Silent Movie

Friday, November 28, 2008

I’m watching the TV with the sound off and making up my own story. It’s a lot more interesting than the actual story. I have no way of backing up this claim, of course, because I can’t hear what’s going on, but the characters in the show tell me that my version is much better, so I can only assume that they’re right.

I’m not crazy and hearing voices or anything, I just put the TV on mute by accident and now I can’t see where I put the remote and I’m too tired to get up and look. It’s better this way, I think, because I get to have a happy ending whenever I want and if I don’t want a happy ending I can turn it into a heartbreaking melodrama in the blink of an eye.

The only real problem with this is that I’m watching one of the Law and Order shows, so it becomes hard to explain all the sudden deaths and violent crimes when you’re making up a love story. I guess it’s more of a tragic love story.

Swap a little small talk?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Today I spoke to one of the guys who installs the playgrounds at work. I’ve never met him (I think he’s based somewhere in Sydney) and today was the first time I’ve ever spoken to him. I rang him at the boss’s request and using the boss’s phone because work calls are free between mobiles. The conversation went something like this:

Him: 'Hi Boss-Man'

Me: ‘Actually it’s Torrygirl'

Him: ‘Oh, g’day Torrygirl, how’s your day going?’ as though we had been introduced and knew each other well.

I would love to be able to be that at ease with new people. I’ve thought about it a bit and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m no good at small talk. I seem to be missing the small talk gene. Maybe it’s something that skips a generation. I might end up having excessively chatty children and nothing to talk to them about.

It’s because of this hideous genetic deficiency that I always find myself at a loss when it comes to meeting new people. I think this is why my relationship with KJ has worked so well over the years, because my shortcomings are his strengths. He is a masterful small-talker. He can talk about anything, anytime and never seems to create the kind of awkward silences that I seem to be able to elicit from people.

A good example of this is a family function we went to. We don’t see KJ’s family very often, so it was a lot of new people, hence a lot of social small talk was required. I spotted a Great-Uncle sitting on his own and I gathered together some kind of flimsy small talk plan in order to give this ‘getting to know a new person’ thing a go. The plan mostly involved talking about the weather. And as that’s the strongest plan I could think of, you can probably see how pitiful my small talk skills truly are. Also, the fact that I have to plan my small talk is a big clue.

That conversation went a little like this.

Him: 'Hello dear.'

Me (Thinking that speaking as though we’d met before might help the conversation along): 'Hello, how have you been?'

Him: 'Oh, well I’ve been in to the eye hospital and my eye was playing up and blah blah blah pus, blah blah blah festering, blah blah blah seeping everywhere!'

Me: (trying not to gag openly) 'Oh um, er, well…'

Enter KJ to flex his incredible small talking skills to ask the small, conversation moving questions that even now when I’m thinking back on this elude me. See! I can’t even small talk on paper.

I need to take a small talk class. Or maybe there’s somewhere where I can change some big talk for a bunch of small talk. I wonder what the exchange rate is on big talk to small talk?

Does anyone have any pointers to help me learn how to master this skill? Or am I a sad, lost cause in the world of talking about weather, health and whatever else it is that people talk about when they don’t really have anything to say?

I have a window!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

And that means i can see what a nice day it is for the first time in 6 years!

In need of a chat

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The thing about working with a building full of men is that it has cemented for me the fact that when Men congregate, they are only able to talk about two things – their cars and the cars that they would own if they were rich.

As one of a smaller number of women who have a genuine interest in cars, I never really had any problem with this until I came to work in my new job. But even a V8 adoring, muscle car driving woman can have too much of a good thing.

Please men! Learn to talk about something else!

I’m finding myself getting a bit desperate for regular conversation. Work was always a bit social for me because I worked with a group of people around my own age, so we had plenty to talk about and we would go out for a few drinks after work on a Friday night. Now that I’ve changed jobs, my daily conversations have been severely limited and I’m finding that I’m writing long and wordy emails to anyone who I think will write back between the hours of 8:30am and 5pm.

I think it also has something to do with the reduced workload that I have in the new job – more spare time and nothing to waste it on I guess!

3 Weeks In

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's the end of my third week in the new job and I think I’m finally getting into the swing of things. It's still a little weird working with so many men, but I think I’m getting used to it. It's a lot less social than working with women - unless, of course, you fancy talking about cars all day.

It's also a bit strange because they have very different policies on things than they did in my last job. At the last place, you pretty much had free reign to organise whatever you thought the company needed. Here, they had an entire meeting because I suggested that perhaps having a company letterhead might be a good idea and they had to discuss whether having a printed letterhead would change the way their customers viewed their business. Personally, I have to say that I wouldn't think twice about a letter on company letterhead, but I would think twice about spending $60K with a company whose quote looked like it had been printed by a primary school student. So it's a bit of an adjustment trying to get used to fighting to get basic things done.

More interestingly, we started organising some of the more formal parts of our wedding this week. We spoke to the minister that will be marrying us and signed some of the paperwork. It was a truly weird experience, speaking to someone other than KJ about why we care about each other so much and why we want to get married. It's the kind of stuff that comes easily when you speak to each other, but it's a bit embarrassing when you have to tell someone else. Normally, people just accept that if you're a couple, then you love each other - they don't ask you to explain it all. I guess it's all just part of the whole wedding thing - in a couple of months we'll be saying it all in front of 140 of our friends and family, so I need to get used to it!