Friday, June 30, 2006

Don't Sneak Up On Me. Seriously.

My boss regularly makes a point of announcing her arrival in my office if I’m not looking directly at the door when she’s coming in to talk to me. That’s because I tend to be a bit jumpy. If I’m concentrating on something I’m usually pretty focused and she’ll walk in and say something and I’ll practically jump right out of my skin.

Of course it doesn’t help that the HVAC vent in my office is so fantastically loud that I can’t hear people on the phone in my office when it’s running, let alone someone talking to me at a regular volume from more than a couple feet away. And it’s not only my boss that has noticed my jumpiness. Pretty much anyone who has unwittingly snuck up on me in my office has seen me almost have a heart attack. They all laugh at me about it too.

I figured it was mostly something that affected me here at work, and mostly because of the noisy vent, but Aaron also has the uncanny ability to sneak up to me silently and then say something in his loud, boisterous voice (you can’t lose him in a crowd – he’s the loudest one there, guaranteed) causing me to just about wet my pants because I’m so startled.

So, yes. I’m jumpy. And after people get over the initial shock of seeing my jump when they really weren’t that stealthy (besides Aaron, I swear he does it on purpose) on their entrance, they laugh at me. But the initial shock of it can be a bit much for some people.

Like the tiny Indian man who approached me in a parking lot today.

I was getting into my car after lunch, unsuspectingly going about my business of loading in my purse, and putting my drink in the cup holder, when I heard a quiet “Excuse me ma’am”. (I won’t even go into the whole being called ma’am by someone twice my age thing, but seriously? I look like a teenager. Don’t call me ma’am.)

I jumped so high I hit my head on the ceiling of the car. And I surprised the little Indian guy so much that I don’t think he knew what to do at that exact moment – continue on his quest to ask for directions or to run away because he scared me so bad.

After apologizing profusely, he asked for directions to the nearby university, apologized again and went on his way. I sat in my car, waiting for my heart rate to slow back down, and then headed back to work. Now I feel like it’s time for me to crash and burn at my desk (maybe I’ll slap a note on the door that says I’m reading, shut it and grab a few quick zzzs). Must be the after affects of the adrenaline rush.

I know I’m not the only one like this – being jumpy at the slightest thing – but it does make for some good stories. Or maybe it’s only amusing to me, but you really should have seen the look on that guys face. It was priceless.


At 7/01/2006 4:14 PM, Anonymous mamatulip said...

I *hate* being called ma'am, too. And it happens a lot to me.

At 7/02/2006 12:26 PM, Blogger Rude Cactus said...

Im like that sometimes too. Usually when I'm lost in my own little world and I walk around the corner and - oh no! - another human. People look at my funny when I jump.


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