Thursday, 28 May 2009

Morning Schmorning

We established some time ago that I'm something of a curmudgeon when it comes to travelling (see here and here). Yes, sad to say that I live up to the stereotype of the London commuter - self-absorbed and completely uninterested in their surroundings with an almost pathological determination to get home by whatever the quickest possible means may be. In actual fact, I would say that it goes slightly further than disinterest - I actively discourage people from interacting with me while I travel. That's my reading and music time, my time to catch up on two things that I would otherwise not necessarily find the time for. And woe betide you if you try to deprive me of that time.

Unfortunately, every one week in three, I need to make some minimal form of human contact when I travel into work. For, on that third week, we work an early shift that requires us to be in the office for 6 a.m. Yes, there's a 6 o'clock in the morning now. Now, I am not a morning person. In no way, shape or form have I ever nor will I ever be described as such. I am the Lex Luthor of the evening to the Superman of the morning. Well, you get the idea - I don't like mornings.

Now, because we need to be in before a time that decent London Transport reasonably runs, work very kindly transports us in. And this is where the human interaction comes in because, for half an hour at a time of morning when I can barely manage grunting, I am in the company of another human being who is driving me to the office. Nine times out of ten, this is absolutely fine. Other than a polite "good morning", they no more want to exchange banal small talk with me than I do with them. I stick my earphones, they stick the radio and everyone is happy in their non-talking bliss.

There's always that one in ten, though. The one who is a morning person. The one who wants to engage you in conversation. Who is bright and chirpy and chipper and provokes in me an uncontrolled annoyance and grumpiness. I know it's not the way to be. I know it's the way to make friends and influence people. But I can't help it. It's like those times when you're in an irrational and unaccountably foul mood and someone comes up to you, all cheerful-like, and says, "Cheer up, it might never happen" or "It takes more effort to frown than to smile, you know". The skin begins to turn green and the inner Hulk begins to burst through the seams...

They always try those opening conversational gambits that it's hard to completely dismiss - the main two being "You house is difficult to find" (our front is kind of tucked away from sight of the road so this is true but doesn't really merit discussion) or "which way would you prefer to go?" (fair enough, you want to know if there's a preferred route but you're the one who does this driving lark for a living, you pick a route). Eventually, though, with enough persistence to generally non-committal and monosyllabic answers, you can get the point across that you're really not an early morning conversation kind of guy and the earphones can go in.

This morning, though, noncommittal wasn't quite enough and I had to deploy the big guns - feigning sleep. It's the last resort of the early morning curmudgeon and also meant that I didn't get to listen to my tunes on the way in.

Maybe I should try to change. I mean, is it so bad that someone just wants a bit of polite conversation to make their working day go past quicker? Wouldn't it help the world be a slightly better place if we all did our bit to pass on a bit of good cheer every now and then instead of gloom and doom?

Nah, sod all that hippy shit. I want to listen to my tunes in the morning. Bloody cheerful morning people. Ought to be outlawed, I tells ya. Mutter, mumble, grumble, mutter, mumble, grumble....

9 comments:

Diane said...

Mornings are crap. You know what sucks, though? When you're not a morning person but your 9-year-old, who chats incessantly anyway, IS. Grrrrrrrr.

Anna Russell said...

Death to morning people! I call jihad on them. Well, if I could be bothered at that time in the morning.

J-Diggety said...

Omg, I'm sending you all sorts of sympathy - that is the worst!! My morning MO: don't expect any kind of conversation until I've had breakfast and coffee. Or else risk chatting with Jessizilla. End of discussion.

That Baldy Fella said...

Diane - I only have an inner nine year old and he hates mornings too, fortunately.

Anna - It's OK, we'll nab them all at about midnight when we've finally woken up...

Jess - Would you accompanied by an irritating sidekick named Jesszooki on this monster-fuelled ramapge?

Nikki said...

I once tried to stab a morning person in the eye with my coffee stirrer but being a morning person they ducked when I weaved and I tumbled to the ground and they skipped away.

Lana said...

morning or not, people should be able to get the hint when small talk is unnecessary and not wanted. next time try getting in the car with your music already on, stop that small talk before it starts :)

That Baldy Fella said...

Nikki - Tricky blighters, morning people, and bloody slippery too.

Lana - This policy may well be implemented in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

kapgaf said...

Any time of day is crap when it's your time and other people try and fill it for your. When I worked in an office, I liked to read at lunch time (all my colleagues talked about work - what kind of a break is that ?) but there was often some bright spark who'd come to my table and say "may I sit here?". They thought me very rude because I often said "yes but I will be reading so you'll have to amuse yourself". Just tell people you don't do mornings and plug in your music.

That Baldy Fella said...

Straight in with the headphones this morning - no talking. Sweet.