Tuesday, June 5, 2012

5 Dreadful Conversation Starters


We all have those conversation starters that shorten our breath and curse the gods for bequeathing this treacherous blight known as “speech” upon mankind. Here is a list of those conversation starters that set fire to my emotional fields of frolic:

5. What do you do for work?

It’s not that I’m ashamed of my job, but every time I answer this ridiculously redundant question, I get a variable of the same response: “Really? Your job shouldn’t exist.” Although, I completely agree, they usually express themselves in a passive aggressive tone. This starter came up frequently during the Occupy rallies. Since my company rents one, single floor of the Federal Reserve building, they automatically assume that I am a pawn in their conquest toward world domination; when in fact, we’re hardly affiliated with the bank. Anyway, before I get vastly off topic, onto the next starter.

4. About the money I owe you…

This one is likely on everyone’s list because they never have a clear-cut answer for you. Now, I let a lot of people borrow money because I believe in karma (It’s bound to come around to me someday, I know it). At any rate, it’s always the people who ironically have some source of income that start conversations this way, and to top it off, they always have the worst excuses: “Sorry bro, I spent it all at the strip-club last night.” “Sorry peppabroni, I’m saving up for the iPhone 37.” “Sorry brobalina, I accidentally dropped my wallet into the sun.”

3. Back in my day…

You can usually find this breed of starter swishing beneath the dentures of an ignorant, pissed off, 90 year old, fossil. “Back in my day, we didn’t complain about work. We just did what we needed to do.” Really, you old, decrepit skid mark? In your day, you could trip over a penny and put a down payment on a mansion. You also brushed your teeth with gasoline and polished your car with bundled up cigarette filters. Bah, just to be clear, there are only a select few who are actually this ignorant. Many elderly folk are really quite pleasant, respectful, and much smarter than I.

2. Can you stop by my office when you get a chance?

First off, whenever your boss says “when you get a chance,” it means right now. Why they never just come out and say it is beyond me. Secondly, they never actually tell you their motive. They never tell you what this private meeting is about. You could be getting a raise, or you could be getting shit-canned. Your boss could even be suggesting a sexual encounter which is why I believe this conversation starter should be considered grounds for a sexual harassment lawsuit. The worst part is when you ask them “what do you need to talk to me about?” they brush off the inquiry and simply reply, “I just need to talk to you in my office.” It’s like they’re trying to separate you from the safety of your co-workers that could easily interfere with the imminent rape that’s about to occur… or something.

1. Can you do me a favor?

This is by far the worst conversation starter because there is no way to escape this fate without looking like a bundle of douches.  Furthermore, it’s never an easy task they have in store. You’d expect a “favor” to be along the lines of “can you grab me a pencil” or “do you have a tissue?” But, it’s never that simple. It’s more akin to “After you’ve finished toppling that third world terrorist organization with this spoon and toothpick, can you take that syringe filled with the souls of the damned and inject it into the core of the sun for me? Thanks, I’ll buy you some McDonalds tomorrow or something.” Although if they say, "can you do my a HUGE favor," you might as well kill yourself now because whatever awaits us in the afterlife is far less painful than the torture you are about to subject yourself to.


By the cock of Zeus, whatever happened to, “How are you doing today?”

Bonus convo starters:
Can you help me find my keys?
Does this look like Herpes?
Medium iced. 3 creams. 2 sugars.
I'm going to sound like a dick/ass/douche, but can you...

33 comments:

  1. My personal favorites are: "Hey Chuck, can you help me for a minute?" and "Hey Chuck, can you show me XXXXX". Since neither one of those requests is taking place during the filming of a porn movie...they are dreaded everyday by yours truly.

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    1. Oh, that "can you help me out a minute" one always comes about when you're in the middle of something extremely important. You'll be juggling fifty computer moniters and a cup of coffee, and some manager douche will come around and say, "do you mind putting whatever you're doing down for a moment and help me take a piss?"

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  2. The one that always scares me is: "Hey. This is probably nothing, but..."

    There's always been incredibly bad news that has consumed the rest of my week or month that has come after that phrase...

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. "Hey. This is probably nothing, but you know that report that took you 40 years to write? Yeah, I accidentally destroyed every copy of it. I'm sure it won't take you long to replace since it's all in your head now, right?"

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  3. Protip: Have "I owe you money guy" meet "Can you do me a favor guy." Ask him to take that syringe filled with the souls of the damned and have him drop it into the sun while he is throwing his wallet into it. problem solved.

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    1. Oh, that's not a bad idea. It'll save billions of the traveling fees, and I can still get my point across. Genius!

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  4. The "can you do me a favour" guy is awful, but I think I have one even worse than that:

    "I'm not racist, but..."

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    1. Ah, I can't believe I missed that one! My favorite comedian has a bit on that conversation starter.

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  5. I hate being asked what my job is. Even though I don't go there much, I still say I'm a volunteer (it's better than the looks you get for being unemployed) but even that isn't so good. Some guy I told went in to a rant about how the people at the top are getting paid bucketloads while the kids are still dying. Part of me wanted to beat him to the ground.

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    1. I think it's a presumptuous question myself. Unless you are somewhat close to the person, I see no grounds for such an assumption to be made. Bah, and I wouldn't have a problem if you beat that guy into the ground.

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  6. Whenever I have asked someone for a favor, it involved talking to a guy for me because I am painfully shy. And what happens? The man falls for my friend, and they nail each other in the bar restroom.

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    1. Bah, that's bad luck right there. Despite me looking like a serial killer and all, I've still been asked to go speak to a girl for someone. It usually begins with that horrified, over-the-shoulder look, and ends with the girl hiding on the other side of the bar.

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  7. Funny I should read this now because just a minute ago my boss called and said "you're gonna hate me for this". Good news NEVER follows that statement.

    You rock!
    Shiels

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    1. Bah, there's another good one that I left out. I've heard that one many times from my supervisor.

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  8. Technically 95% of peoples jobs are unnessisary, if we used technology and machines to there full extent.

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    1. Very true, but my job shouldn't even be allowed to waste the technology to perform the ridiculously pointless task of telling people to be nice on the phone.

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    2. Scuse me, what do you do for a living? ;o)

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    3. Well, I listen to incoming calls to insurance companies and grade the reps performance based on how kind they are and whether they relayed the correct information tot he caller. Basically, once people start learning manners, I'll be out of a job. The company could easily hire one of their own to grade the calls for less than half the price they pay us.

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    4. Oooh, you're one of those "this call is being monitored" peoples. I never met anyone that actually did that, so there ARE real people listening. COOOL!!! because I like to be heard when I have a question about something and I like to know someone is getting my feedback, even if I'm yelling by the end of the conversation....NOT, I'm one of the ever polite people that only loses it with the proverbial straw...

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    5. Yeah, I'm one of those people. I don't listen to the call live, though. They're all prerecorded. But, for the most part the job is horrifically boring aside from the rare mental breakdown I encounter.

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  9. Oh and BTW, my boss was right, I'm not liking him very much right now. *clears throat*

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    1. Hahaha, it's usually the case that the recipient of "you're going to hate me, but" actually does end up hating the person.

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  10. This is exactly why I like to start every conversation like I'm in mid-conversation with them. The topic is of course always ridiculous but, if they can jump right in and be clever, then, they're worth talking to. If they roll their eyes or come out with a lot of "Uh..." and "What?", then they're not worth my time.

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    1. That is a genius idea. They either act fast or get lost. They need to recognize they're on board before even stepping foot on the loading ramp.

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  11. Man, the last picture. Oh god /dies from laughter/

    I suck at making conversation. I'm so awkward. It usually ends in tears and hyperventilating.

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    1. It depends on which side of the bed I wake up on. I have days when I can carry on a conversation for hours. Then I have those moments where I sound like a stuttering buffoon. Actually, it's more often the latter.

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  12. I always hated that boss line, "can you come see me in my office?" I'd be sweating the whole way there, thinking, "Oh God, what did I do? Was this for being on Facebook too much? Did they discover I've been stealing post it notes? Can you get fired for that?" And then they'd close the door, sit me down, and it would be something stupid like, "Okay, so do you think you can tackle this new project?"

    Of course I can, so long as I can keep stealing post it notes.

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    1. I just don't understand what's so difficult about saying "Come see me in my office. It's about a raise" or "Come see me in my office. You're being fired for stealing the Keurig cups."

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  13. You already did me a favor. I needed a laugh. Don't come by often enough so I was catching up. Seriously dude, poison ivy. That's funny. Oh, and please spare me from the people straining something to try and misunderstand me. Ain't I confusing enough, straight up. And you listen to other peoples phone conversations and grade them. OMG, that's seriously...something.

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    1. Excellent! I'm glad you got a good chuckle out of it. And, yeah, my job isnt remotely as cool as it sounds unfortunately.

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    2. How can you say that? I've had some pretty awful conversations with insurance (especial medical) companies that would make for great blog stories. I almost had a panic attack during one such conversation, broke out in hives the whole schmole. The idiots out there are worth talking about, seriously. Surprised you never blogged about any of them.

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    3. Well, there are more depressing calls than angry ones surprisingly. But, the internal/personal calls are probably the best ones. We're not suppose to grade those calls or anything, but I listen to them anyway to get a good laugh. I've never actually heard a call where someone loses their mind which is strange because I've seen my mother nearly break the speaker on the phone yelling at some of these people.

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    4. Bingo, your mom and I think alike.

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