Woah! I Think I’ve Fallen

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not big on kids. Babies, even less. I don’t know how to deal with them, and I just don’t get all mushy inside at the thought of kids. Never have …and probably never will.

Also, anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not big on small talk. Office small talk, even less. I don’t know how to do it, and generally I get bored with it. I think I’ve always been one heck of a cynical S.O.B. — the antithesis of what you’d expect from someone with a degree in public relations.

As you know, I started my full-time day job at the bank about a month ago, and that’s all the time it took for that hard veneer to crumble. And when it did crumble, probably no one was more surprised that I was.

Although I work at home, I send and receive my internal mail at the branch nearest to my home. The receptionist already knows me and invariably greets me with a cheerful hello whenever I drop by. One day, however, I walked into the branch and she wasn’t at her usual post. But then I heard her call “Hi Maurice!” from the wickets nearby. I looked over and there she was, tending two babies in carriers at the side of the lineup while their mother (I assume) was taking care of business at one of the wickets.

— I’m on baby duty today…” the receptionist said to me.

I didn’t miss a beat and I heard myself say the last thing I would ever think of saying usually.

— Now tell me, R… How did you manage to get the best job in the bank?”

But you want to know what’s worse (if you can get over the excessive cheese factor)? My comment came off as sincere and I’m sure no one who heard me had any inkling of how I really feel about babies.

So indeed, I think I’ve fallen. One month is all it took. One month, and my descent into the bowels of corporate schmoozing and charming has already begun.