I’m fine with having chats about subjects outside my usual areas of interest or expertise, but there is a limit. It becomes an issue when someone keeps bringing such a topic up again and again, to the exclusion of all other topics. This is what Deborah at the shop has been doing lately, day in and day out, and it’s starting to grind on my nerves a bit.
How to do tell her that ute modifications just aren’t my thing, without squashing her enthusiasm for workplace conversation? I’m not too worried about squashing her enthusiasm for tapered under-tray tool boxes and custom-built aluminium canopies, given the gusto with which she speaks about them, but I guess that’s a consideration as well. I’m all about allowing people to enjoy their ‘thing’, whatever that may be.
I suppose that’s what has got me into this position in the first place. By letting Deborah run her mouth about the one-of-a-kind half canopy she saw at a local ute muster on the weekend this morning, I’ve inadvertently given her leave to pontificate on the latest 4WD snorkels all afternoon. I guess my issue is really with myself, for not making it clear that I have conversational preferences.
I guess I could try turning the tables – as in, start carrying on about something she’s unlikely to give two hoots about, like the finer points of competitive ballroom dancing or what we know about how astrology was practiced in ancient Mesopotamia. Is that a valid plan, or is it just kind of vindictive? I guess it’s worth a shot.
I wouldn’t be surprised if she found a way of turning it back to ute accessories, though. Like, oh, there’s evidence of metal tablets from ancient Mesopotamian astrological temples? I found the greatest aluminium ute accessory fabricator over the weekend! That’d be typical Deborah – trust her to take the mysteries of early human culture and turn them to the mysteries of ute modification.