I was sitting in my cubicle the other day when a co-worker came by to talk about my hockey career. You know those jokes that are funny at first and then they get old, and then, if you really persist, they get funny again?  Or maybe they don’t.

For the past 10 years, 98 percent of our interactions have been based on the premise that he’s my agent, trying to get me a contact with the National Hockey League.  No, I don’t play hockey.  A typical conversation passing in the hall goes like this:

“Hey, you ready to fly to Toronto?  I’ve been talkin’ to a guy there.”

“Yep.  Skates are sharp.  Ready.”

And that’s as far as it ever goes.  There’s such a serious tone to it all that one day a couple of women in our office actually thought that I was looking for a spot as a goalie in a professional league, which is puzzling on so many levels that I won’t go into it here. 

 “Thought I saw you at Wayne Gretzky’s 50th birthday party. Did you get any offers?”

“Yeah, that was quite a party.”

“Seriously, you should definitely have representation.  I’ll get you a way better deal.  Don’t be hanging out with those guys on your own.  By the way, did you miss me the other day?  I took the day off to get stints put in my arteries.”

“Wow, I had no idea. How do they do that, anyway?”

He gestures to his groin, and starts describing the procedure.  I’m not really a big fan of gestures that involve the groin, but I am sort of curious about the procedure anyway.

At about this point, my boss came in.  “Last night I was watching Norwegian TV on the Internet, and I saw a documentary about the ukulele.  I'll send you the link.  I think you’d really like it!”

This is the kind of thing that’s distracting.  Our guy, The Baron, works all day at his desk, and goes home and watches documentaries in Norwegian.

B. walks by at about this point and announces loudly, “Hey Everyone, I have really bad gas today.”

I have a thought on the edge of my brain that I can’t quite pull into focus, but I try. 

“Have you guys ever read about those experiments where people go underground, and they get completely untethered from the sleep/wake cycle that we normally live on?  And they end up staying up for 36 hours and sleeping for 12, and one minute seem like seven because they have no clock or daylight or schedule?”

“How does that relate to anything?” says my hockey agent.  I know.  As if I’m the one bringing random stuff into the conversation. 

“Well, it just seems like our workplace has gotten a bit like that. Everyone's quirks have just been unleashed, everyone is getting completely untethered from normalcy. Has anyone else noticed?”

My question for you, dear readers:  Is this a global phenomenon, or is it just in our office? 


  1. Your conversations are much more interesting than mine. Is that sad?

  2. Mike, I don't think it's sad at all. It's probably sane.


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