Was the IT guy trying to break the world record for longest small talk session? Well, I had important scumbag temp employee things to do like admire my cute hair in the mirror and drink all the free hot chocolate.
Most importantly, I had to complete twenty-five of hopefully one hundred squats before the morning’s mail delivery. My bank account might look like temp receptionist, but my booty was gonna look like full-time stripper.
Finally, the longest moment of small talk seemed to be rounding off. “What’s your name again?”
“Onicia,” I replied while pointing to my OVERSIZED nametag. Why people don’t read?
“Cool. What do your friends call you?” First of all, sir, how dare you assume I have friends.
“Onicia,” I said while again pointing to my OVERSIZED nametag,
“So you don’t have a nickname? What about Ni-ni?” His questions came in rapid succession.
What in the corporate frick frack? This man just butchered ‘Onicia’, a name that means ‘wanted by the gods’, and swapped it for a Mr Ed the talking horse sound effect! He’s gunning for a horse kick in the face, man.
The absolute audacity to choose Ni-ni as an alternative to Onicia was just– Gah! Did I have a big nose and overly-bleached teeth and hair?!
Maybe he didn’t realize what he was doing. I needed to bring his naming crimes to his consciousness. “Like Nene Leakes? No. Onicia is easy to say; It sounds like Alicia but with an O.” I punctuated my assertion with a curt smile and levelled chin.
Roberto doubled down on his naming faux pas. “You don’t like Ni-ni? Ah, we’ll figure it out.”
No the blankity blank we won’t figure out how to defile a perfectly beautiful and compact name like Onicia.
And while we’re on the topic of my name, ‘Muller’ is pronounced Muh-lure. Not ‘mule-lah’ like some donkey laughing in a corner. Muh-lure as in MUH milkshakes LURE all the boys to the yard. Dang right, my jokes staler than yours.
Choops, I guess that’s what you should expect from someone who thinks “Anyways, don’t let me keep you” is code for “Anyways, don’t let me get to that machine filled with free hot chocolate. Please keep jibber-jabbering so I can’t do my one hundred squats and let my glutes go soft like an Olympian couch potato.”
Le sigh. Serves me right for giving a real response to “Good Morning. How are you?”
Having real conversations with your coworkers is worse than talking to randos. At least with strangers, you don’t have to worry explaining why you take four thirty-minute bathroom breaks a day. (#SquatsIsLife)
Sidebar: I would have done #GTL, but my situation was more Gym, Time Theft, Lavatory – which isn’t quite as relatable.
Shout out to all the Black Women at work who go by their birth names. May the spirit of Watermelondrea Jones be with us as we navigate the seas of corporate cubicles.
Award-winning Caribbean comedian, Onicia Muller’s weekly humour column, Just Being Funny is chicken soup for the naive sceptic’s soul. You can hire her to write anything from blogs and newsletters to
bathroom poetry funny greeting cards. Join her newsletter for funny stories and stand-up comedy. OniciaMuller.com