So, I’ve got a new co-worker. IT Guy.
He started a few months ago. I think. Hell, time holds no place in my world right now. He could have started two years ago for all my brain can process right now.
The point is, I don’t know him super well.
But I do know him.
His office is right beside mine.
I speak to him daily.
He stopped by my office yesterday. Sat down. Shared some exciting news.
We chatted for a while.
Held a full on human conversation.
For, like, fifteen minutes.
Which I ended by telling him how socially awkward I am.
To which he responded that he is, too.
And as if he needed to prove this to me.
We were in the breakroom chatting. IT Guy. And me. And a few other people.
And then he hears someone calling for “Ms. Richards” outside the room. So, in an effort to be helpful, he asks, “Ms. Richards? Is she in here?” As he’s looking at me. And Work Boyfriend.
Are you playing?
I’m right here.
The person you’re looking at.
I’m Ms. Richards.
Bless his heart. “Oh! You told me to call you by your first name. I forgot your last name.”
Oh. So, you weren’t joking about being socially awkward.
But we know me.
Even my subconscious is competitive.
And she apparently said, “Bitch. Hold. My Beer.”
So, the internet went down. Maybe an hour later. In the middle of some important stuff.
Obviously. I went to see IT Guy. In his office. Because his name is IT Guy for a reason.
And started talking to him. “Hey, IT Guy! The internet’s down. Can you make it -“
And then he looked up at me.
And I said, “Oh! I’m sorry! You’re not IT Guy.”
And he stared at me.
And I stared back.
As my brain scrambled to compute some shit.
Like, I was legit moving into some stranger danger type scenarios.
Reaching for my radio.
To report an intruder on campus.
But also recognizing that he was the same size. And build. And complexion. As IT Guy. Wearing IT Guy’s clothes. In IT Guy’s office…
And I said…”But…wait…are you IT Guy…?”
“Yes! It’s me.”
Ok. But here’s my defense.
We are required to wear masks at work.
I’ve never seen any of the new people without masks.
Human identity completely changes when wearing a mask.
IT Guy was all alone in his office when I walked in. So, he wasn’t wearing his mask.
You see, right?
Totally legitimate lack of recognition.
But I definitely won that socially awkward competition, at least. Right?