Twice within the space of 30 minutes this morning, co-workers started to talk to me about work-related issues. Twice within the space of 30 minutes this morning, I had no idea what they were talking about.
The first time, I thought it was a fluke. The guy was in the other room when he started talking. I wasn't sure if he was talking to me. By the time I realized he was, I had missed the entire first half of the conversation. I fumbled and groped around trying to get my bearings. Was he asking me for information? Did he need me to do something? Was I supposed to be taking this information and doing something useful with it?
I asked a couple of questions which I thought might help clear things up. It made it worse. He would answer yes in response to questions that were open-ended. I would restate what he had said and he answer yes and then restate what I had restated completely differently. I still had no idea what the original topic (question? amusing anecdote?) was.
I fessed up. "I hear your words, and I know they are English, but they don't mean anything to me. Out of everything you just said, there is nothing which even remotely resembles a cohesive thought in my brain. Can you start over?"
He sighed, "This boat had the wrong inventory description in the computer. I changed it for you. That's why you are confused, because the description is wrong."
I pulled the file and showed him the inventory description paperwork which he had originally filled out. "You mean this description is wrong?"
"Yeah, it's wrong. It's not a...wait, that's MY writing. Did I fill it out that way? Golly, that's totally wrong....Wow, that's waaaaay off. What was I thinking? I, uh, fixed it for you in the computer."
Thanks. Glad we got that cleared up.
Then, I got a call from another co-worker. She's not a cut-to-the-chase kind of person and I usually have to listen to 30 times more information than I need to find out exactly what she wants. So I listen, and listen, and listen, and listen. Finally she's done, but I still have no idea what she wants.
"So, you need me to fax something to you?"
"No. This is your thing. I'm just letting you know what the status is."
I begin to bristle at the fact that she's trying to fop this incredibly complex and probably unsolvable problem off on me.
"So, you think I need to take care of this?"
"Well, you asked about it yesterday. You're going to need this information. I'm just passing it along to you."
"I asked about it? Asked you about it yesterday?"
"No, you asked Gene when you saw him and he told me to call you and give you this information."
Now, it's true that I did see Gene yesterday. I start to rack my brain. It is possible that I was working on an incredibly complex and probably unsolvable problem as recently as yesterday and can't REMEMBER ANYTHING ABOUT IT? Yes, it's possible.
She senses my confusion and her conviction that I need to have this information wanes a tad. "Well, Gene is out right now. I'll call you back after I talk to him about it."
Yes, please do that.
She calls back. "Um yeah. It looks like the lady at the bank, well, this is really funny, haha, it, uh, well I just saw the note, and it, heehee, looks like her name is Andrea, too. Heehee. Isn't that odd and bizarre and just-so-very-unusual? So, I guess I was supposed to call her, not you. Hahaha. Sorry about that."
Yeah. Sorry for making me think, for the second time this morning, that I'd been kidnapped during the night and that my brain had been harvested for sale by black-market organ dealers? No problem, happens all the time.