Monday, July 21, 2014

Sweet Chicken


I know it's coming because  I can hear him outside the door and, sure enough, Ray's head appears in my door frame, followed by his body. He says, as he does every day, several times, "Oh Chicken, Sweet Chicken, how we all love Chicken.   And how's Chicken today?"

"Mornin' Ray.  Doin' well.   How about you?"

"Can't complain.   Got up on the right side of the grass"

"Just another day in Paradise, huh Ray?"

"Yup, that's right Chicken.  See ya later."

It's a good day when I know it's coming.  Quite often,  I don't.  Quite often, I'm standing at the copier or at the front desk, lost in thought, minding my own business when, suddenly...

"Chicken Sweet Chicken, we all love Chicken"

I jump a half-mile, turn a somersault and come back down, landing where I began.  I am growing tired of this conversational thread and I am especially growing tired of jumping out of my skin several times a day.

I suspect Ray knows this,  but the amount of pleasure he gets from sneaking up on me outweighs any guilt he feels over repeatedly initiating my fight or flight response on an otherwise boring work day.

I try to give old Ray the benefit of the doubt.  He's old and hard of hearing, I tell myself.  He doesn't realize how loud he is.

Some other things Ray doesn't realize is how many times a day his eyes wander down to my chest or how often he demeans women  or how many times a day he complains about his crazy wife.

But still,  we work together, so common ground must be sought.

"How're the grand kids, Ray?..."

And  he's off.  He'd give the shirt off his back for those kids.  His eyes shine and his persona changes from grouchy old man to proud Pépé.  

It's just another day in Paradise.

Chicken out

2 comments:

  1. Ray is a product of his time; hopefully he doesn't pass on TOO much of that to the grandkids. You are smart to bring up a topic he loves.

    I feel lucky I never had to work with a Ray. The closest I came was an older man who called me "the girl" to his phone contacts. "The girl" will do this, do that. It was never used in a dismissive way, so it didn't bother me. Having unwanted attention would have bothered me, big time.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jenny, that's exactly right, he's a product of his era. I don't hold it against him because he reminds me of about 20 old men I'm fond of and related to:-)

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