Colleague: "So, Shawn did you unpack your stuff?"
I stare blankly, blinking, thinking that perhaps I could not clearly hear what he said over the drone of the hand dryers.
"Sorry, what was that?" I asked.
Colleague: "Did you unpack your staff."
Shawn: "My stuff? What stuff?"
Colleague: "Your things when you moved."
Shawn: "When I moved?" I replied, completely confused. "My office? My office has been in the same place for four years."
Colleague: "No. Your place. You said you had stuff to unpack."
Shawn: "My place?" I replied, still confused. "You mean my condo?"
Colleague: "Yes, your condo."
Shawn: "Okay, my condo. I still don't know what stuff you are talking about."
Colleague: "You said you had a lot of stuff to go through. And a lot of books to pack."
I stare at him for a moment as it dawns on me that he is referring to a conversation I had with him three years ago.
Shawn: "Uh, yeah. I moved close to three years ago. Not only did I finish packing but I also finished unpacking."
I filled the awkward silence with a brief story about the one box of junk in the back of a closet I kept for a rainy day. I then hurried away before he could ask me about some other random event in my life.
Still a little confused by the line of questioning, I was tempted to go back to ask him if he remembers seeing me on a near weekly basis over the last couple years. If this was a concern for him he could have brought it up sooner. Was this his attempt at small talk? Doesn't small talk usually revolve around current events.
The next conversation with him could go something like this.
Colleague: "Did you here about The Edmund Fitzgerald? Sucks."
If not already done, we must impose a statute of limitations on old conversations. We would simply tell the other person, "That topic is prescribed." Or if the existing limitations were lifted I wish someone would tell me. I will have to answer a lot of "Why didn't you call me?" questions from the last few years.
|Complete Idiot's Guide...|