in further? "Well, Coley, the pay is $X, the benefits are Y, oh and your new boss, personally knows Journey." That would have clinched the deal for me. Seriously. Maybe I shouldn't spread that around, could just hurt my rep.

I went to a party Saturday night. It was delightful, good theme, good people. This party was held deep in the 'burbs, and I'd met most of the people there. There was one girl there who clearly needed some attention. A few of us were comparing neighborhoods we've lived in, and discussing the overall "ghetto-ness" of Oakland. This particular girl, interrupted the conversation from across the room to shout "You don't even know what ghetto is up here. I'm from LA and you don't know ghetto until you've been to Inglewood!" This tirade continued on for several minutes. We were all vastly impressed (note: Sarcasm) with her 'hood living. Except that this particular girl is as white, privileged and suburbanite as they come. I humored her for a few minutes hoping she'd go away and the rest of us could continue our lively conversation. But it was not to be. She kept talking and monopolizing the room until every other person involved got annoyed enough to leave the room.

I understand it's kind of a basic human need to be included, and everyone likes to be the best at something. But "one-uppers" are the bane of my existence. Every conversation you have, any story you tell, "one-uppers" have you beat. At least in their heads. You tell them about your appendectomy, they'll tell "that's nothing, once I had a strep throat!" You tell them about your best friend dying in a tragic accident they'll say "I can beat that, my dog ran away from home once!" It's all a competition, and they really believe they have the be-all, end-all story to beat all.

I used to have a roommate who was like that. We could never just chat and tell each other stories. She had to "win" the conversation. Except she was so sheltered that she had NO experiences to compare, so she always came off sounding like a total arse. For example: Jill, my former long-term roommate's grandfather was dying of a brain tumor. Her parents had called to let her know she should probably get on the next train bound for St. Louis to say goodbye. Obviously upset, she made the train reservations for the next train, which happened to be the next morning. In the meantime, I decided it was time for a good Irish tradition, and comforted her with booze. All the roommates and friends were sitting around telling stories, letting Jill talk about Grandpa and all his crazy life-stories. The One-Upper enters the conversation and says "Jill, I know EXACTLY how you feel. Last year my mom called me and told me our dog was sick. The vet thought it was cancer, but then it turned out to be a viral infection and everything was ok. But for those, like, two days I was really sad."
*blink* *blink*

Since when does "my dog was sick" compare to "my grandfather's brain is eroding so fast and I have to go see him now because he probably won't last another week"? This was a constant with this particular roommate. Her words made it sound like she was empathizing, but her tone and demeanor made it clear that her story was far worse/better/more impressive than anyone else's. Even casual conversations like "I had kind of a rough day" became competitions into who had it worse. Then she wondered why everyone stopped spending time with her. She wasn't the brightest thing to ever walk on two legs. No, in fact socially speaking, she was dumber than a sack of hammers.

Right, I'm off to work. Peace out. Or something.....

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