Today’s writing session was cut short by a “nice guy.”
As I’ve mentioned several times, I usually do my writing out of the apartment–fewer distractions and it helps to get my work finished if I have a set time I have to stop. There’s a Starbucks close to my house that I used to visit all the time, but it became a pain in the ass. A lot of folks with serious issues began hanging out there. Sometimes they would carry on loud conversations in that small room. Sometimes they would do wound care right there next to me. It was distracting and gross.
Today I thought I’d give it a try again. Unfortunately, someone sitting nearby decided that he and I should have a pleasant chat. He kept trying to start a conversation with me, even after I told him several times that I was sorry, but I’d come to work and didn’t want to talk. It would go like this:
“Nice computer you have there. Apple right? Is it an eye-something? A MacBook?”
“Yes. I’m sorry, but I can’t talk. I really need to work.”
“Work? You’re working, huh? I got my Master’s degree at the University of Minnesota. Where did you get your Masters in Computer Science?”
“I never said I had a Masters in Computer Science.”
“Oh, so insurance or bank, huh? Which bank do you work for? Wells Fargo? B of A?”
I don’t answer. Three minutes of silence.
“You get movies on that thing? What’s your favorite movie?”
For an entire hour. He managed to keep a wide-eyed and polite tone through the whole thing, almost to the end, as though he was being perfectly friendly and polite. But there was something off about the guy. I still managed to meet my small word count goal, but not my usual Sunday goal. I’m not going back there again.
Also, yesterday I received a really crazy PM on LiveJournal from a complete stranger. He was trying to enlist me in this project to do something nice for a Third Party (who shall remain nameless). If this had been a quick “So and so needs X. Would you like to help?” I would have been tempted. Instead it was 800 words of how Third Party irrationality and inability to make sensible decisions, and how Third Party wasn’t letting the stranger offer the necessary help, so stranger wanted to do it through me as a proxy.
Ugh. It was creepy as hell, and a perfect example of the “nice guy” who thinks they’re entitled to steal someone else’s agency because they know better and they’re being caring and polite about it. It didn’t have the undertones of a criminal looking for a mark, but it made my skin crawl anyway.
This morning, in the Starbucks, the creep eventually became irritated with me. “I’m trying to be nice, here!”
“No you’re not!” I answered. He looked surprised. “I’ve been asking you not to interrupt me while I work, and you’ve been interrupting me anyway. That’s the opposite of nice.”