If you have to work in an office, you’re going to have to interact with other people at some point during your day, and your first interaction will probably be way earlier than you’d like it to be. Despite keeping earphones in your ears until 9 AM and staring at the floor when you go to grab your coffee in the break room, horrible morning people will invariably break the wall of solitude you’ve attempted to maintain.
You’ll be subjected to one of the following scenarios:
- Women talking – Here’s what you need to know. Conversations involving more than two women always start with a complaint about something: men, kids, the weather, the temperature of the office, any manner of physical ailments (feminine or unisex, real or perceived), or potential injustices in the world. When one woman gloms onto an idea, the rest of the group piles on, and it turns into a rally cry about overcrowding in the shared kitchen refrigerator or some stupid thing like that.
- Men talking – The average man knows a total of seven things about sports. He will try to interject at least two of these nuggets into every man-conversation he has. Therefore, any attempt to follow men’s sports conversation is an exercise in futility because they all talk over each other, and they’re usually not even discussing the same sport. They’ll just keep getting louder and louder.
- Men and women talking – This doesn’t actually happen. A woman will say something about waiting in line to pour herself some coffee, and a man will mumble something about free throw percentages, then another woman will ask what he’s talking about, and then a man will say something about the World Series, and a woman will say something about how NFL players beat women, and then somebody from HR will walk by, and everyone will go silent.
So good luck. Avoid other humans when possible, but when you can’t, get coffee in the HR break room.