Thursday, February 18, 2010

For Who’s Sake, Now?

Doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago my signature phrase, for which I was well-known, was “That’s what I’m saying!” … which made my friends out here in the vast Midwest laugh almost every time. Apparently whenever New England island-raised me ran up against a Midwest custom or norm that was completely outside my bailiwick (All. The. Time.), I’d draw attention to the difference and plop my signature phrase somewhere within the resulting conversation.

Usually when my friends … my wonderful, complex, strange, crazy, completely perfect friends out here … figured out what I was expecting to see, or hear, or have happen and fed me the line, to which I’d reply … well, you know.

When I first got out here there was a whole crew of us who worked together for the original Ma Bell. Not only did we see each other at work daily, some of us shared office space, and most of us also played darts together in the ADA. On top of that, we hung out almost every weekend, so as a gang we were together almost all the time.

The past five years or so things have changed drastically … only a couple still work for the new ma bell, the rest of us work for a number of different companies in different industries, children have been born, heath situations have erupted, and priorities have changed. We now mostly stay in touch via electronic means … sometimes the most prolific contact we have is via Facebook (and some of us live within a half mile of each other!).

The people outside our households that we spend the most time with are now our peers at work; they’re now the folk who pick up on our little quirks and idiosyncrasies. This was made abundantly clear to me today, when my signature phrase was revealed to be … wait for it … it is NOT pretty, people … here it is, “Oh, for fuck’s sake!”

Like “fuck” is a person, and whatever is going on that precipitated my (no doubt) exasperated muttering of the phrase is going to impact said person. What?! Yeah, seriously.

So I’m now actively trying to find/replace with “Pete”. So, you know, it’ll all be for PETE’S sake. That Pete, he’s a card all right, and I am very concerned with his wellbeing.

Now, when I’m driving behind the expletive deleted who’s just puttering down the road, or trying to run a meeting with participants straggling in whenever they feel like it (because they’re SO important, blah, blah, Pete-ing blah … notice what I did there? I REPLACED WITH PETE is what I did. SO EASY.), or when the phone rings off the hook, or when someone can’t figure out how to hook up their computer or call in a trouble ticket or LISTEN when I explain what needs to be done, or … I could go on (and on, and on).

But you get my point. Under-my-breath grumbling is one thing, but if I’m actually saying this often enough to base an office pool, I need to pay attention. So. Meet Pete. And stop messing with his day, people!

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