I never really socialized much at work. I didn't really even leave my desk except when I had to, and when I did, I would do what I needed to do as quickly and efficiently as possible so I could get back to monitoring the tubes, reading science fiction magazines, and playing with my Nintendo DS. Sometimes I would wear headphones when I left my desk so I could pretend I didn't hear anybody and avoid talking to them. When I was forced to talk to people, I didn't say much, and would immediately go back to my desk when I was done doing what I was supposed to do, regardless of whether or not it seemed like somebody was done talking to me. I just didn't see any need to make friends with the people I worked with, and I didn't want to waste my time talking about the weather, sports, Jesus, TV shows, or any other inane bullshit people seemed interested in. My disinterest in talking to people stemmed less from a specific dislike for the people I worked with than from a general distaste for people.
There were, however, exceptions to this rule.
Some of the people I worked with I found truly disagreeable. Among them was a morbidly obese black woman who dressed very loudly and caked her face with many layers of clown/whore makeup every day. Her appearance was not the only loud thing about her, and I would often be forced to listen to her having long conversations with her friends in their normal indoor voices, which were the screams, yells, and cackles you would expect from people at a loud concert rather than a quiet office building. At least once, I turned my headphones up painfully loud, but was still unable to drown out the sound of her and another woman practicing their gospel singing at full volume.
The woman was somewhat crazy, and I had once heard from a girl my age about an altercation she had had with the woman. The girl was swearing, talking to her friend, when the woman put her face inches from the girl's face and engaged her in a yelling argument over her apparent lack of respect for herself. The girl asserted that she was "a grown-ass woman" who could talk however the hell she wanted to, which only served to make the woman louder and angrier.
I was, unfortunately, too friendly to be actively disliked. Despite my unwillingness to socialize with my coworkers, I would always help people with their retarded-person computer problems if they asked for my help. I would have preferred it if people thought I was an asshole and never tried to talk to me, but I gained a reputation as a quiet but friendly guy who was willing to help people when they were too goddamn inept to do incredibly basic tasks by themselves.
On several occasions, the loud woman came to my desk asking for computer help. Each time, she wanted me to go back down to her desk to help her. She was very slow-moving because of her girth, so I would be forced to endure extra moments of her talking to me. She would tell me about her teenage son's incredible musical skill, and how he played for a large number of incredibly famous acts, and how all kinds of guys really want her because she's so sexy. I never believed her. When we got to her desk, her problem would invariably be something so fucking stupid that it would shock me that somebody would give her a job sitting at a computer much of the day. I would save her file, or maximize her window, or whatever other stupid shit she needed, and then immediately go back to my desk.
I tried to avoid interacting with her more than I tried to avoid interaction with anybody else. When she did say something to me, it was often uncomfortable shit like, "You get more and more handsome every day", or trying to get me to come to her birthday party. I tried to be polite, but I was always very short and in a hurry to get back to my desk.
One day, I went downstairs to pick up my batch of work that should have been printing out at that moment, as it did every evening. The morbidly obese lady was standing near the printer with two other coworkers.
"They're not coming yet," she said.
"Oh," I replied, ready to go back upstairs.
She grabbed my hand. "Here," she said in her deep, manly voice, "let me show you."
I didn't need to be shown, and I sure as hell didn't need to have my hand held to walk 3 feet to the printer. My hand was limp as she clasped it and began waddling towards the printer.
And then my hand touched her butt.
"See?" she asked, gesturing at the empty printer with her free hand.
"Uh, yeah," I said, pulling my hand free. "I guess I'll check later," I said, and went back to my desk, wondering what the fuck just happened. Did she just pull my fucking hand into her butt? I asked myself.
It has been hypothesized that perhaps pulling my hand into her butt was just an unfortunate consequence of her being so fat that her butt took up so much space. That makes me wonder, how often do morbidly obese people "accidentally" touch their own butts? I will never know whether or not she intentionally made me touch her butt, but either way, she had no goddamn business grabbing my hand in the first place.
On my last day of working at that place, she stopped me as I was walking to my boss's desk, trying to bitch at me about doing too much work and raising the ludicrously low standards, which meant she actually had to do some work.
"You do all them boxes, and now Chris thinks we can all do that much. I can't. You need to..."
"This is my letter of resignation," I said, cutting her off and showing her the paper in my hand. "I don't have to take any shit at all from anybody here ever again."
She was clearly taken aback. "Oh," she said, "well, I was thinking I might have to do the same thing if things don't change around here."
"Yeah," I said, not trying to hide the contempt in my voice, "You do that." I walked away.
I'm so happy that I'll never have to see her again.