Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Love in the time of cubicles

I know that I should not balk at the thought of telling you exactly what I do for a living (at present), but I am.  Know this:  I work in a customer service-type position for a relatively small company.  I deal with customers face-to-face, over the phone, through the mail and over the interweb. 

My partner in this daily endeavor is a young lass by the name of Mary.  She sometimes reads this blog, so HEY MARY!!!! 

Mary is a lovely person.  She is cheerful when I am not and always helpful when trying to figure out what I should eat for lunch.  If I didn't have Mary working next to me, this job would be next to impossible.  This makes her vacations pretty hard to bear, but I always reassure myself that they are short-term losses.

Anyway, this entry is not really just about Mary and how wonderful she is on a daily basis, because I think she might smack me if I did that.  Just kidding, she has never hit me.  Yet.

This entry is about Mary's special not-so-secret admirer.  To protect privacy, I will not share his name.  Let's call him... Eddie.  (This is short for Edward, who is Mary's favorite "Twilight" character.)  Eddie comes in to see us fairly regularly.  In fact, we usually know when he is coming to see us based on the day of the week and time of the month.  No further clues, alright?

Eddie is a nice guy.  He's been a little down on his luck in the last year, but things are starting to look up for him.  Through it all, he has always been upbeat and nice.  And in love with Mary.

How do I know?  Well, let me tell you.

I don't know where I learned this fact, but I know it was somewhere reputable, but if you wish to show someone that you are truly interested in them and what they have to say, you should call them by their first name as you converse with them.


Me:  Good morning, Lena!  How are you doing?

Lena:  (Sits and drags butt across floor).

Me:  Wow, Lena!  That is so special!  Lena, thank you for demonstrating that manuever!

Lena:  (Burps).

Me:  Oh, Lena!  You are too funny!


Back to Eddie.  When he comes in to see us, he usually prefers to work with Mary.  Not that he will refuse to work with me, but he typically makes a beeline for her desk.  If she is already with someone or on the phone, he may relent and work with me, but he will always make sure that he speaks with her.

Eddie is a man who makes good use of the conversation tip I illustrated above.  Where most people would stick to "Hey Mary, how are you?" as their sole use of her name, Eddie finds a way to use it in nearly every sentence.

"Hi Mary!  How are you today, Mary?" 

"So Mary, got any big plans for the weekend?"

"Yeah, Mary, the new job is going well."

"Hey Mary, do you have any kids?"

The last sentence is not spoken in every encounter; it was only used once.  It was over a year ago, and I was not fortunate enough to overhear it.  It happened when Mary was first dating her current boyfriend.  I suppose Eddie sensed that she was not totally engaged in a serious relationship yet and seized his chance.

His inquiry started normally.  It moved into weekend plans.  Then it turned to children.  Then it became an invitation to do something over the weekend.  At this point, Mary had to reveal that she was seeing someone and therefore was not accepting offers for new dates.  Eddie took it in stride in his good-natured way.

This rejection would have driven some men to pursue future interactions with another customer service person.  Or to conduct business by mail, phone or internet.  But not our Eddie.  He valiantly continues to come in again and again to face the woman he cannot have and say her name at least four times during the course of his few minute visit. 

I wish that I could say that this all goes largely unnoticed.  Unfortunately, as you can see by the fact that I have written an entire entry about it, many people know.  Including one of the managers.  Said manager sits in close proximity to us and if he happens to be around when Eddie comes in, it is not uncommon for him to sit quietly and listen to the conversation.

After Eddie leaves, a little teasing takes place which Mary takes in good humor.  As for me, I am patiently waiting for the day when Eddie asks Mary about the state of her love life.  I am sure that he has been biding his time and hoping that by making himself repeatedly visible to Mary that she will think of him first should she ever be in need of a new boyfriend.  Sadly for Eddie, it is looking as if Mary's current boyfriend may be her last boyfriend (if he ever proposes), so he may have to move on. 

Before you jump to any conclusions and think that he may move on to me, think again.  Not only will I be moving on to a library setting sometime in the (hopefully) near future, but I am nowhere near as friendly, cute and petite as Mary.  Eddie is somewhat vertically challenged which makes Mary's 5'2" height a far more attractive feature than my 5'9" stance.

So that is the current state of affairs for lovesick customers in my office.  Truth be told, I prefer the lovesick ones to the irate and complaining ones, so perhaps we should hope for a few more like Eddie.

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