I wound up sitting in booth 42. I also wound up sitting with Mr. Arbitrarily Bitter in the booth directly on my right. He was loud, and was going on at length about his life to the person sitting on his other side. If what he says can be trusted, and is not actually full of hot air, we have his return to commercial driving to look forward to. (I wanted to ask, but did not, if this would mean that he would no longer be with us at Hell, International.) Instead, I ignored the fuck out of him, or tried to.
The lady on the other side of the guy was moved to another job. This made Mr. Arbitrarily Bitter actually shut up with the gabbing and get on task. Now, I'm not opposed to some friendly conversation. What I am opposed to is excessively loud friendly conversation, especially when the person you're talking to is sitting right next to you, and it's a workplace. (I know I've got to be guilty of "too loud" often myself, as I've got this diaphragm with about ten years of assorted singing, and some theatre training. But I do try. The asshat's probably got some hearing damage or something, but, you know, you can be loud and still not be an asshat.) What convinces me that he's an asshat is that his general mode of operation is to sit down in his booth, and sit back from the booth far enough so that there is a foot or two of space between where the divider wall starts and where his nose starts. He has sometimes gone so far as to pull the keyboard off the desk and set it in his lap in order to operate the computer. The booths do more than just keep us not looking at our neighbor. Those suckers are carpeted to absorb noise. If he kept his face inside the booth, half the noise he generated would be blocked from the ambient. He doesn't. *fume* Everyone who doesn't like him is very annoyed with him for this little trick, especially given that supervisors and trainers tell people specifically to be sure to stay inside their booths.
I was very annoyed at having to sit next to him, and made no secret of that in my inimitable fashion. I didn't smile at him, and after he shut up, I barely deigned to acknowledge him, while noticing him. Even though he's old enough to be my mother, he acts like he's a teenager or in his twenties and immature. The thing that gets him from day to day is gossip (and evidently the more malicious the gossip, the better). I wasn't talking to him, nor was I looking at all inviting to start any sort of conversation. In fact, I was behaving with consummate professionalism, and didn't even glance at him when he craned his neck and peered inside my booth. (If we were in the 6th grade, I would have been ignoring him, except I made it work.)
He went out, either to the bathroom or on break, and when he came back, he sat down in the wrong booth (the one further away from me) before realizing his mistake and reluctantly sliding into the booth next to me. He kept his face in his booth and we got along just fine after that. (Translation: he didn't try to talk to me, and I carried on as per the usual.)
Soon, he was moved to a different job and I was alone. Yay!
My roommatesister got to meet the gossipy lady who used to be a determined skeptic on the topic of Tarot cards on break. Does she ever stop talking? No.
It was a decent day at work yesterday, if long. I really do hate talking to the people who talk to me as if I'm a complete idiot, but they're more rare than one might think.