Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Kid on the Aisle

For seven glorious months I have had no next-door cube neighbor. The absence of a co-worker sitting next to me has been blissful. I can talk loudly on the phone, not share my gum with others, and throughout the course of the day talk out loud to myself without others judging me.

My loony behavior however has come to an end with the arrival of the New Kid. I had been informed last week by HR (who is by the way only one man who also serves as our legal counsel) that the New Kid would be occupying the cubicle next to mine and all the stuff that I had been stowing there had to be moved. Quick explanation, since my last next-door neighbor had moved out I have been using New Kid's desk as my second desk. I just have a lot of stuff - marketing materials take up a lot of space! And I just recently had my closet taken away for me because it is now fall and people need a place to put their coats. Coats schmoats.

Anyway, I agreed to let the New Kid move in if he was A) attractive and B) single, to which HR/Legal Guy responded with a snort and said, "Move your stuff." I begrudgingly moved my things (which means I now live underneath a mountain of paper and cardboard boxes), and the New Kid moved in on Monday.

I hate to say it, but I already loathe him and it's only been three days. But the guy is just trying way too hard and he doesn't stop talking. I know it's a new job for him and he's just trying to fit in, but the guy is going overboard. He has tried to get in on inside jokes already with me and other co-workers, invited himself into the work football pool, and told me about his entire high school, college and work histories.

New Kid also had to ask how to open Outlook. And I showed him. I have now become his go-to person. You know, the person he asks every. single. question. How do I file a question for tech? Where can I find a stapler? How can I order these pens I really like? How do I open Excel on this computer? It is a tiny bit draining.

I am completely sympathetic for him. New job, new people. He's just trying to fit in. I get it. But when I started this job, I didn't have friends until at least month three. It takes time to get to know a person. So don't talk me to death. I like things to happen naturally. No pressure, no forcing friendships. Here's to hoping this New Kid on my aisle stops trying so hard and stops talking so much.

What I wouldn't give for that cubicle back.

33 comments:

B said...

Being the new kid myself, I have to say I'm sure he appreciates your help and non-mockery.
Being the snarker I am, I say: "Oh, he's THAT guy." The guy that is instantly best friends with everyone? Almost TOO social?!
In time, people WILL see through his farce.

hollylynn said...

i don't know why, but when you said, "it's a tiny bit draining" i giggled aloud in my cube (and i have neighbors but they already know i'm a little loony).

Kristi said...

I feel your pain, WG2. For months the entire row of cubes bordering my group was empty. Then, one horrible day, a new group moved in, and I haven't had peace since. They are so loud and obnoxious. They complain about EVERYTHING. Ugh. I long for those days of being neighborless!!

ELI3 said...

Over the years I've always been rough on new people. Then again, until recently I always worked in a rather high-turnover, high-moron capita environment and new people weren't around long enough to bother getting to know.
Play some pranks on him. My favorite one is sending him to an office on another floor, tell him you lent them the office coffee maker last week but they haven;t brought it back yet. Of course, there is no coffee maker and you've never even spoken to anyone in the office you send him to. It's a cruel yet hilarious joke for a new guy. If he can get a laugh out of it and be a sport, let him into the inner circle. He will have earned it.

Tenacious Tess said...

Even if the non stop chatter does subside, he will always come to you as his go to person. That seems to never change with new employees even after they've been at a job for awhile. Good luck!

NewlywedCentral said...

Hmm... sounds like New Kid is really insecure -- ugh -- nothing worse than an insecure man :(

mack said...

I TOTALLY know what you're going through. I sat by someone for about a year that talked my ear off.. about things I couldn't care less about. She is now named 'the talker' between my friends and I. Now,I am very, very good at barely listening, but listening enough to know when to say 'oh really' and 'no way' and all that fun stuff. So goodluck with that!!

Mary De Bastos said...

how did he get a job not knowing how to open Outlook and Excel? Whats his job?!?!?!
I feel for ya sista! and I'm sorry your the go to girl! As if you didn't have enough work to do!! now you have to babysit!!

Giovanna Diaries said...

I would totally feign major migraines in hopes he would shush up!

Trish said...

He obviously really wants to fit in and make friends. And clearly, he looks up to you. Try to feel flattered. He'll ease up in time, as he learns the ropes.

Holly Grande said...

I almost feel bad for New Kid. I just graduated last May, and this is my first foray into the real world. I recently left my internship to look for an entry level position where I will be that New Girl.

I hope I don't come across as trying to hard! But I see how easily that can happen. I would love to work with and learn from someone like you, but I think I would respect bounderies a bit more than he seems to. At my internship, I became the go-to gal for the new crop of interns during the overlap, and it was flattering, but I had my own work to do.

Fidget Midget said...

I can relate to you. I used to work in a part of the office that was next to the kitchen AND I had empty cubes beside me. It was great. And then other people slowly started to migrate into my territory. At first I was annoyed because, like you, I was their go-to person for things. After awhile they made my work days go by quicker since we eventually became friends.

Constructive Attitude said...

Maybe if your nice enough to him, he could be like your own personal assistant. I mean you are helping him out, so maybe you shud try that..lol.

LJ said...

Shoot you should of played dumb to start with then you at least should been able to get out of being his go to girl.

Maybe he will chill out after the first couple weeks is over.

Micaela said...

Having good friends at work is the most wonderful thing, but having to spend all day with someone that is completely unbearable no matter how charming you are... well it's the most horrible thing.
Sometimes there's just no getting around it... hope it gets better!

Maxie said...

Wait... how can someone get a job if they don't know how to open outlook or excel. People like that can find jobs?

SBWaire said...

I found your blog on Just Lizabell. Loving it! Thanks for the laughs...

Blaez said...

i hate being the new kid on the block. thankfully i got a promotion and already knew most of the people i'd be working with.

however, i found out: that when i was the recreation girl i was fun and laughing and we'd crack jokes --now that i'm the corporate billing chic i'm suppose to be somber and most business like

what bullshit! we corporate billers can crack jokes, too!!! --right?? right?

Blaez said...

ps! thanks for the friend add on 20something bloggers ::)

Elizabeth Marie said...

I hope its just him being nervous and new. If not you may be stuck with a draining cube neighbor for an unhealthy amount of time. :-( Good luck working girl!

Subway Gal said...

Oh my, that is very annoying. I actually had a client like that once. He was new and as one of FIVE people on the PR team, he came to me for EVERYTHING, even when I told him I didn't know and told him who the correct contact on our team was. He was really sweet, but I used to dread seeing his name pop up on my caller id. It sounds like you need to slap this coworker one good time and I bet he shuts up.

Maki said...

Ouch! I feel like you're talking about me...

I just started a new job today and I think I was doing the same thing; where is~? What is~? How can I use~?

My trainer has been nice (she has to be because I'm filling in for her), but towards the end, I know she was getting tired of being nice about it. LOL

I hope he'll get better as days go by!

steph anne said...

i love your blog (found you through http://20somethings.ning.com)

i'm a marketing intern myself for a commercial real estate firm and loving it!! is it okay if i add you to my blogroll on my website? (http://www.fridayglamour.com/blog)

as to your post - the girl next to my cubicle was annoying and would try to have random conversations with me. so glad i got my own cubicle and haven't seen her since!

Endless Randomness said...

Though I generally detest most new "colleagues" till they have a chance to convince me otherwise.. this variety, the one thats instantly BFFs with everyone is the most annoying of the lot :(

Katie B. said...

I feel your pain. As of tomorrow the two empty offices/desks around me will be filled with not only any random employee... but my boss and my manager.

My days of rocking out in my big room all alone listening to music, chatting when my friends call, and watching all of the clips of the INSANE things that Sarah Palin said the night before online are over.

Don't get me wrong... I work too. But I am going to miss those things. I'll get back to you with how life progresses post-move.

Belowen said...

Oh dear, I will have 3 "new kids" starting in my office soon, thankfully the closest spare desk to me is a good few metres away, so I can hide/avoid any questions behind my screen easy enough. Good luck finding patience!

Dave Q. said...

Any chance you can somehow print out this blog post and leave it on New Kid's desk? I'm just saying... :)

RottweilerTOM said...

Open Outlook? Is the guy retarded? I learned that in 1997.

But be a generous soul - its hard to fit in sometimes and many people just don't know how...

Katie Killary said...

"not share my gum with others" - haha classic!

I always have to share my gum with others...

Lauren said...

I have a co-worker like that as well. he just tries too hard! It's annoying. You're doing a great job, though. Not making him feel dumb, including him. Maybe he'll get the hint eventually. or maybe he'll learn how to open excel for himself...

Twenty-Something said...

In six months you guys will either be bff, sleeping together, or arch-enemies. Just sayin.

Louise said...

Wow that sucks...give him time, I'm sure he'll loosen up.

Rendezvous said...

Cube mates. Yuck. And that sad part about it is that you have to be somewhat cordial and accomodating or you risk the possibility of New Kid besmirching your good name and possibly creating uncomfortable political factions down the road. New Kid will only be New Kid for so long. Then he’s just another guy in the break room who stops talking abruptly when you walk in! LOL! Next thing you know, some superior is using words like “not a team player” at your next performance review. TISK! I sit in an office that used to be all mine, then after a big staff grab, it was sliced into two workstations. My previous roomie snored obnoxiously loud. My current roomie is the president's daughter (no, not that president! LOL!) so needless to say, that presents some challenges. I have to keep all my bizarre behavior to a dull minimum, speak in code on personal phone calls (“yeah girl, that late meeting with Mr. Jenkins at my home office went swimmingly!”) all the while projecting a inviting and friendly persona that allows just enough camaraderie to graze good high level office info/drama.