People rarely talk to me, so I just force myself into other conversations.
When people are talking about something that doesn’t concern me at all, I offer my input.
Maybe they didn’t ask for my opinion. But they also didn’t say my thoughts are expressly forbidden.
When people at work are talking, I just interject. I don’t say “Excuse me,” or “If I might add,” I just discuss the subject at hand.
I always feel left out of a conversation, so I barge my way in.
I just pretend they were also talking to me. Even if they have no idea who I am.
When I intrude in a conversation, I’m often in motion. Two guys might be talking about bad cholesterol vs. good cholesterol. Being roughly their age, how could they not welcome my comments?
A couple of other people might be talking about “The Little Mermaid Live!” I swoop in to add my two cents. “I heard it wasn’t very good,” I say, and just keep on walking.
Much of this stems from a desire to belong. But I also think I’m making the conversation better. It’s always good to bring more voices into a discussion.
You can’t really blame me. I have something to share that’s relevant. I’m also reasonably well-informed.
They might think I’m not in the conversation, but, oh yes, I am.
I also answer questions that are not posed to me. We all just want to fit in.
I am often a drive-by contributor to other people’s chatter. Most of the time I add uninvited comments, I’m in motion.
Those interactions often happen around the printer. People are always swooping in to pick up copies, so it’s easy to toss in a comment and keep walking.
Hardly anybody ever says, “Excuse me, We’re talking here.”
They probably just have better manners than I do.
One day, somebody will write a letter to Dear Annie complaining about a co-worker who’s always inserting himself into conversations. That would be me.
Besides, why should I feel excluded? I can easily see where I’m the victim here. Why should I be penalized just because I’m boring and slow-witted?
Interrupting isn’t my only bad habit.
I also eavesdrop on other people’s conversations.
That’s the main way I know anything that’s going on around here.
People ask me how I know something. “That’s just what I hear,” I say.
My other main source of information is the printer. If people are going to print out highly interesting documents, they need to get over there to pick them up.
If you’re a chronic interruptioner yourself, keep this in mind.
When you’re interrupting, it helps if you keep moving while you talk.
Playing the bump and run, as I call it, has major benefits.
If the conversation gets dull, I won’t be right in the middle of it.
If some old guy launches into a never-ending story, I don’t have to listen. I’ll be long gone.
Jeff Bahr is a reporter for The Independent. He may be reached at (308) 381-9408.