When Bad Lines Turn Good
I work for the government. For the most part, my colleagues and I appear disheveled yet conservative, and while all of us are a bit weird, we keep it under wraps. There are, of course, exceptions, the man I met on the elevator today being one of the brashest. Loud, flamboyant, flashily dressed, outspoken, a teaser, a razzer, a man who says just about anything to anyone anytime anyplace, I see him almost every day but have no idea what he does. He might be a lawyer, a counselor, a part-time clerk, a layabout. For all I know, he was downsized ten years ago but continues to arrive each morning to go about his business as though nothing has changed.
What I do know is, he is awesome. Even when he’s shouting some ignorant thing across the corridor, echoing personal business for all ears to hear, he has a certain charm. He is not nearly as suave as I suspect he imagines himself to be, nor is he especially attractive or dapper. And yet…there is something about him, and this something grants him liberties most of us wouldn’t imagine taking, not in the contemporary white-collar workplace, at any rate.
For instance, this morning, he held the elevator door for me, tapping his foot while I took my time. I didn’t know he was waiting, assumed I’d catch the next one, then dashed a bit quicker once I realised. As I stepped aboard and the door slid shut, he looked me up and down then scolded, “Mmmm hmmm, lady, just because you look so good don’t mean you can keep me waiting…” pause… “Well, actually, I guess it does.”