There are many instances where I want to say to people “Shut up or I’ll kill you!” Or, more accurately, I want to scream it in their face from a distance of about 5 centimetres. Usually this is because they’re talking shit and I desperately want them to stop. I have a slightly different problem at work right now.
I have to work with someone whose voice is pitched at a level that gives me headaches. I don’t mean metaphorically. Her voice seems to resonate in my skull and set off vibrations. If I start with the vaguest hint of a headache, listening to her will make it grow until I can’t stand it. She makes it worse by talking very loudly.
I know why she does this. She’s spent years working in a male dominated industry. She’s learned from experience if she doesn’t speak up strongly she’ll be drowned out by someone else. It isn’t as if she’s saying stupid things, she’s quite intelligent. But she’s making my fucking head explode.
And I have to sit through long meetings involving this woman. As the throbbing in my head increases I find it increasingly difficult to actually absorb anything being said. Eventually it becomes impossible to even hear what people say. Instead of paying attention, I’m inwardly focused saying to myself:
“shut up shut up shut up shut the fuck up please shut up for fuck’s sake just stop talking will you please shut up I can’t stand it!”
Then I realise people are looking at me. Expectantly. I realise someone must have asked me a question. And I have noooooo fucking idea what to say. You’d be surprised how many creative ways I have of saying “I have no idea what you just said – please repeat it.”
Or then there are the days when I suspect I’ve actually been saying my “shut the fuck up” rant out loud. One of these days I’m going to do it. Just to see how people react.