I’m in a bit of a quandary.
I was recently moved to a different position at work and have been forced to get to know other people, something I’m not very fond of. One co-worker, in particular, I cannot stand. No matter how hard I try to understand him or how hard I try to lay my judgments down and just tolerate his incessant rambling, I cannot stand this guy.
We will call him Tim because I don’t like that name either (no offense to any Tims).
Tim is English.
Tim lived in England for the first 10 years of his life.
Tim is now 28 and still miraculously has an accent. He even uses English terminology regardless of the fact that he has lived in America for the majority of his life. Why? Because his accent is the only interesting thing about him.
Our immediate supervisor is currently in Chicago which means more chit-chat taking place in the cubicle we all inhabit.
Tim spent the better part of yesterday echoing his thoughts across a sea of people who didn’t give a shit because he is the anti-Christ. For whatever degree he is studying towards in college, I guess a basic psychology class is required. Basic psychology apparently makes this guy an expert in the field which makes it very difficult to talk people on a normal level because of his excellent education. No, I’m not exaggerating.
He disappeared for half an hour yesterday to talk to the CEO of the company and burst back in to the cubicle with air of superiority.
Tim (looking around to make sure an audience was present): Wow, I can’t believe I was gone a half hour… that guy knows A LOT.
Other co-worker: Oh?
Tim: Yeah, he knows A LOT of theories, he’s really smart. We just bounced thoughts [not his own, obviously] off of one another and he knew all about that one theory I was telling you guys about earlier [not going to bore you with psych 101 bullshit]… it was just really nice to be able to talk to someone on the same academic level as myself.
The rest doesn’t matter, I swear on everything I love and fantasize about, that this piece of shit had the nerve to say that. They offer the same psychology class he’s taking in High Schools! What kind of sad person needs that sort of glorification? What sort of psychology expert needs the approval of people he deems inferior? What sort of person thinks condescending to people earns them interested listeners, much less any sort of respect?
My quandary is this: Why is it bothering me so much? Why can’t I just let it go? The guy actually knows what he’s talking about, but he doesn’t hold any firm belief in any of it, he just wants to talk and make everyone else “look stupid”.
I wanted to scream at him that I’ve been reading philosophy, psychology and sociology books since I was 14 while he was discovering the miracle of masturbation.
I wanted to disprove his theories based on my actual experience and observation and tell him that it’s called a theory for a reason. But I couldn’t. I just sat and acted stupid and felt useless because even when I know I’m right, I don’t know how to open my mouth.
What’s more is that it made me consider why I, myself, need to prove to him that I’m not stupid. I’m at this incredible point in my life where everything is unfolding beautifully and I’m growing in to the person I’ve always wanted to be and yet, I still can’t speak up.
In all of the confidence I’ve gained in myself as an individual, I still can’t open my mouth and tell people to shut the fuck up when I know I’m right because it makes me feel arrogant and condescending and that’s worse than looking stupid.
However, then I’m facing this situation again and I’m filled with actual anger. Not just at my co-worker, but at myself for allowing this.
At what point do these two worlds collide and let me take the weight of inner-thought off of my shoulders? I’m so tired of listening to people talk to me like I’m an idiot and I’m so ashamed of myself for letting them make me feel this way.