Stop Talking

I can’t remember if I wrote about this before. Maybe? I’m way too lazy to look.

I mean, fatigued.

My immune system went into overdrive after my first Pfizer vaccine on Friday. I felt like ass all day Saturday. Today is Sunday and I’m much better. Just a little achy and tired.

While that is all true, I probably wouldn’t have looked anyway.

Anyway, now that I got the first shot down, that means I’m going to have to go back to work in an office. With other people. I’m weeks away. Do I think it’s going to be horrible? No. I mean probably. It’s been so long. I have a routine. I like my routine. I’m productive and people from work don’t talk to me unless they have to. I’m an introvert. I trained for this lifestyle my entire life. 

Do I think it’s going to suck and take a while to get used to? I’d say on a scale from “Rush hour traffic to “Communal bathroom”,  I’m looking squarely at a “getting asked over and over if I enjoy being back in the office.” So yeah, definitely going to suck for a while.

I believe I have mentioned this before, but I wish it were socially acceptable to tell people to stop talking and then they’d stop talking and go away.

Two jobs ago, I worked with a woman who would find her way to my office once a week or so, she would sit down lean in and and say “I couldn’t wait to talk to you. You are going to love this.”

I knew I wouldn’t love it. I was completely positive I wouldn’t love it.

I didn’t love it the dozens and dozens of other times she stopped by to tell me office gossip. Half the time I didn’t even know who the people were she was talking about. We worked in different buildings. It always takes a while for me to meet all the people I work with, because unless I have to work on a project for them or with them, then I respect their privacy. I don’t think I’ve ever had a job where I could correctly identify every person by name. I’ve been at this job for 6 years. I’m going to say I could correctly identify about half the people.

Situations like that is where “stop talking” would come in handy.

Someone would start telling you something that you have no interest in. In fact, if you are forced to have their words jammed in your ear holes, the slightly good mood you were in is going to slip away. Instead of that happening, you just say “Oh, stop talking.”

I mean, you have be nice.

For instance, if you say “stop talking,” and the other person responds with “Oh, okay! Have a great day”, then it would be polite to say “you too.”

You should not respond with “Pretty sure I just said stop talking,” You can, however, think it all you want.

I’m just saying, if that were socially acceptable, that would make returning to the office a little easier.

Speaking of people. Damn.

The facility where I got my first shot is a university’s basketball arena. It’s not stadium size or anything, but it’s still pretty fucking big. The national guard was there directing traffic and answering questions. I had to walk into a building with hundreds of people after being around hardly any people for nearly a year.

I got signed in and was directed to a line for the shot.

Some dude got in line behind me and stood maybe 18 inches behind me. So I scooted up a little, trying to send a non-verbal cue, but he just kept right up with me. I had to turn around and tell him he was too close. We should be 6 feet apart.

He was gracious enough. At least he didn’t get mad. I was already freaking out being around people, no way could I handle a confrontation as well.

They were organized and kept everything moving. Other than the dude breathing down my neck, I felt safe.

I got my shot and was directed to another large room with rows and rows of folding chairs set 6 feet apart. We had to sit for 15 minutes to make sure we weren’t going to have a bad reaction to our shot.

I walked to the far end of the row I was directed to and took my sear. The “too close” guy was in the row behind me trying to chat up the girl next to him.

Too close guy: Crazy, isn’t it? It’s good though, we’ll be back to normal soon.

Unsuspecting woman: Um, yeah.

TCG: I hated to take time out of my busy day, but this is important.

UW: Yes.

For all that is fucking holy dude, stop talking, she doesn’t want to talk to you. 

TCG: I work in finance, have for years. What do you do?

Turns out she also worked in finance. Not that it mattered, no matter her answer, he would use it as a springboard to talk about himself.

TCG: How long have you been at your job?

UW: 20 years.

TCG: You don’t look old enough to have worked anywhere for 20 years.

UW: Well, thanks.

TCG: Yeah, I like to think about retirement. But my wife makes six figures as well and a second home would be really great.

Oh, for fuck’s sake. See? First time I’ve been around other humans in a year and this is the first thing I am forced to listen to? This is why I don’t want to be around people. 

I’m just giving you the highlights.

Mostly, it was TCG saying “Blah blah blah, derpity derp, me me me me me me me” or “I would be lost without my personal assistant. He really gets me through my days.”

My 15 minutes were up and some National Guard soldier asked if I was feeling okay. I grabbed my purse and said “Yes.”

Apparently, I was a little too enthusiastic for the soldier. He held his hand up and said “Are you sure?”

Oh my god, dude, is this going to be a thing? Are you going to arrest me? Am I going to have to face a firing squad? I want to leave. I want to leave now. I have had my fill of people for the day. Get the fuck out of my way. Or at least tell that dude to stop talking. See? THIS is why we need to be able to say “Stop talking.”

Okay, what I said was “Yes.”

He stepped aside and I went back to the parking lot where Randy was waiting.

Does my story end there? No, because I am me, of course not. But really, I don’t feel like I’m to blame for my wandering up and down through the parking lot looking for our car.

I was careful to note the letter and number on the light pole by our car when I left for my shot. I have been lost in many parking lots and parking garages in my life. There came a time, when I had enough, I went from “never being quite sure where I parked” to “obsessive about remembering where I parked”. Sometimes, I take pictures of landmarks with my phone.

C2. Our car was by C2. Simple enough. No photographic clues were necessary.

It was cold and windy and I was ready to take off my masks. I get to C2 and there’s no car there.

I called Randy trying to keep the righteous indignation to a minimum. “Ummmm, did you move the car?”

He did not move the car. He noticed that two light poles, fairly far apart, were both labeled C2.

If you are going to use a letter and number scheme on light poles in your parking lot, then they should fucking be unique. This isn’t rocket science. 

All in all, a small price to pay to be on my way to fully vaccinated.

I am grateful.

I am relieved.

I am trying not to freak out about rejoining my fellow cube dwellers.

I hope you all are safe and are able to get your vaccination as well.




About the author


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I have a Tshirt which says: “Yet, despite the
    look on my face, you are still talking.”
    Doesn’t work.
    Nobody reads fucking Tshirts, unless they are offensive to that particular person.
    I have one which says “This is Fucked-Up,”
    but I daren’t wear it except under another
    But I know it’s there.

    • Hahah…I have some socks that say “fuck off”. I wear them when I know work will be anxiety inducing. No one can see them, but like you, I know they are there.

  • You nailed it. I go into my own head when people start talking derpety derp and think about what I’m making for dinner or how good that martini is going to taste when I get home. I’ve got my first shot scheduled, also getting the Pfizer one. Thanks for the heads up on what to expect! I hope your week goes well.

  • I get my 2nd Pfizer Tuesday. The first one was just a sore arm the next day. This is the one I’m worrying about. Wednesday would have been our 51st Anniversary, so if I’m miserable, at least there’s a good reason to stay in bed all day and blame it on the shot.
    My sympathies about having to go back to the office. I’m delighted that all I have to do all day is answer surveys at my computer at home. Bliss. If I want to talk to someone, there’s always the phone.

  • Yep, you nailed the “shut the fuck up!!!” thing. I mean, what is with some people? I like Ellen’s Tshirt — want one.
    Good luck with people, and welcome back to the rat race.

  • I’m in the queue to set up my appointment. Sooo…soon?
    I, too have loved my isolation! If you figure out how to get people to stop talking, without the air raid sirens and billy clubs, could you please share? (I’m at a complete loss when ‘signals’ simply don’t work…)
    And I’ve decided that the alarm button on my car fob was made for parking-challenged people like me. The only difficulty is when more than one of ‘us’ at a time tries to find their cars. Sigh.

  • Wow. I totally agree about the stop talking thing. I abhor small talk. I don’t like any senseless yak, and yet it is considered polite to senselessly yak and ask questions you don’t really want or care about the answers too. Senseless! Anyway, I have a trick at the supermarket for maintaining distance because there are always people who refuse to abide. I turn my shopping cart around backwards and put it behind me. I usually don’t have a full cart anyway and I always try to fit as much as possible in the seat area so it works out well. I do find some people annoyed that they’re unable to invade my space and that brings me great joy every time. I too, have had to tell people many times to back up, who are not observing the 6 ft social distancing. One lady pretended not to understand me until I was forced to raise my voice. She backed up…finally. Yesterday a guy and a girl passed us in the market neither masked. I wondered if they were inexplicably no longer required. Turns out they were just assholes. sighs.. I wish you well in your return to work. Hang in there. 🙂

  • I’m so glad you got your vaccination and I’m so glad to have my first shot behind me–well, actually it was my elbow, not my behind, but you know what I’m saying, and my second shot just eight days away.
    And I’m kind of looking forward to going back to the office just to get out but, yeah, certain people I have not missed. There’s the one who I once watched go around to three different offices and spend half an hour in each one talking to people who, from the sound of their responses, had better things to do and were too polite to say, “Please stop talking.” And when she got to my office I didn’t turn around and just made noncommittal responses. Finally after fifteen minutes of trying to engage me in conversation she got huffy and said, “Well, fine, if you don’t want to talk I’ve got better things to do!”
    I wanted so desperately to tell her to fuck off but the good thing is she left me alone after that.
    I hope she remembers that when we’re back in the office.

  • Yay for you getting your shot! May work turn out to be far less hellish than you are imagining it to be.
    Some people are starting to show up without masks at the grocery store. Briana’s approach has been to ask them when they got their vaccinations. The first two were healthcare workers who answered “Last month, honey, thanks for asking.” but so far the rest have just been assholes about it.
    I don’t mind small pleasantries with people I do business with, as I remember those being some of the only sanity inducing events I ever experienced when dealing with the public at large for my jobs, but emphasis on the small.
    My sister’s birthday was on the tenth, and I sent her an email like I always do, and it took her a week to respond, which is a little bit unusual, and I started to get concerned for her.
    Then a couple of days ago she got back to me and it turns out that she and her wife have both gotten both of their shots.
    I met a little girl named Paris yesterday while walking back from the pond, and after our introductions, she threw a snowball at me. I say “at me” but it was tiny and didn’t make it more than a couple of feet from her tiny hand. Her dad said “Paris! Don’t throw snowballs at Mr. Doug, you just met him!”
    I figure that is pretty much the perfect amount of social interaction, and I believe the only time I’ve ever been called “Mr. Doug”…

  • Some people don’t know when to shut up but are nice, good hearted people and saying dut up abd leave is rude.

    • Yes, it would be terribly rude. A lot of people, especially those with social anxiety, have a difficult time with small talk. This is just my way of joking about it. To be fair, I did suggest “stop talking” not “shut up”

  • Oh man, my wife and I are right there with you on this one . I’ve lost count of how many times throughout any day I find myself muttering “Shut the fuck up”. My wife says these days people aren’t interested in others, they just want to talk about themselves. People can be beyond annoying. Sometimes I wish I was my cat. Great post, great blog!

    • Thank you so much! I just have a hard time with small talk. It makes me uncomfortable, like I’m crawling out of my skin. But talk about something interesting? Or weird? I’m there for that

  • People tell me to stop talking all the time. Seriously. I have a problem. And then when I’m super quiet at work people get nervous. It’s kind of a fun game.

    Headed for my first shot on Thursday. Also the same brand as you. All and all I’m happy (?) that I didn’t get stuck with the Moderna, because the other dose has only about a 30% concentration with just as much effectiveness. I don’t do well with vaccines or shots in general, so yeah. Eagerly awaiting feeling like crap. But at least I get to go to CVS. Fingers crossed I don’t get lost in the aisles.

    • GOOD LUCK! Maybe you won’t have any symptoms. I would take a tylenol when you get home, but the arm pain is pretty bad. I couldn’t lift my arm. It was short lived, though. It’s more annoying than anything. Also, if you’re a side sleeper, get the shot on the side you don’t sleep on.

By Michelle


RSIH in your inbox