Personal Space, Playoff Pace and A Bit Off Base

Justin June 10, 2011 0

And now, the latest edition of the ongoing series, “Justin shares his anti-social tendencies in the hope that others may feel the same, only they have enough sense not to say so out loud.”

Today’s episode: The Guy Who Wouldn’t Take A Hint.

I work in a newsroom. That means no one has offices or cubicles. Instead, the room is broken up into four “pods” of four desks each.  There are no “assigned seats,” but at this point everyone has a place where they’re most comfortable sitting. The spot I have chosen is close enough to my coworkers that I can speak to them when I need to, but far enough away that no one is right on top of me, or, as the kids say, all up in my shit.

As I previously stated, everyone has a preferred spot. But, for the past four Fridays, a fill-in has been working for one of my regular co-workers. This guy obviously doesn’t have a regular spot. On the first of the four Fridays, he came into the office and set up shop right next to me. I wasn’t thrilled, but he’s a nice guy and it didn’t really bother me too much. We had a perfectly pleasant conversation, but I realized the talking was getting in the way of my work a little bit. It wasn’t affecting the quality (MY WORK IS ALWAYS STELLAR A+ STUFF,) but it was slowing me down.

I wasn’t mad at the guy. I just decided I didn’t want to sit next to him while I work anymore. So, the next week. I threw my bag on the chair at the desk next to me.  I was hoping he would walk in, see the bag and decide to sit a few spots down from me. It didn’t work. He came in, asked me if it was my bag, the moved it to the floor when I said it was. And we had another perfectly pleasant conversation. And I had another day of work that took longer than it should have.

Week three comes and I decide to be a bit more proactive. After I got to work, I took the chair at the desk where he sat the previous two weeks and moved it to the other side of the office. I figured he wouldn’t sit next to me if there was no chair to sit in. Wrong again. He walked in, put his bag down right next to me, then went across the room, rolled the chair back, sat down and started working. Again, pleasant conversation. And again, I got home later than I wanted to.

So now, it’s week four. I decide to really get aggressive. In the moments before he came in, I reached over and unplugged the keyboard on the computer at the desk next to mine. I assumed he would walk in and sit down, but shift over to another computer when he realized the one he was used to didn’t work. Again, I was wrong.

He came in and sat down as expected, but instead of moving once he found that the computer didn’t work, this guy picked up the phone and called I-T. So, now as I try to work, I have this guy chatting me up while not one, but two, tech guys sit there and try to figure out what is wrong with the computer. And they couldn’t figure out the issue. They were checking for shorts in the system and asking me if anyone had accidentally spilled anything on the keyboard. I tried to keep working, but now it was getting ridiculous. After ten minutes of this, I had finally had enough.  I leaned over and pointed to the keyboard cord. The techies giggled and plugged it back in. My new desk buddy sat down, we chit chatted amicably.. and once again, I got home like an hour later than I wanted to.

I don’t know what I’ll do next week. Maybe I’ll move. I have a buddy who sits on the other side of the newsroom. I’m sure he won’t mind if I move in next to him.

Sports Illustrated: June 13th, 2011

Dirk Nowitzki, Basketball, Dallas Mavericks



The A to Z farewell to Shaq column seems unnecessarily judgmental. A few examples:

Actors Guild Two Razzie noms (Steel, Blue Chips) and a bunch of box office bombs (Kazaam: $18.8M U.S.), but yup, he’s a member.

Fu-Schnickens Lent his voice in ’93 for a hook in the hip-hop outfit’s song What’s Up Doc?, which made the Top 40, then added five albums—each worse than the last—and, in ’95, a record label, TWisM.

Jabbawockeez The San Diego dance outfit with which he creepily performed in a white mask at the ’09 All-Star Game.

X-Men Lobbied unsuccessfully for a role in the ’00 superhero movie. (Michael Jackson also pleaded to play Prof. Xavier. Both seem pretty smart nonhires.)

Why do you have to be so snarky, Sports Illustrated? Especially in a piece that has no byline. I prefer to remember Shaq through this SI article, by Jack McCallum, that followed O’Neal through his first road trip to New York when he was a rookie with the Magic.


The Game Within The Game by Lee Jenkins

The problem with publishing playoff articles mid-series is that by the time they come out, they’re already outdated. After the first three games of the NBA finals, Dirk Nowitzki was certainly the story. But by the time I read this article, the tone of the series had shifted and the big story became LeBron’s 4th quarter no-shows. And so, I found this perfectly good, if just a bit too long, piece of work to be kind of a waste of time.

This Is The Game Changer by Albert Chen

Was it just me, or when you read the title of this article, did you expect it to be about changeups? It has the word “Changer” right there in the middle of it. Instead, it’s about cutters. It turned out to be a pretty interesting history of the pitch, or at least as interesting as a piece about the history of a pitch could ever be.

The King And His Court by S.L Price

Oh boy, another article about Rafael Nadal! Maybe I’m just bitter, or maybe Rafa is just getting too comfortable with the constant media coverage, or maybe SI’s reporters are getting bored with having to write about the same guy all the time. But Nadal comes off brattier and brattier, every time he’s profiled.

Global Gamers by Grant Wahl

This article combined two of my great passions: Soccer and international immigrations and residency policies. I did not read it

Taking The Bite Out Of Boston by Brian Cazanueve

This article had the same problems as the NBA Finals piece earlier in the issue. It discusses how Vancouver had dominated the series in the first two games, forcing the Bruins out of their comfort zone. But, by the time I read it, Boston had won games 3 and 4 in complete blowouts, so the points made in the article are completely moot.

I’m also curious why this article was buried towards the back of the magazine. Why wasn’t it slotted 2nd, right after the NBA article. In my mind, that would make the magazine flow better.

Man With A Plan by Austin Murphy

I like Andrew Luck. I wish him…. ugh, luck, I guess.

Point After by Joe Posnanski

What is this? What did I just read? Did he really decide to write a column based on a movie trailer? Not Joe’s best effort.


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