My mother always says:
"A good deed never goes un-punished."
My father always says:
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
One must forgive them this bit of pessimism. They are generally happy people, but they are, after all, Russian.
I, on the other hand, only had a few months in a Soviet school before running away to the land where the streets are paved with gold. And so, am much more optimistic. As a result, i believe in karma and Random Acts of Kindness doing.
Into this category of "Random Acts of Kindness" falls my relationship with a man who's name I do not know, but who's little complaints on life i listen to whenever we run into each other in the hallway at work. Inevitably this happens when I'm ridiculously grouchy and just trying to run out for a quick lunch.
This man, let's call him Garrulous Greg, loves to corner me and tell me (in his boring, oh so painfully boring way with his nasally voice) about whatever it is that happens to be bothering him at that moment. I feel very badly for him. He's an older man (in his mid-50's?) and always looks so crumpled, not ironed, clearly not cared for by a woman's gentle touch. It seems to me that he must be pretty lonely to constantly want to chit-chat with a person he doesn't know. Clearly there is no one else who is willing to hear him out. So i take this burden upon myself.
He has told me about his cat, his argument with his car mechanic, his desperate attempts to get his money back from Weight Watchers because they have done nothing for him, why he dislikes Tuesdays more than Mondays, that the quesadia line in the cafeteria is too long, that he doesn't like the salsa they put on them and on and on and on...
All the while, through his tirades of unhappiness and general distress, i stand quietly smiling and nodding (you know the technique i'm sure), occasionally voicing concern and outrage at his mistreatment at the hands of others. I'm SURE the cook at the sandwich line at the cafe DOES gyp him on the roast beef.
Yesterday Garrulous Greg cornered me by the bathroom and start talking, even though i told him that i'm really kind of in a rush, ahem.
Greg apparently did not care that i was in a rush and kept right on going. "You know what?" he said after a few minutes. "I just realized that i don't even know your name. In my head i always just think of you as 'chatty-Kathy' "
Excuse me, WHAT?!
I may be generally chatty (I prefer 'friendly'), but with Greg - i am the MODEL of a good listener! I listen and listen and am NOT interested in telling him anything about myself what-so-ever! WELL! can you believe this guy? After my kindness towards him, my patient willingness to hear all of his stupid complaints, HE has the nerve to call ME 'chatty-Kathy'?! Is this where my good intentions have taken me?
That's it people! I am no longer going to put up with Greg or any of his ilk. The doors to this house of understanding are closed! Bah!
And that's all i have to say about that.