Monday, November 5, 2007

He Could Be My Father

There's been nothing exciting happening lately. Nothing to write about. Nothing to post. So, I decided to tell you all about Bob.

We all know a guy who is old, hunched over, has a vaguely familiar odor, mumbles to himself, and shuffled his feet. Usually it’s the homeless guy you pass on your way to the bus, but for me it’s a guy I work with, name Bob, who sits in the cube across from mine.

Over seven years of working together side by side, we haven’t said more than 20 words to each other. Somehow, I still know that his schizophrenic daughter ran away to Arkansas leaving him and his wife to take care of his grandson, he’s Jewish, lives in a condo, has corns on his feet, had a growth removed from his ear, worked 20 years as a traveling salesman, used to live in St Louis and loves country music. Half of that information I gleaned from his loud personal telephone conversations, the remaining info I learned from overhearing his self-mumblings. Bob is a confirmed “loud talker”, so I’m sure others in the office know a lot about him, but I sit nearest to him, so I’m privy to some information that others may not know. If I cared to, I could remind him when his next prostate exam is.

Bob is fond of telling jokes to his coworkers and customers. He’s got George Burns jokes in his repertoire, Dangerfield, all the classics. Although his favorite joke is his very own creation about the “Bob Convention” that he goes to every year.
He sets it up with, “Honest to god, every year there’s a Bob convention.”
Then he brings it home with, “they save a bundle on name tags.”
That is the extent of the joke. I never get to hear the reaction on the other end, but he tells the joke every day with the same enthusiasm, as I’m sure he had the first time he told it.

Three years ago, our department switched from the old dummy terminal computers to actual personal computers. This was the first time Bob had ever seen a PC, much less worked with one. It’s been four long years of Bob asking questions like, “how do I bring up my message thingy?” and, “where did my internets go?”

He’s finally mastered the art of turning his computer on and logging in. He’s able to do his job and read emails, but I still hear him say to customers, “your ad will also be on the inter-webs”, and “we have a huge internets”, and it still makes me giggle like a little schoolboy.

1 comment:

MISSterious said...

god, i miss bob.