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May 17, 2004

Why I hate going into the Office

I really like what I do. Really and truly. But when I am in town and have to go to the office, I become a nervous fricking wreck.

Why is that? Because some of the people I work with are unbelievably annoying in pushing their viewpoint that the USA is arrogant and if they were from another country, they would want to kill us, too.

One of the guys I work with, "R", is a very intelligent guy. He has worked for company Z (that's what I'll call it, OK?) for probably 4 or 5 years, and spent a couple of years working for us in Australia.

This means that he is a well-traveled, worldly guy. (at least he thinks so)

He strolled in this morning and immediately wanted to talk about some HBO special with Lewis Black that he watched last night.

Heck, I think Lewis Black can be a pretty funny guy, and I told R that.

But then, R went on - he said that Lewis Black did a great job of explaining why other countries hate us.

I countered with - gee, isn't Lewis Black lucky that he can say anything he wants to about the USA and we won't cut his tongue out, rape his wife or otherwise attempt to abridge his right to free speech?

R said, well, yeah, but you have to admit that the USA is arrogant and pisses people in other countries off.

I looked him in the eye, and I said, R, you do not want to talk politics with me at work. We are co-workers, we get along just fine, and I want to keep it that way.

He started again - 'well, you have to admit that we brag about how great we are and how awful that must sound to other countries:
Then he said to me - "but you haven't traveled much around the world, have you?"

I told my co-worker, R - "I have traveled extensively through the US, but you are right, I have only been abroad once, last fall, when I went to England".

He then said " well, that is why you can't possibly understand ...
And I rudely interrupted him and said, "R, you do not want to talk politics with me, I have a military background (if'n you count John's - my little time in the US Army Reserve hardly qualifies) and you are not going to change my feelings about the United States of America, so let's just leave it."

He started again - I said "No, R, I do not want to have this discussion with you."

He started yet again, and I interrupted yet again and said, " R, I am trying to preserve our relationship as good co-workers. Stop the political diatribe NOW."

Finally, he got it - though he was mumbling to himself for the next 30 minutes.

That's why I would rather be in Dearborn Michigan working with a kind Arab who likes America than in Kansas City with a rude American who hates America.

Sigh.

Posted by Beth at May 17, 2004 09:02 PM