On the ladder of life experiences office conversations are like slipping down a rung and hitting your chin. Days are lost listening to uncomfortable conversations fill the uncomfortable silences.
There’s menial conversation by the coffee machine, there’s menial conversation in the lift, there’s menial conversation in the bathrooms. In fact there’s menial conversation everywhere where you have to spend more than a few moments next to anyone you work with.
A simple fact of office life is that you’ll spend a lot of time around people with whom you have no idea how to have a conversation. What on earth is scrapbooking and why would anyone spend time doing that? Okay, so there are small paper bows? That hasn’t upped the appeal if I’m being honest. Perhaps its because there’s so little to talk about that we have to spend so long talking about nothing.
I have taken the liberty of compiling my list of “Top 10 Menial Conversations” so you can fill your silences with a broader spectrum of nothings.
Top Ten Menial Office Conversations:
- Talk about how busy you are, how you have deadlines and how you expect to be busy for the foreseeable future. Sympathize with your colleague when they tell you that they too are busy, have deadlines and expect to be busy for the foreseeable future. Also say “I hear you” if someone in the office yawns or sighs.
- . Talk about how unfair it is that you work for five days and only have two days on the weekend off. Propose that you should all just work four-day weeks and have three-day weekends. Laugh about this, then go back to work. If you work in an investment bank you should look up “weekends” on Wikipedia, if you have time.
- Talk about which day of the week it is, framed in reference to the two-day weekend. In the first half of the week tell everyone how much you miss last weekend. In the second half of the week tell everyone how much you’re looking forward to the next weekend. The days are: “How was your weekend?”, “Nearly half way through the week,” “Half way through the week,” “Not long before the weekend” and “Here comes the weekend,” also known as jeans day.
- Don’t you really struggle to get out of bed? Me too. It’s because my life is as mundane as the awards ceremony that the awards ceremony industry has each year, where they give various awards to different awards ceremonies. We can all bond whining over the snooze button, which was only installed because the ‘screw my life, I’m 30 and my childhood self would hate to see me now’ button was out of stock.
- Muse on commuting by train, bus or being stuck in traffic. It’s a grumble when you get into the office and a fear as you leave, every day, for the rest of your working life.
- Talk about the weather and how you hope it either stays like this or changes before the weekend.
- Lunch: we all eat that and they serve it here. Why is lunch never long enough? Do we have to go back to work?
- Isn’t the coffee bad? Don’t we all really dislike it? How many cups have you had today? Why not discuss this ad nauseum until upper management squanders your pension mahogany-lining their office curtains? You can even talk about coffee recipes, like adding lemon or gin. Make jokes about how you like women like your coffee? How is that exactly Simon, imported from poor countries?
- Discuss your fears of the minor virus that is presently going around the office or the minor virus you have just passed on to everyone else in the office, you bastard.
- Someone must have died, given birth, got married or been abducted by Scientologists. Why don’t we all pretend your new born baby isn’t a puffy little ET doppelganger?