call center, etiquette, life lessons, manners, Uncategorized, workplace

Conversation Parasites


“Yeah and then he said that he was going down there to make sure everything is okay.”

“Wow! That’s insane! I hope everything turns out okay. You know….”

“When I lived in Florida, we bought this bungalow that had a bad termite infestation. Oh my God there were so many termites in that house.”

Chances are you know one; a conversation parasite. That person  who jumps into the middle of a conversation like you’re playing double dutch. It doesn’t matter what your conversation is about, no matter how serious. They’re going to bang on that door until someone opens it.

They don’t really care that what they’re talking about has absolutely nothing to do with what you were originally talking about in the first place. You and the person you were talking to give each other that look like, ‘Will he please shut up?’

Unfortunately, I’ve recently encountered two such creatures. Both of them are older gentlemen who work with me. Maybe there was a factory recall on old men in their age range and I just don’t know about it. I can imagine that as children their mothers never disciplined them about interrupting a conversation.

Now the first one we’ll call the gate keeper. He sits in the aisle and has a question or comment for everyone that walks past him. Are you going to lunch? You going home? What’s for dinner? Where are you going? He even ear hustles coworkers personal conversations and asks what they’re talking about. He annoyed me so bad I had to put a visual aid on my computer just so I wouldn’t have to see his face.

Now the second one we’ll call Captain Flap a Jib. He rants and complains about how he knows how to do our job better than anyone and he’s the only one who can get it right. We have a coworker with bad work habits and he spends the whole day complaining about her like someone really wants to hear that. No matter how busy you look, he’ll find the most idiotic subjects to talk about. It’s enough to make me want to tear the rest of my hair out.

It’s frustrating and annoying, and I’m complaining, I know.  Maybe one day I’ll join them in their rudeness and tell them both to shut up.

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