Look Around You


Felt in the mood for a quick writing exercise - look at the people around me at work and type up quick descriptions of them. I've changed the names (like they'll ever read this but whatever). 

Might do some more tomorrow. 


I looked around the room at the rows of silent people typing away, and observed them.

Closest to me was Troy, a data analyst who spent the better part of his day opening and closing windows on his computer in such a hurry it looked as if he was perpetually searching for something among the countless excel spreadsheets that cluttered his computer. He always had a notebook open on his desk, on which he would scribble graphs and equations which I could never understand. It was hard not to assume his mind worked more like some sort of machine, but if it did, it was something far more along the lines of Rube Goldberg. His speech was stuttered and fragmented at the best of times; it was as if he could not quite choose which sentence to say first, and usually ended up saying all of them at once. I quite enjoyed talking to him. Beneath the innumerable strings of thought I always imagined rained down Matrix-style in his mind was a wry sense of humour, although one not quite apparent at first. His angular face and flurry of curled hair reminded me of something between Benedict Cumberbatch and Woody Allen, and gave him something of a sombre expression.

Next to him were the two customer support officers – Raghad and Ashan – who would take staggered lunches so someone was always by the phones. Their routines were frequently in this vein and in all my time here I never saw a moment when one of them wasn’t at the desk. Raghad was tiny – a short woman with a thin frame who frequently wore large scarves, possibly as a way to not entirely disappear from three dimensions. She always sat on her chair with her legs tucked under her and again, I could never help but wonder if that for height reasons. She was kind and funny and seemed to never run out of favours to ask me, although all this did was hide a ferocious side that she frequently let out online, usually in the forms of social justice articles written for various magazines – a fact that surprised me when I first discovered this. What Raghad was Ashan was not. Well, actually, he was as friendly as his co-worker but while her tiny frame contained an energetic streak, he moved slowly and deliberately with the sort of precision of someone who’s done the same actions for quite some time and had no interest in changing anytime soon. His social life was a mystery, at least to me, but his choice of cult film t-shirts gave a strong clue as to what he did.