Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Wiggles

Right now I’m sitting in Panera getting work done.

Except for this little break to blog.

The earlier you go, the better the coffee is. The later you stay, the more likely you need an AARP card to get in the door. Before 8 am and you have an 80 percent chance of being hit on by a guy twice your age. After 11 am, and you have an 80 percent change of being hit on by a guy three times your age.

I’m 34. It could happen. Really.

Have you noticed that there are A LOT of people “working” in Panera lately? I don’t come here often and really don’t like when my office is filled with a lot of chatter that I can’t turn down and classical music (which unless I’m playing it on the piano, bores me to tears). I tend to think that some men get dressed like they are going to work when they just drive over to the Panera with their laptop and search for work or don’t work at all.

I see a lot of Facebook and Yahoo News on the screens. And I know that guy over there is reading OMG!

Single women of the world where are you? You need to come to Panera with me. There I was writing up some schedules when the guy next to me starts looking at me.

With crazy googly eyes.

How do you do that?

Excuse me, what? How do I sit here looking absolutely ravishing in workout shorts and a Zipp Speed Weaponry visor over my bedhead. That? Are you asking how I did that? Because my husband wonders the same thing.

How do you type that fast?

Oh – that. Well, you know how you might be good at doing something inane like knowing baseball stats or better yet being able to sit through a baseball game without running on to the field, grabbing a bat and beating yourself silly on the head out of sheer boredom….well, while you can probably do that, my savant skill is typing.

No joke – I can type freakishly fast.

Where did you learn to do that?

Flashback to high school. You know how everyone else was taking all those important classes like Advancement Placement Chemistry and American Government? I took typing. Why? Because riddle me this: how often do you use AP Chemistry in your daily life? Hmmph? And do you really need to understand American Government when hundreds of years have proven that it makes no sense? And how often do you use typing? Right. I didn’t need a perfect SAT score to figure out which would be the more useful skill. So I signed myself up for typing with all the stoners, burnouts, the pregnant chick, the guy who wore the plaid flannel shirt every day, saddled myself up next to an old school TYPEWRITER (we are talking about 1990 here….) and typed away. And when I threw down 110 words per minute with only 3 errors, well it’s safe to say that I had graduated on to advanced placement typing.

I’m taking a class and I could only do 30 words a minute with 3 errors.

You, sir, would never qualify for Advanced Placement Typing.

I’m supposed to be able to type an entire page by the end of the semester.

Mind you this was total stranger, adult man talking to me about typing. Something that feels so second nature to me, something I learned when I was young and at this time I could literally do with my eyes closed. It reminded me of teaching an adult to swim – it’s a completely kinesthetic task. You just have to feel it. Sure, an adult can learn it but adults often muddle it up by putting so much overthinking, chatter and overanalyzing between themselves and their stroke that they can’t feel.

Just keep at it, you’ll get it soon enough.

And that’s all I could think to say to him. Like any other skill in life, it takes time to learn. And the longer you wait to learn something in life, the longer it will take. Especially if there is a physical component involved. I tell this to athletes all the time – patience, keep at it, stick with it and lastly…

Tick Tock.

Meaning…wait.

I returned to my work which meant that I returned to typing away like a bumblebee on crack. Very fast, that is. I tried to be quieter about it, taking it out on the keys less aggressively because all of a sudden I felt really self-conscious about…being good at something. And it didn’t help that the guy was watching me.

I’m sorry for interrupting you.

Oh, you didn't interrupt me. Not a problem. But now if you don’t stop looking at me I am going to unplug your laptop and choke you with the cord.

Go like this for me – and then, he wiggles his fingers.

I am not kidding.

(enter awkward pause)


I’ll do a lot of things for strangers, but I will not wiggle my fingers for you, thank you. I probably wouldn’t even wiggle my fingers for my husband. I don’t even like saying the word wiggle. It makes me feel dirty. Or it makes me want to break out into song...

HOT POTATO HOT POTATO HOT POTATO HOT POTATO POTATO POTATO POTATO POTATO POTATO. COLD SPAGHETTI COLD SPAGHETTI...

Sorry, wrong wiggles.

So I just laughed and went back to my typing.

I’m sorry, I’ll let you get back to your typing now.

Yeah, you do that. I’ll go back to my typing and you go back to your hen pecking. See, I’ll be nice to you until you get all freaky on me. Wait, were you in Mr. Harding’s 7th period typing class back in 1990, the creepy quiet kid with wild hair and thick glasses in the back of the room probably wiggling his fingers and picking his nose?

He was still looking at me.

I have GOT to find a new office.

10 comments:

Ironbolus said...

Stories like that make me so thankful that I have a good old Y chromosome which obviously is genetic code for being sketchy.

I'm jealous I could only do 93 wpm

Morgan said...

That is hilarious! I hate Panera/Starbucks/Etc... for that very reason... weirdo's! This is not ladies night at the bar, this is a restaurant establishment! Let me eat in peace!!!

Ulyana said...

HAHAHAHA, I spent a lot of time in coffee shops working and studying, and every single time there is a talkative guy curious about what you do, why you do it, where you are from, etc. etc. Never mind the ring on your finger. I've even tried to look annoyed and busy, even tried being short - does. not. work.

Keith said...

My mom made me take typing in school. At first, being a guy, I thought being the same room as a class full of girls would be great. Then who do I end up sitting next to? My buddy Jamie, (male). Sigh. Still, it was the single most useful thing I ever learned in high school. No idea how fast I type, but it's faster than most developers and dba's. Sometimes it's faster than I think, and that's a problem.

I've taught people how to use software, and almost without exception, what they really need to do is learn to type. I watch people log in, and that tells me all I need to know about how that session was going to go. One day I covered my eyes with horror. It took him over a minute to type a 6 character name. Using one finger. It was bad.

There must be some seriously sad and lonely guys to be hitting on a married chick, in a coffee shop, at 8am. To say nothing about being delusional. Good luck with the new office.

Wes said...

We have a new WiMAX service in Atlanta. You can connect anywhere. The world is your office :-)

Molly said...

5th grade = Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.
9th grade = mandatory "keyboarding" class for all high school freshman.

I guess maybe our generation had this skill drilled into us better than others!

Drew said...

I'm with you on the typing thing. It was the only high school class that ever paid dividends for me.

Greyt Times said...

You DO type freakishly fast. You are like the Jimmy Johns of typing....

TriEVIElon said...

I think you should make a typing video and post it on YouTube ;-).

TRI-ROB said...

Ok. Wait. Two things:

1) You can play classical piano???

and

2) You know the lyrics to a Wiggles song???

Holy CRAP... and I thought I knew you. You're an enigma.

Also... take it as a compliment. He may have been creepy... but he still thought you were cute. Right? Riiiiiight? I'm just sayin... I take a compliment wherEVER I can get one.

Breathe...