On Saturday I heard some bad news: I was told that I was “boring”.
The accuser didn’t tell me to my face; she did it in a subtle way but she spoke her words directly in front of me (almost as if I wasn't there). The conversation went something like this (the words changed slightly to protect the guilty and the innocent):
Mrs PM: I work at a place that's similar to your workplace. My company does the same sort of thing.
The Accuser: How BORING!!
Mrs PM: What? What do you mean, “boring”?
The Accuser: It must be full of engineers – and engineers are SO BORING!
Mrs PM (grinding her teeth): Well I’m an engineer, of sorts – and I like it.
The Accuser (now referring to me): Well YOU TWO are MADE for each other then!!
I thought Mrs PM was going to explode. Mrs PM was actually trying to help the person concerned and the “boring” tag was something she really didn’t like at all.
I was amazed that somebody had the audacity to call Mrs PM and I boring to our faces. Not only that: she actually called ALL engineers boring.
The Accuser, thankfully moved away, presumably her senses being nullified by the tedium of our conversation - or maybe she sensed the aggression in Mrs PM's demeanour.
“I can’t believe she said that,” said Mrs PM snarling. “How can she call engineers boring? I’m not boring, am I?”
“I wouldn’t know,” I said jokingly. “I’m boring too.”
Sadly, that didn’t go down too well.
There are a lot of engineers in my company, as you would imagine, so really the Accuser’s slur was directed at all of us.
Now I don’t want to have a go at somebody I barely know – so I won’t. Well, I might do – one day.
But I certainly won’t do it now. It wouldn’t be very nice.
I have actually heard one other woman who works for my company (she shall remain nameless) say a similar thing about one of my fellow engineers:
“He’s really quite nice – for an engineer”.
Again, this struck me as an odd thing to say (and of course he was ridiculed mercilessly for it). And if you are reading, dear engineer - I'm sorry for bringing it up again - but I do have a point to make so I hope you'll forgive me.
Of course, Captain Paranoia had a field day:
“HA HA!!! She just told you TO YOUR FACE what everybody else thinks of you. You are tedium personified. I've been telling you that for YEARS! You have the same effect on people as Medusa – one sentence from you turns them to stone. Even your cats find you boring – your bloody cats!!”
And for a while I heeded his words and started to think – am I boring?
Are engineers all boring people?
Do we induce coma when we use our tedious conversation as a weapon to neutralise people?
Do people fall asleep when listening to us?
Are you, dear reader, struggling to stay awake while reading my monotonous rambling?
I haven’t noticed it to be honest. But would I really notice something like that? Do people call me boring behind my back?
One thing I will say about the Accuser is although she has to interact with engineers as part of her job (albeit briefly), she isn’t an engineer herself. She doesn’t sit at a desk with engineers and she doesn’t therefore participate in our day to day banter.
Consequently, she doesn't really know us.
Maybe we are all geeks who are so preoccupied with technology, gadgets, science fiction and computers that we have little time for small talk about the more mundane things in life that might interest a wider range of people.
I know for a fact that I wouldn’t want to spend my time having a conversation about soap operas for example.
Does that make me boring?
Now, I know a bore when I see one – but I would never call a person boring to his or her face – even if I really did find them boring.
Anyway, I don’t mind what people think of me. I have a thick skin and I can take it. I’ve been called far worse.
One thing I do know, if you are ever unfortunate enough to be trapped in a conversation with me and are about to blackout into an abyss of oblivion, just remember what you have read on this very blog; you can change me from being a boring bastard into a rampaging, ranting monster just by asking me what I think of X Factor, politicians or a whole host of insane madness that blights my world.
On seconds thoughts, maybe that’s not such a good idea.
I just hope this post didn’t bore you.
Are you still awake?