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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Funny. I Don’t LOOK Like a Wet Blanket…

“So what you’re gonna wanna do?  Is you’re gonna wanna access the report?  The report I sent you yesterday?”

I shouldn’t be listening in, but I can’t help it.  Here on the Cube Farm – and just one row over – a young woman is on the phone and struggling with the declarative sentence.

My heart goes out to her.

And I grab a pen.

“Kaylee/Riley/Taylor/Xena’s language skirmish is giving me a headache? And I vacillate?  Between telling her?  And lobbing a paperclip torpedo at her head?”

She continues, despite my ardent and, so far, unexpressed desire that she shut up just the tiniest of bits.  The sing-song, almost Valley Girl-like pattern of her speech has been wiggling into my brain for 12 minutes now.

This is not how good Minneapolitans speak.

“I sent it to you earlier? At, like, 2:00?  If you sort?  By “received”?  You should be able to find it that way?”

I remove my glasses, press the heels of my hands into my eyeballs until I hallucinate exploding tapestries of red and black.  “La la la la laaaaaa”.

My cube-mate, Tamra, looks at me sideways.  “You’re going to hurt yourself,” she says.

“I’m sorry?  My brain?  Keeps sliding up a musical scale?  Toward a sentence that sounds like a question but isn’t?”

Tamra makes a face I interpret to be commiseration. 

“I’m going to contact HR,” I say.  “I think my rights are being violated.”

Tamra grins, shakes her head, returns to her screen, returns to whatever it is that she does over there.


And I go back to discovering my inner curmudgeon.  

33 comments:

Eva Gallant said...

There's a whole generation who speak that way...........it's irritating and disconcerting!

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

Ah . . . yes! Life on the Cube Farm - I know it well, and I smell what you're cookin' there, Pearl. Your cube? Is so close? I smell it? So well? That I can totally taste it!

Indigo Roth said...

Hey Pearl! You should exercise what is known by us in the Biz as the Persistent Percussive Principle (PPP). That means you take a hefty stick (or two-by-four) and repeatedly hit her in the head with it until she stops. You're welcome. Roth x

Pearl said...

Eva, when people talk like that to me, I have to fight the urge to respond with "Uh-huh? Uh-huh? And then what?" All those upward inflections, dying for validation...

Dawn, Life on the Cube Farm. :-) I think John Denver sang that, didn't he?

Indigo, I love it. Note to self: Bring large stick to work tomorrow.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
The speaking's bad enough, but when I see what gets written in the name of officialdom these days: 8*|

Fine, play around with the language when you know the rules (example in hand, our Pearlie!), but if you don't know the rules ................ B****y
well learn them!!!

ahem. My apologies. A matter close to heart. &*<

Leenie said...

Wet blanket needed here to to put out the brain on fire in Pearl's Cube!! Call 911! NoooOO?? Call HR.

terlee said...

Fingernails? On? Chalkboard? I'm totally with you on this one, Pearl.

Simply Suthern said...

Thats the way I like, Uh-huh Uh-huh I like it Uh-huh Uh-huh.

Sorry when I saw that, it got my groove on.

Pearl said...

Yam, you and I are on the same page, my friend!

Leenie, my brain starts on fire at least once a week. :-)

terlee, I'm under the impression that the people who speak like this have no idea how flaky/needy they sound...

Simply, I saw KC and the Sunshine Band in person in their heyday. I do love a band with a horn section!

Joanne Noragon said...

My grandson was impressed with the very similar "welcome back" newsletter from the principal of his first in the state high school. Six pages of how to show up on the first day. I almost sobbed on the steering wheel.

Vicus Scurra said...

Don't get me started.
I have people telephoning me and saying "I wonder if you can help me".
I am not interested in their curiousity, they are using the declarative when they should be asking a question. Perhaps they can interbreed with your colleagues and get it right.
Or perhaps you can give me enough money so that I can retire and not have to talk to them.

jenny_o said...

So that's what it's called? My inner curmudgeon? Because really? I could take them all? The sing-songers? And the rapid-fire talkers? (And, Yam, yes, the wrong-writers, too!) And, y'know? omg, LOB them? Far away?

In place of the big stick recommended by Indigo, you can always use your umbrella. One less thing to carry.

joeh said...

Only Pearl could properly convey on paper what that annoying question inflection sounds like.

Now if I could only get it out of my head?

Geo. said...

What if Lincoln talked like that? Gettysburg Address in interrogative sentences --ooh it won't stop. Must get help now.

fishducky said...

Would you have faith in (or respect) a surgeon who said, "You've got, like, cancer & you're gonna, like, die if I don't operate'?

Friko said...

I commiserate heartily.
What’s worse is that we have caught this dreadful bug over here too. The young never ever finish a sentence on a down beat.

They also say : “I’m good” for no thanks.

Elephant's Child said...

Your inner curmudgeon is certainly not alone. Mine is dancing with her...

Lo said...

You are just having a meltdown now? Over what has happened to speech?

Oy gevalt, as my Jewish Grandma used to say.

I have been in the process of being rendered down like chicken fat since every other word uttered became "like...". I suffer even more over the desecration of the written language.......waaaaah.
Forgive me for sobbing all over your blog, but I am an old and tired puddle of schmaltz and deserve a bit of leeway.....

Mitchell is Moving said...

So, maybe not cool? Like, I'm sayin' maybe ya don't wanna discover any inner curmudgie-thingies? You're gonna wanna think about it?

Mitchell is Moving said...

So, maybe not cool? Like, I'm sayin' maybe ya don't wanna discover any inner curmudgie-thingies? You're gonna wanna think about it?

Remembering Grace said...

How is it possible that the same girl works in both of our cube-farms?

I get so irritated with the people over the wall, I complain about it to my cube-mate, he laughs at me, and I realize I'm a curmudgeon!

You are not alone... LOL

Delores said...

Actually I could handle the questioning talkers with no problem...it was the freakin' whisperers that drove me nuts. I kept telling them, "if you have to whistper it I don't want to hear it."

Gigi said...

AGGGHHH! I can't take it!

Luckily? I haven't actually been faced with that in, you know, a work situation yet? But, it's, like, around me EVERYWHERE I go? And it, totally, ticks me off.

Dear God in Heaven. At times, I weep for humanity.

Or, in today's vernacular...

OMG! I LITERALLY weep for humans.

Inspector Clouseau said...

There ought to be some modicum of entertainment during the course of everyone's day.

Daisy said...

she's like, working in an actual job? Who hired her? eh???

HermanTurnip said...

Working with engineers, the talk around the cubicles at my work is relatively quiet, broken up by the occasional choice expletive when code refuses to work as designed or a configuration file gets corrupted.

Murr Brewster said...

I'm not hearing that so much anymore. Now they're all talking as if their voice boxes snapped their tethers and slid down their throats, and it's all gummy and rattly down there. PROP UP YOUR LARYNX! I want to yell. YOUR WHOLE THROAT IS GOING TO STICK TOGETHER AND YOU'LL DIE! Because I'll kill you.

River said...

Ah. The inexplicable sentence as question syndrome. It's alive and well here downunder too.

Ray Denzel said...

life on the cube farm sung by the Eagles
life in the fast lane
now get that out of your mind!

Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point said...

I think some people should be required to get a license to be able talk in public.

Kathleen McCoy said...

Cube Farm! I love it! Hearing your torture-by-younger-generation speech makes me grateful I'm retired and living in an age restricted community where I rarely hear "you know, you know, like, then I go, then she goes, then I go, anyways, whatever..." The only time I get a hint of youngspeak is at the local market when I thank a young checker or bagger and, instead of saying "You're welcome!", he or she says "No problem!"

Daisy said...

It's impossible to escape when in the cube. That would drive me crazy too!

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Glad it was you and not me it would drive me insane or to dream of committing murder