There was a very short conversation on Saturday that made me laugh. I was sitting at my desk minding my own business as I unsuccessfully try to do every Saturday when I heard the voice of Dave Daymont, one of our Phoenix Flight Directors. The voice came from the general area of his control room. His comment was directed to Christine Grosland, an Odyssey flight director.
The background to the story is simple. Christine had an appointment and told everyone she was leaving. She actually said that several times. A moment later she’d reappear, having forgotten something or got sidetracked by a good morsel of hallway gossip (if you’re a regular at the Center you’ll notice the staff like to congregate in the halls and ‘talk’ about everything from the time of day to politics to movies to the place others fall on the coolness scale. Someone like Emily is at the top of the scale, holding the title of Extreme and Mighty Empress of Cool while I’m at the bottom holding the title Lord Muck of the Uniformly UnCool. Everyone else at the Space Center falls in between).
Dave spoke first which drew my attention. (on another side note, those of you that think I not in tune to what’s happening while at my desk looking totally involved in a project are wrong. I’m capable of multitasking. Beware).
Dave to Christine. “Are you still here?”
I thought about his statement and started laughing internally. Was Dave blind? Was he not looking at Christine face to face when he said that? Think about it and you’ll see how silly his statement was. His question should have been:
Dave to Christine. “Why are you still here?”
Wouldn’t you agree? So why didn’t he say that? I believe the answer was in the emotion of the statement. “Are you still here?” is emotionally neutral. The statement “Why are you still here?” could be fraught with peril if spoken. It could be interpreted as “Gee, we thought you were gone. Shhhhezzzz get out of here already. What are you some kind of looser that has no life except work?”
OK. Back to the conversation.
Christine Replied to Dave.......... Are you ready for this one? “Yea, I haven’t left yet.”
Now I was laughing out loud. OF COURSE SHE HADN’T LEFT YET. SHE WAS STANDING RIGHT IN FRONT OF DAVE. HE COULD SEE SHE HADN’T LEFT. Perhaps she wanted to clarify the fact that Dave was actually seeing her and not some doppelganger or apparition.
You know troops, if you really stop and think about the things you and your friends say you’ll end laughing yourself.