Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bad Ringtones

We’ve all heard them, in the market, on the street. Annoying ring tones. But what do you do when a guy with an annoying ring tone is working in your open work space office?

Satish was a middle-aged fellow with a wife and two kids who lived very far away from the office in an affordable suburb. He gave an appearance of knowing what he was doing and he dressed nicely. By nicely, I mean clean white shirt and tie, everyday. He smoked, which meant he would go outside regularly.

He had a teenage daughter who had full access to his cell phone and was nice enough to select the “Mexican Hat Dance” as his ring tone. As if this was not bad enough, Satish was rarely at his desk and he would leave his cell phone, turned on, at this desk. He was always running around the place checking up on things or in meetings. The dam thing was constantly going off and playing the full chorus of the happy dance music.

As if the ringtone was not bad enough, he was then assigned the seat right next to me. This was torture because of the cell phone ring and because he was a bit pompous and from time to time, would mistake me for his personal secretary. There was another guy sitting behind me. We were literally on top of each other. The guy right behind me, Ramesh, was a sweet guy. However, after going out into the hot sun at lunch, his B.O. was unbearable. Satish informed me that the Indian owner of the local 7-11 sold incense. I trekked up there at lunch and bought some along with a book of matches. Upon returning, I showed Satish and he approved of my purchase, praising the high quality and excellent aroma of the incense. I fired up a match and lit a stick of the incense right there in my cubicle. Satish nearly flipped his fine head of hair. What are you doing Ellen? The smoke from the match could set off the smoke alarm and the sprinklers and then we will all be sitting here soaking wet and our laptops will be ruined! Damn, he was right. I did not want to be fined or arrested for creating chaos, thus the incense was no longer an option.

As things worsened at the job, my tolerance for Satish’s ringtone came to a grinding halt.

I did actually did ask him to change the tone several times, but he copped out saying his daughter had set it up. So, while he was oh so busy at one of his meetings, I picked the phone up and changed it to a plain vanilla cell phone ring. Being passive aggressive at times, I of course did not tell him what had done. But, at least the ringing for the remainder of the day was tolerable.

Well little Miss Teenage Daughter was really on her game. The very next day, the zippy little Mexican Hat Dance tune had returned. And there she was happily out in her little distant suburb, completely unaware of my nightmare.

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