Gus: To Make a Long Story 11 Longer Stories….

Gus is a local Lions member who stocks our employee snack machines. He comes in a couple of times a week. It keeps him busy. He likes to stop by my office and say hello. I like Gus. He’s one of the good guys-retired fireman, vet, adoptive father, and generous volunteer. The problem with Gus is he likes to tell me 11 stories in one sitting about people I don’t know and he never finishes even one story before launching into the next. A conversation with Gus is like I imagine entering a black hole might be-you never know where you’ll end up, you just know you’ll be lost.

But Gus and I have been talking like this for years, him standing by my desk looking down at me over the top of his tri-focals, me looking up at him trying to keep my hands in my lap instead of on my keyboard, my attention on him instead of my screen. Where all my work is. And after all these conversations, I’ve sort of got a feel for what he’s talking about 50% of the time, so when he launches into the story about the guy who hasn’t said where the meeting is going to be, I know he’s talking about the regional guy with control issues who insists on making the event arrangements but never follows through until the last minute. When he talks about the Chinese place, I know he’s talking about the area lady who handles the local meetings that he’s always trying to move to my venue where I do not want them. When he talks about the hospitals I know he’s talking about all the charitable donations his organization is responsible for. When he talks about his ex-wife I know he’s talking about his current girlfriend, and when he talks about how simple-minded he is, I understand that he takes a group approach to his life, getting advice from a large number of people, which seems pretty smart to me.

Gus interrupts my day, ruins my flow, sets me back, tells me the same 11 stories every time he visits and yet, I’m always happy to see him and not because he brings me expired candy bars. Although that doesn’t hurt. Do you have a Gus in your life?

Chicken out

P.S. Well done Virginia and New Jersey! Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.


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  9 comments for “Gus: To Make a Long Story 11 Longer Stories….

  1. November 8, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Someone you understand what he’s talking about 50% of the time, interrupts your day, ruins your flow, sets you back, and repeats the same stories, but you look forward to seeing him anyway? Sounds like my hubby. 😉


  2. jenny_o
    November 8, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    I’m chuckling at Paulette’s comment!

    I think Gus is glad he has a Chicken in his life. He seems to need to talk; a lot of people don’t have a good listener in their lives, nor a kind one. I don’t have a Gus. If you think he’d like it, say hi to him from the Donkey.


    • November 8, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Jenny-Me too! I’ll do better than that-I’ll send him over to say hello in person. What kind of expired candy bars do you prefer?


      • jenny_o
        November 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

        Ha ha (anything with chocolate) ha ha!


      • November 9, 2017 at 11:36 am

        I’m glad it wasn’t carob!


  3. Doug in Oakland
    November 8, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    Being responsible for inventory at the natural foods distributor where I worked, I really, really liked expired candy bars. Damaged ones were cool also. Like the time Lee rammed the forklift fork into the pallet of Lindt when it still had the wrap on it. I said “Well what are we waiting for, let’s see what you broke! #255 raspberry truffles? Oh hell yeah!”
    Some of us do sort of have our own language, but as long as they keep it mostly based on English, I can figure out what they mean.
    Having little allies at work can really be mentally helpful, and getting to know them can be more useful than your boss might believe. Like the little Guatemalan guy with the Toyota pickup who used to come by that same job looking for pallets. He didn’t speak English beyond a few words, but I had good conversations with him, and when we were going out of business and had three hundred broken pallets to get rid of, I made a deal with him: he took the broken ones and I threw in a hundred good ones.
    I liked him, so the hundred actually became more than a hundred, but we needed to get rid of those, also, so the deal was still a good one.
    He hauled them all away in his Toyota pickup. I stacked them on there in two stacks with the forklift, and he would take fifty at one load, so that they towered over the little truck and bottomed out the suspension.
    After a few of those, I told him that he was in the wrong business: he should have been making Toyota commercials.
    Was that eleven stories yet?


    • jenny_o
      November 8, 2017 at 11:38 pm

      LOL Doug!!


    • November 9, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Ha. No, sorry Doug, that sounded like one cohesive story that began with a chocolate microstory, as all stories should.


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