Friday, January 06, 2006 I'm a bit oversensitive

I work in an old building...a really old building. It's on the National Register of Historic Places. It was THE original old courthouse and jail in our county. Our conference room used to be the one courtroom in the county, complete with wood floors, high ceilings and chandeliers. Aside from the lack of modernization since the 50s, it's a decent building to work in. We each have our own individual offices upstairs where the judges and clerks used to have offices. They all have doors. Remember that fact, it's integral to my stupification at the fact that I've had to listen to THREE different "baby" conversations this morning already and I haven't even been here an hour.

You see, we have this new coworker who has a relatively young daughter (I don't think she's quite two yet). Now, I could cut her some slack if she didn't know. But come on...there's nine people in this entire building...I'm SURE someone shared the information with her. So do I really need to sit in my own office and hear her next door telling daddy-to-be coworker all her pregnancy/birth/the ultrasound was wrong stories? Couldn't you all close the door for the, "She's having a baby a week before you're due to take the bar exam for the second time...I'm sure you'll be fine scheduling it that close," conversation?

And there is new mommy co-worker who seems convinced that every new discovery along her journey of motherhood is earth-shatteringly important and must be shared...with me. I swear! Do I need to know your beautiful, perfect, LIVING baby has found his feet this week? Is it really necessary to discuss what size clothing your baby, who is about the same age Alex should be, is wearing now? Do you need to share it with ME of all people?!?! Can't you shut your damn door?!?!

Now, you may ask why I don't shut MY door. I have been. But I usually have to key in to the subject of the conversation first. Because you see, I can't spend the entire day with my office door shut. My office is immediately next to the furnace. If I shut my door for longer than 45 minute intervals, I'm effectively working in a sauna (and the window is painted shut with YEARS of paint). It would be fine if this was summer and I was dressed for warm weather. But this is the snowbelt...I'm usually wearing more layers than Nanook of the North. I'm toying with the idea of wearing disposable layers. Come to work fully dressed...shut my door...peel off layers as the day progresses and the temperature rises in my office. It's workable. Sure, it's workable. And I know I'm oversensitive. But what happened to empathy?

Today we're having a going away party for one of our co-workers who is leaving for a new job. It's one of those lunchtime get togethers. God help the person who talks about babies. I won't listen anymore...I will get up and leave. I'm no longer going to pretend that it's ok for people to be insensitive. Find some damn empathy...and shut your damn doors!


kate said...

No kidding. People are shitty, i am sorry about it. I just stopped going to work at all, myself, because of stuff like is, and then the way they would look at me. I was very very lucky to have that option, even if only temporarily.

cat said...

Ok not oversensitive at all. It is ok to ask the new momma to curb her enthusiasm a bit. Tell her it's painful for you and if she can't get that... well screw her.

You have every right to ask people to cut that shit out. Protect yourself because those people obviously are not smart enough to get it.

deadbabymama said...

I agree with cat, say something! There's no reason why people shouldn't be asked to be more sensitive.

Catherine said...

What would I say? Could you please shut your door because I really can't deal with all the baby talk?