Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thank You Blarney Stone

It always amazes me when I’m the center of attention.

The witty one. The clever one. The leader of table conversation.

Because I am none of those things.

OK, I can lead, but I usually lead through a veil of forced self confidence, not true ability or gift of gab. I guess when I get desperate and have the desire to fill awkward gapping voids of silence, the talent comes out. Thank you Blarney Stone.

I went to lunch with a coworker today to celebrate his new job on Monday. Last week, I realized that nothing was being organized for him. Probably because our secretary (who is usually the one to plan events) is observant Muslim and celebrating Ramadan (where you fast until sundown every day during the month of September).

I wouldn’t want to be in charge of a food event when I couldn’t partake, so why should I expect her to organize anything? I knew it was gong to be dreadful but felt obligated to do something for the guy.

After much discussion, we decided to take him out for lunch. Just the team and a few others that he specifically wanted to include.


Folks started whispering about an ‘A-list’ event that they apparently weren’t good enough to attend….

The original invite email started getting passed onto folks that did not fall into the ‘friend’ category….

I started being questioned by coworkers as to why they didn’t receive an invite (and luckily was able to appease them enough so they agreed not to attend)….

The ‘normal’ people that I actually looked forward to having lunch with bailed….

And my Crazy Cube Neighbor crashed the lunch, showing up a half hour late, without an invitation or a declaration of intent to come.

So there I am, sitting in a mix of social misfits, trying to come up with conversation. We talked about golf, football, education, work and travel. OK, I am pretty chatty about travel, but I seemed to have the most to say about ALL of the various topics. Not a good sign.

During the 1.5 hours at the restaurant, I watched the Rat Eater devour a plate of chicken wings like they were going out of style. I watched my Team Lead eat 8 – see that number EIGHT – pieces of cake. I watched our Guest of Honor slam a giant beer and talk about how he could drink 6 more and still be fine to drive. I watched my Crazy Cube Neighbor try to burrow his way into every conversation just to be completely ignored and shut out.

Hmmm… maybe the lunch was pretty entertaining after all.

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