Posted in Office Life, writing

Dispatch from the Zone – Controlled Experiment

In which our heroine decides to conduct a further experiment regarding the Nebbish and seating choices.


As you may recall, a few weeks ago I mentioned how Nebbish managed to plunk himself down in the weekly 2-hour staff meeting, sandwiching himself between yours truly and Manager Sporty, rather than avail himself of one of the ample empty chairs at the other end of the table (how cozy, no?).


To give some background for those who may have missed an earlier episode, Nebbish has always irritated me. (If you want, you can read more about him here, and here) It’s some kind of visceral reaction to his presence, mannerisms, just something about his persona. No doubt you yourself have encountered one or two such individuals in your lifetime. He’s an officious, self-important, whiny, pathetic little dweeb. What’s not to like? But here’s what started the creepfest with this guy. One day as I was sitting at my desk, he wandered by, poked his head into all the adjoining cubes, ostensibly looking for one of the managers by whom I am surrounded. Finding none, he betook himself to stand in front of my desk (at this time I had a half-wall with a counter on top, kind of like a ‘help desk’ set-up, which is what they like the admins here to have), leaned on the wall looking at me, and simply stood there. Staring. Had to be a full minute went by. Oddly enough, I was expecting him to say something (I don’t know where I get these ideas, honestly). He didn’t. I finally stopped what I was doing and simply stared back at him. I’m not sure how much time passed before he finally asked some utterly lame question which I have since forgotten. I was within half an instant of asking if he was having some kind of petite mal seizure when he finally spoke. Needless to say, that put him squarely at the top of my “Creep” list. Now of course I’m completely freaked out when he sits next to me in these meetings, which he always seem to contrive to do. At least that counter and half-wall have now been replaced by full size wall panels. No more fishbowl desk for me!

But back to the staff meeting seating arrangement.

Last week, I decided, fine: If he won’t go to the other side of the table, I will. As I arrived at the meeting on time (which he never does) the choice of seats was mine. Hawkeye had also elected that day to sit on the opposite side of the table, two chairs to my right, but there was still an empty chair on my left, then Sporty at the head of the table like usual. Now, where do you think ol’ Nebbish sat when he finally showed up 15 minutes fashionably late as always? You got it, the chair between me and Sporty, once again leaving the cluster of empty chairs at the other end of the table. So today, I decided to head down to the other end of the table, and see what happened. Nebbish was even later than usual, but he had e-mailed me saying he would be (like who cares? And how is that any different from any other week?) so when he finally arrived, I watched to see what he’d do. Sure enough, he walked around to the side of the table I was on but despite my expectation (and fear) that he would come all the way down to where I was sitting, he did not. He plunked himself down up towards the other end, in between Overseer and another manager not previously discussed, who shall be dubbed Shutterbug (he’s an excellent photographer, and a nice person). PHEW! So, guess where I’ll be sitting from now on?

AND, this is my 300th post!


Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. First novel, "Revenants Abroad", available now at Amazon. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.

10 thoughts on “Dispatch from the Zone – Controlled Experiment

  1. I’m delighted that you have marked your 300th post by becoming an illustrator! I keep coming back to your drawings and they keep giving me the giggles…


  2. Haha! If only I could draw! 🙂 Then I couldn’t even find any wite-out to fix where I goobered it up. Oh well, not like I was trying to make them flattering portraits. As Jane Austen would say, “Quite the reverse, in fact.”


  3. Hee hee. Those drawings literally cracked me up.

    And for what it’s worth (okay, not much)… you draw better than I do.

    Oh, and hey. Take his staring as a compliment.


    Remembers this is Nebbish.

    Okay, I hope your next admirer is a non-Nebbish.

    But still, still… it is a compliment when a guy can’t take his eyes off of you!


    1. Yeah, somehow it doesn’t feel like any kind of compliment. I’m still not entirely convinced that’s behind his actions anyway. He’s just… weird. There’s no telling what makes him act the way he does.


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