On duty: Operator 1
Time: December 9, 6:35 p.m.
Status: Waiting in line
SJ: Operator 1, please report.
O1: Cold temps: The Hands Region is filing a complaint that the Memory Department neglected gloves. Phone operational, but low battery; Socialization Department suggests limiting use to save power for messaging. Behind you, two women talking to each other. In front of you, man just turned and made eye contact.
SJ: What’s our impression of him?
O1: About our age. Nice scruff on chin. Seems friendly. Has daughter with him. Recommendation: smile.
O1: School bus drives past. Man opens topic of conversation as to whether local schools will ever go to year-round schooling.
SJ: What’s our opinion of year-round schooling?
O1: Searching… Filed under, ‘Mildly interested.’ We think there are good things about the idea, but also understand why people would object. But we don’t really care because we homeschool.
O1: Man is continuing to discuss topic. There’s no record that he actually listened to your response. He is telling you the history of our current school year. Recommend a nod to indicate that you already know it. Oh, this just in from the Socialization Department: here’s a witty remark!
SJ: Delivered. Effect on man?
O1: Stand by. He didn’t acknowledge your nod or your remark. He is still talking. Alarms going off. Ma’am, we’ve been targeted by a Bore.
SJ: Dang it. Any escape routes?
O1: Not without leaving the line. Recommend looking at your phone.
SJ: Done. Ooh, a message! I’m going to answer it. Status of the Bore?
O1: He’s not talking. Recommend turning away while messaging, communicating your uninterest.
SJ: Done. Also, commendations to the Socialization Department for that zinger I just messaged. That was good.
O1: Alert! The Bore was just waiting for you to look up! He’s talking again! He seems to be talking about… homeschooling. I’m being flooded with reports from our different departments now: Opinions Department, Personal Experience Department, and General Knowledge Departments! You have a lot to contribute to this topic!
SJ: Status of conversation?
O1: He won’t stop talking. He’s telling you how disciplined you have to be to homeschool, how kids can be negatively impacted if you don’t do it right, and that’s why he and his wife don’t do it. He continues to explain the right way to do it. No record that he realizes you might know more about the subject than he does. No evidence that he even cares. High alert! Immediate recommendation! Concentrate on your phone and turn away from him!
SJ: I’m trying that!
O1: HE WON’T STOP TALKING! It’s a trap! We can’t escape! Commencing panic sequence!
SJ: No, hang on, don’t panic! Tell the Auditory Department to tune him out. Is the line moving?
O1: NO! WE’RE STUCK HERE WITH A BORING GUY WHO JUST SEES US AS A WARM BODY TO TALK TO! Wait, this just in from the Auditory Department. He’s saying something about his car. He’s leaving the line to check on his car.
SJ: Oh, my gosh. Thank goodness. What do we do now?