I know it is at my peril that I write this, but I need to vent; what better venue than this exists?
I once heard it said of a carpenter friend of mine that he could "numbfuck a job to death." The idea was that he was particularly good at wasting time. If that was true, then the son of the man for whom I've been working commits necrophilia with jobs' corpses. When he isn't on the phone or at his father's heels, he's stopping to talk to whoever will listen, for however long they'll lend an ear.
He acts as if he's a general contractor; he practically micromanages any other contractors at our job sites. He turns an eight-hour workday into a ten-hour one with all the extracurricular chitchat. It's kind of painful to behold (or hear--my focus is on my work). He goes into intimate and intricate detail on every subject, down to the most trivial aspects one can imagine.
"Nice shoes!" "Yeah. They were made in a factory in the Philippines. Then they were put on a ship that burned about five thousand gallons of diesel on the trip to Baltimore harbor, where they were loaded onto a green truck whose driver was trained in Rhode Island in 1987. He graduated from the academy in June; his diploma was written on paper made at the mill just north of here..."
Yesterday at lunch, he got a call from his wife. I couldn't help overhearing both ends of the conversation; I was comfortable where I was sitting and was not about to move. She was pissing and moaning about being pestered by a coworker who was interrupting an important work-related chat she was having with another coworker. Something about wanting her to go to lunch. When the phone call was over, I pretended that I had not clearly heard her end of the conversation; I remarked that she must have had a lot on her mind.
He told me what the situation was, then he proceeded to hang lip on the coworker who sparked his wife's fit. She apparently spends too much of her day socializing instead of working. She goes into the office seven days a week, because she doesn't get her work done in the usual five and she doesn't have a life. I think I remember him saying that he doesn't understand people like that. Go figure...
Afterward, we were talking about the latest oil rig explosion (he had found out about it on Facebook). When talk turned to the various emergency responders, I had to have just a little bit of fun at his expense. In a very thinly veiled sarcastic tone I said, "I wonder what they were wearing." He replied, "Probably orange jumpsuits." I gave the third member of our three-man crew a quick glance and eye-roll, then concentrated all my self-control on not falling out of my chair.
Shortly after lunch, I told my friend that I couldn't believe the other guy so mindlessly took the bait. He replied, "You know, they wear orange because it makes it easier for other people to see you..." Indeed.