You don’t need to look up to know that The Lingerer is here again.
And he’s lingering.
Currently, he stands at the cubicle opposite yours, killing a not unsubstantial amount of time with Smoky the Raccoon, his default partner in all non ambulatory- related issues.
No mere dawdler, not content to engage in simple tarrying, The Lingerer is a true master of staying put, having earned his Doctorate in Advanced Loitering for Business Professionals.
What makes his lingering so 微妙 (bimyo, or “difficult to pin down”) is that all his hanging about is ostensibly work related. He engages in conversations that, yes, are applicable to the task at hand, but makes it such that what can be said in 10 words is instead said in 100 as he works through various scenarios, explores multiple permutations of, basically, “Do you think this will work?”
Needless verbosity and a penchant for using あのー (“Uh…”) every third word to make each sentence last that much longer aside, where The Lingerer really shines is his ability to be anywhere but at his desk for far longer than is necessary. Once the conversation has concluded — the fact that his speaking partner has turned his back to him and resumed work notwithstanding — The Lingerer will stay put for several moments thereafter, shifting his weight from the right foot to the left in almost Tai Chi-like fashion, ready to depart should the conversation have genuinely concluded, but primed to shift his body weight forward should the talking resume.
In this particular instance, it would seem the conversation is at an end. Smoky has taken a phone call, and while The Lingerer continues to stand there, perhaps hoping the call will soon end, thus providing the opportunity for discussing the contents of said call, it appears to be turning into a rather drawn-out exchange.
The Lingerer casts his eyes about, seeking out someone with whom he can engage in some protracted time-wasting.
Your eyes meet.
Hell, you’re free. You’ve never even talked to The Lingerer. It might be kind of fun to chat with him for a bit.
He turns on his heels and heads across the room toward accounting.
Filed under: Salaryman Anecdotes