What would you say to a Russian if you tripped him by mistake? “Извините”? “Мне жаль”? Something else entirely?
Some people look up swears. Canadians look for ways to say we’re sorry.
Anyway, I feel bad for trashing Mr. Boose. He was nice the other day, right after I put him on blast. He went all sweet and reasonable—solicitous, even. He asked for my thoughts, welcomed my questions. (I didn’t have any, though. The one time he opened the floor, we were on the same page. I had nothing to say beyond “thanks”.)
The way I see it, one of two things has happened:
- I judged Mr. Boose prematurely. Anyone can have a bad day—a bad month, in his case. Maybe that’s all it was, and I opened my mouth, and he loosed his frustrations on me. And maybe I took him too seriously. I was already annoyed at the gap between projects. Boose clomping through on his high horse didn’t help.
- My boss was listening, or someone was, and they made him knock it off.
I hope it’s option 1. If it’s option 1, we might be okay. First impressions aren’t everything.
I hope it’s not option 2. If it’s option 2, Boose is seething, forcing pleasantries through his teeth. He hates me more than ever. He hates our boss too. He’s hating and waiting, and one day, he’ll…well, there’s not much he can do, in his position. He can make extra work for me, but only to a point. He can talk me down to our boss, but without proof of incompetence, what good would that do?
Either way, I’m adopting a kid glove strategy. I’ll couch every question in my own confusion, like
I’m not sure this is working > I’m not sure I understand how this works.
Could you explain what’s going on in paragraph 4 > Извините. I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around paragraph 4.
…oh, I’ll sound like a dolt.
Maybe my next project will be Boose-free. There are other project leads, non-Boose project leads, and surely…surely…
(What if I’m the only one who’ll tolerate him, and I get stuck on all his projects, and my life becomes a sand-blasted, Boose-filled wasteland, full of shitty wells and bitey gophers?)
You know what would make this better? If I could see well enough to draw Mr. Boose, not how he actually looks, but how he is in my head. I picture him as this disembodied smirk—or not a smirk, but that face Clint Eastwood pulls when he sees something unpleasant. Hold on. Let me—
—there. That face. That’s him, and he’s hovering, just circling round my head. He stays mostly behind me, looking over my shoulder, but I catch glimpses. I hear snorts. I always know he’s there.
(Maybe he’s smiling now? Could it be true?)
Wouldn’t it be heinous if we grew to be friends, and we looked back on this nonsense like “yeah, let’s pretend that didn’t happen…“?