conversations with my coworkers – part 8

by ada

At my current workplace I don’t really get a lot of opportunities to make mindful conversations with my coworkers (they prefer not to talk to me), but on the rare occasions they forget about the main policy* of the Austrian working and lower middle class**, there are chances our small talk session turns out to be quite memorable.

* Don’t Talk To Strangers! They Are Evil, Stupid And Dangerous!

**and, most likely, the aristocracy. (Un)fortunately, I have exactly zero experience with Austrian nobility, so I can’t really tell about this one


coworker: – Are you the only child of your parents?

me: – I have a sister.

coworker: – Does she have children?

me: – She has two sons.

coworker: – Well, it’s your turn now!

me: – ???

coworker: – Go on! Start to have babies!

me: – ???!!!

coworker: – Your sister has already made it. Now it’s your turn.

me: – Why should I copy every decision of my sister? What if she jumps out of the window? Should I jump too?


coworker: (shows embarrassing lack of knowledge about world history)

me: – Don’t you learn this stuff in school?

coworker: – No, we only learn about Austrian history.

me (incredulously): – What’s about the Soviet Union? The American Civil War? The French Revolution?

coworker: – We only learn about Austria.

me:  – That can’t be true. Please tell me it isn’t.

coworker (trying hard to come up with something): – Hitler got mentioned though.

me: – That’s reassuring.

(Hitler was born in Austria. Maybe that’s how he made it into the curriculum.)


coworker: – There is a good ice cream parlour in Grein.

me: – Oh, Grein, isn’t it that place with that historical theatre?

coworker: – I don’t know. I only go to Grein to get ice cream.

me: – It’s the oldest theater in Austria still in use…

coworker: – You can also have schnitzel with fries…

me: – …it’s more than two hundred years old…

coworker: – …and tafelspitz…

me: – …and is completely preserved in its original state…

coworker: – …quite expensive though…

me: – …prisoners were also allowed to visit it…

coworker: – …but you get a lot of food for your money, so it’s a good deal.

me: – …and you could even watch the performance while sitting on the toilet!

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6 Comments to “conversations with my coworkers – part 8”

  1. Hahhaha, cannot help but laugh in self-defence, recognizing my own Mittel-European nation in the last conversation. As long as there is plenty of it, nobody minds the quality of food served. I can feel your frustration though. Don’t give in. <3

    • Sure there are exceptions, but the majority of them haven’t set foot in a museum in their entire life. They don’t read books. They don’t visit places. All they do in their free time is eating out, wellnessing or sitting in their own swimming pool in their backyard. Everybody has a swimming pool. They are all married at the ripe old age of 23, their only goal in life is to push out three babies and they are all “done with studying” because they have “studied already soooo much” (nursing school is only three years in Austria and does not even require a high school diploma. They don’t even graduated high school, but they are already sick of learning).

      I have nothing against talking about food or which massage place is the best in town but there are only so many informations you can share about the wiener schnitzel you ate two weeks ago and it gets old really fast. But they just say the same things over and over with the same enthusiasm, so it’s obviously only me who gets bored so easily. I’m actually relieved they don’t talk to me very often.

      I’m asking for a new placement since months. If I don’t get it till June I’m soooo quitting.

      • This fluffy cloud seems a direction we are headed as this Earth’s most developed species (they say). Wishing you to find more like-minded people fast.

        • Humanity seems to deteriorate intellectually with a frightening speed, indeed :DDD

          The problem is that I fell out of the academic lifestyle when I got sick with depression and I don’t really find my place in this totally other kind of non-academic enviroment, where reading books for pleasure, learning things just because learning is fun and speaking languages other than my own is seen as strange and suspicious. As is not having kids and not being married.

          I am strange and suspicious.

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