Look Before You Leap. Think Before You Speak.

I generally operate under the rule that if I don't think before I open my mouth, I get to be as surprised as everyone else at what the mind monkeys fling out of it. On the best of days it's pretty harmless, but occasionally this approach backfires and I want to throw myself off the roof.  Today is one of those days.

We had a breakfast this morning with colleagues from around the world. France, UK, China, Italy, Japan, Germany, Brazil  and Spain were all represented. And Switzerland as evidenced by the very, handsome, new, guy seated next to me. Those of you that know me know that, generally speaking...I'm generally speaking. It's not always fluid or sensible, but I can keep up my end of the conversation- word count wise at least- and I can help you with your end too if you need it. But around the International folks, I tend to be a bit shy, reserved and even more socially awkward than usual.

So I'm sitting with the French and Mr. Switzerland. We're talking about how we try, whenever possible, to support the Branches by matching up scientists from the US that speak the native language of the country in which the Branch office is located. Mr. S. asked me who supported his branch and I told him. (She happened to be out of the office today.) He asked if she spoke, French, German, Swedish, etc. I said that no, in this case, there wasn't a direct match. He looked so adorably disappointed that I enthusiastically followed it up with...

'But I can support your Branch! I speak Swiss.......(wait for it)...CHOCOLATE!'


Sigh. As if my fluency in Swiss chocolate wasn't evident upon sight.

He looked at me like I had a screw loose. [He wasn't wrong. I just like to delay the moment when new people realize that a little longer than within the first 20 minutes. ]  I'm not sure why he didn't think that was funny, the mind monkeys were swinging from the chandeliers and  laughing their collective monkeybutts off. Some of my more reasonable personalities were running around with butterfly nets trying to catch the monkeys before they threw any other little nuggets of joy out of my open mouth. There was pandemonium in my head as opposed to the deafening silence at our table.

Finally he graced me with a small smile and nodded breaking the horrifying tension and the conversation started up again. By that time the monkeys had been duct taped and I was able to keep their thoughts to myself for the rest of the meal. So thank you Mr. S. for saving the day! (He gets extra points if he scores me some chocolate!)


Anonymous said…
Well..... "I" chuckled.... but, I don't have a scientist brain.... their monkeys are...well, shall we kindly say.... "DIFFerent"?....

Give Ben a kiss from me, please.