The Second Day

I “get” that people feel the urge to over-explain. We each and every one of us have situational reasons to cathect to rituals, and over time struggles cause plenty of angst to sediment onto these rituals. Apparently, some people have a lot invested into taking out the trash in this office. Without a female population, this service is a feminizing piece of housewifery that has to get done. When I said that I had no problem doing it, one faction breathed a sigh of relief while someone higher up told me “everyone makes this trash, everyone should take it out some time.”

Today, it was a package I need to rush out. The dithering explanation was incredibly elaborate.

“Here is where I keep the envelopes. Uh oh, it looks like I’m out of them. Let me show you where the extra ones are… Ok, you have two options. You can prepare the envelope first (make sure you put the dvd in the case before putting the case into the envelope) or you can call the courrier before putting together the package, which is my preference….”

I asked, “I should write the address on the envelope?” “Yes!” My irony went undetected. I received high marks for my intelligent input. What amused me the most about this is that I had just spent time performing tax calculations on the office payroll, making certain that everyone was correctly paid and that the deductions were correct to the fourth decimal point. When asked if I’ve done video editing on Final Cut Pro, I can answer “yes” with confidence, but when it comes to things like sending out mail or taking out garbage, it’s assumed that I know nothing. Or perhaps that’s because those tasks are easy to explain whereas none of these computer programmers can figure out how payroll is run?

This behavior is a far cry from HK sending me to the server room in the basement, barking the survivalist slogan “figure it out,” to bang my head against pipes and get spiderwebs all over my face as I puzzle over Microsoft’s exchange server. While the survivalists tested my endurance, the over-explainers are testing my patience. I am consoled by the thought that after a couple of months there will be nothing left to explain. On the other hand, I might have to adapt myself to the culture of pedantry as long as I’m in this position. For example, I found a procedure manual written by my predecessor wherein she explains how to prepare coffee.

    1. Full pot of water (12 cups)
    2. 6 level scoops of ground coffee

I asked around. She was the only person in the office who drinks coffee.

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