Friday, July 11, 2008

An Anecdote

I'm going to preface this story by saying that, as a general rule, I don't talk or complain about my pregnancy at work. It's hard enough being one of the only women in my field; I don't need to emphasize that fact to my labmates. I get a lot of my whining out of my system on this blog, S listens to the rest, and then I move on with my life. So the request that I made in the story below is one of the few times in many months that I've even mentioned the pregnancy. And I didn't think that it was that big of a request, but hey, what do I know.

The story:

A large group of my labmates almost always has lunch together in the research center's cafeteria. The food kinda sucks, but there's a large bright indoor eating area as well as a really nice outdoor patio area, which is where we usually spend our lunch hour. But this week, the temps have been in the upper 90s. Not pleasant. So at lunch yesterday, I requested that we eat inside for a change, to avoid the heat. Sadly, though, most of my coworkers are socially awkward nerds. They don't read social situations very well, have serious problem empathizing with fellow human beings (much less female ones!), and are very very tied to their particular daily habits. Below is the conversation between me and Clueless Coworker ("CC"). If any of you watch "The Big Bang Theory," it would be completely within range to picture Sheldon playing the part of CC.

Me: Can we sit inside today? It's really hot out.
CC: But we always sit outside!
Me: I know, but it's in the 90s, and I'm not handling the heat very well these days.
CC: You can sit in the shade.
Me: It would still be in the 90s. Please, do the pregnant girl a favor. Let's sit inside just this once.
CC: But... we always sit outside!

I kinda stared at him for a few seconds, then realized that I really didn't need to be having this conversation. I switched tactics:

Me: It's too hot outside for me today, so I will be eating my lunch inside. I'll be at that table over there.

At which point, all my other coworkers (looking slightly confused, but reasonably pliant nonetheless) followed me. And CC went outside to eat by himself in the 95+ degree sun. It felt very middle school cool table. I'm such the alpha dog.


  1. I love this story. It made me smile :) thanks for dropping by my blog by the way.

  2. I've seen a few guys here do that. Many a-time I've educated a guy on empathy. That story made me smile.


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