Really? The Power of One Word

A little background to set the stage for this story: I lease a small, single office in a building with lots of other small, single offices. The walls are paper thin, and you an hear everything your neighbors say. Especially when your doors are open.

About a month ago, a new guy moved in next to me. His second day here, he had his door open, as did I. He let out a loud burp. I responded – partially under my breath, but apparently not partially enough – “Really?” I heard his door close about three seconds later.

He now says “Excuse me” every time he burps. It happens almost daily. I nod awkwardly every time I pass his office and say, “Hey Brian.” He nods back, knowingly, and says “Hey there.” He doesn’t know my name. I’m just the dude who called him out, and forced him to feel like he has to excuse himself now.

The relationship is already failed, so do I make it fun by uttering “Really?” every time he burps? Or do I take it to the next level, as a friend suggested, and start doing things like a golf clap? Or a slow clap? Do I shout well-known catch phrases, like Marv Albert’s “Yes!” or Dick Enberg’s “Oh my!”?

It’s the little things like planning my post-burp strategy that make me smile.

Keepin’ Life Lighthearted,