Monday, April 19, 2010

Seen in The Building

There is a joke in the Intel Community (and probably elsewhere) that you can tell an extrovert at NSA because they stare at someone else's shoes.

That is sort of true here at the State Department, with the vast majority of Foreign Service Officers being introverts (you wouldn't think so, right? I thought diplomats would all be people people. Turns out, not so much. Except in Public Diplomacy. Shocking I know).

So since there are so many introverts here, I wasn't surprised when I got on the elevator with my cafeteria sushi to head back to my office to see a woman staring at her shoes.

What suprised me was how she started singing unintelligibly right before her floor.

Of course, that is not my weirdest elevator experience today (what is it with elevators anyway?). This morning, I got on the elevator after my Russian class and there was a normal looking gentleman already on the elevator. As we came to his floor, I started to say have a nice day. But before I could, he stepped to the still-closed door, his nose almost touching it, bared his teeth like and angry dog, and growled at it.

So I just stared at my shoes.


Anonymous said...


But, did the singing lady... sing *well*?

I mean, was she... any good?

And I'm thinking that maybe the growling guy was just Totally Not Looking Forward to what he was going to have to do once he stepped off said elevator?

Man. And I thought my life was strange! Thanks for the reality check!

Digger said... Singing was NOT her talent.

Connie said...

Who needs tv... watch people!

That Lady, There said...

It's somehow comforting to know that State has so many oddballs.

Donna said...

I'm a terrible singer. But sometimes I catch myself singing whatever the last song I heard was while walking into my office. Oops. I had no idea anyone might notice. Growling at the elevator, though, that's a new one.

Hey, where are you going in the Russian speaking world, anyway? We did three tours: Russia, Armenia and Kazakhstan, so if it's one of those places, let me know if you have questions.

Russian, by the way, is SOOO much easier than Chinese. Awfully, hard, but still - Chinese is way worse.

Yellow Flower said...

This is what I am aiming for, to have the best corridor reputation? :-)

Digger said...

Yep Lady, LOTS of oddballs (me included, though I have yet to growl at the elevator. My computer, yes, but not the elevator!).

By the way, Lady, welcome back.

Digger said...


We are heading to Estonia. I am getting a year of Estonian, but I wanted a smidge of Russian because they have a 30% Russian-speaking minority there. My wife already has Russian, and served in Azerbaijan.

Consul-At-Arms said...

We've always heard of "corridor reputation," but this is the first time I've heard of "elevator reputation."