There is an associate a couple doors down from me who thinks the office is actually the set of his own Tom Green show. I admit he's got a good sense of humor. And he's a really nice guy. But sometimes he takes his jests too far. How far? To The Social Awkardness of No Return. When I see him coming my way, I always brace myself because I never know what he is going to say but I know it will be off the wall.
There are two problems. 1) In order to stave off the awkward echoing silence of his jokes' aftermath, I need to quickly fireback a witty response. But I'm not witty. At least not on the spot anyway. 2) Even coming up with a response can be problematic because it only fuels his fire and keeps him going. What's a girl to do?
This is what he did to me the first day of work.
Him: "Hi. I'm Jim."
Me: "Jim? Nice to meet you."
I proceed the rest of the morning to talk to the legal secretary about the assignment Jim has me working on. Later on my Boss strolls into my office. Boss comes sees me talking to Jim and says, "I see you already met this guy. Come on, I'll introduce you to our other new associate."
Me: "Bye Jim."
Boss: "Jim? His name isn't Jim. You have a hard time with names?"
Me: [exasperated sigh] I guess...
All the while "Him" is cracking up.
Some clipping from today's conversations:
Him saunters by my office and exclaims: "Hey, remember our agreement in which you promised to buy me a mocha?"
Me: "Ha ha."
Him: "Seriously. You don't remember? I remember it perfectly. I like mine with whip cream."
[five full seconds of awkward silence]
Me: "Oh yeah. I remember! This was the same agreement where you agreed to a full night of free babysitting." (saved by the delayed, yet witty response).
Him: "There you go. Yup, me and the little guy. I'll take him out on the town."
Later in the day:
Him, as he pops his head into my office: "Hey, Alex just came back from the bathroom. He says its really gross in there. Before you leave today you have to clean it."
Me: "ha ha, sure."
Him: "I'm serious. It smells god awful. Get in there and scrub it."
Him: "Well, if you want to go home you know what you have to do."
[awkward silence and the Moment That Could Not Be Salvaged]
He stands there for the longest time while I cannot come up with anything to say in reply. He finally laughs and walks away.
Him: "I'm also a member of the bar in X state. You don't have to take a bar exam there. You just have to pay your dues."
Me: "Oh wow. That's nice. You can return anytime you want to practice."
Him: "Yeah Cee. I'm actually planning on going back." [smiling enthusiastically]
Him: "Yeah. I'm looking for a place there now."
Me: "Oh wow. I thought you just started working here. You're already going back?"
Him: "Hell no. Unemployment is like 17% there. What's wrong with you? Do you think I'm crazy?"
Me: "Um. Oh you were being sarcastic?"
More awkward silence.
I need to beef up on quick wit before this becomes the longest summer of my life or at least the summer filled with the most awkward silences.