Sometimes, I think that the mere mention of my name must send shudders down the spines of my (Very Big) employer’s Human Resources department.
I’ve mentioned that I have a pregnant colleague. She’s been rearranging things around the office to accommodate her condition — she can’t reach as far back on shelves as before. This was tremendously enlightening to me; I had not realized that one of the consequences of pregnancy was that it makes your arms shorter. You learn something new every day.
Later, we were discussing her maternity leave this summer. It’s known that I have a LOT of vacation time built up (just shy of 5.5 weeks; if I add in my sick time and floating holiday, I could take almost seven weeks off with pay). She suggested — half-kiddingly — that I could “donate” some to her for her leave.
I informed her that I was not inclined to “share” the time I’ve earned. “Hey, I didn’t knock you up — I have at least three alibis!”
But I’m not a complete lost cause. I can occasionally exert a modicum of self-control.
I have a bit of a knack for recognizing foreign accents. I have lousy foreign language skills, but I can pick up on — and imitate — accents quite well. I was speaking with a lady who had a very pronounced accent, but she spoke very little, giving me little to work on.
“Pardon me for asking, ma’am, but I am intrigued by your accent. Are you German?”
She smiled. “No, I’m Brazilian.”
For a brief instant, a very inappropriate response flashed through my mind. “I would have guessed that if you weren’t wearing pants.”
As I said, I have a smidgen of self-restraint. I didn’t say that to the lady.
But I had to tell SOMEONE…