This one — from Cassandra in Toronto — makes me wince. Seriously, ouch.
FILED UNDER: "helpful" advice · CAPS LOCK · elevator · neighbors · rhetorical question · Toronto
Haha this is great. Small talk is fucking pointless if you think about it. Let’s start promoting intellectual conversations!
Jun 18, 2007 at 9:10 am rating: 32
Jun 18, 2007 at 9:27 am rating: 4
I love it!
Jun 18, 2007 at 9:42 am rating: 4
this is what happens when you have no social contact except for the internet and believe yourself to be clever.
guess what, guy — people probably don’t want to talk to you AT ALL, probably because you’re creepy or an utter douchebag. By talking about the weather they are hoping to avoid further conversation with you on other topics.
looks like it is working.
Jun 18, 2007 at 9:55 am rating: 44
Who is shaving their head in the stairwell? Boy, if I had a nickel for everytime I asked myself that one…
Jun 18, 2007 at 10:06 am rating: 30
I enjoy how the 1st 3 proposed conversational topics are essentially complaints about the building. With the 4th, the author clearly realized the douchebaggy tone being taken, and made a switch to show what a self-sacrificing scion of the community they are…
Jun 18, 2007 at 10:25 am rating: 11
Yeah, if he had the gumption to write the letter, I would have expected more creative topics of conversation.
Jun 18, 2007 at 10:26 am rating: 1
In addition, discussing the next month’s passkey seems way more stimulating than the weather…
Jun 18, 2007 at 10:27 am rating: 9
If nothing else, that’s a crisp piece of writing.
Jun 18, 2007 at 10:31 am rating: 8
Call me cranky, but if that list composed what most people wanted to talk about, (instead of the weather) I’d probably talk to more people. Fortunately someone invented headphones just for me.
Jun 18, 2007 at 10:34 am rating: 13
I have thought of this in my head so many times
it is right up there with
how is it going and someone breaking the mold by not saying fine.
Jun 18, 2007 at 11:00 am rating: 4
I think its a brilliant idea! Talking about weather is really just a waste of energy…
Talk about what really matters, perhaps not so much about what happens in the building but more about politics, voting machines, latest Britney Spears scandal, music, theater, movies…
Jun 18, 2007 at 11:02 am rating: 4
Whoa. That’s got to be one of the rudest things I’ve seen on here!
Jun 18, 2007 at 11:02 am rating: 6
This is rude? Really? Crap. I’m screwed. I find this honest and funny and refreshing.
Jun 18, 2007 at 11:27 am rating: 25
that is passive-aggressiveness if i ever saw it
Jun 18, 2007 at 12:09 pm rating: 2
If this is rude, I guess I am even ruder because I bail at the first sign of small talk. I mean I kinda have an excuse because I have Asperger’s, but seriously, when it comes to small talk, I refuse to even try.
Jun 18, 2007 at 12:19 pm rating: 11
two other topics of small talk that need to be retired:
1- the price of gas
2- the best way to get from point a to point b
Jun 18, 2007 at 12:22 pm rating: 11
i was in the hospital for a month last year due to some health complications, and even though i hadn’t been outside in WEEKS, the hospital staff would still ask me, “so, you think it’s gonna snow tonight?” or “boy, cold weather, huh?”
i know they were just trying to be nice, but sometimes forcing “weather talk” is just annoying.
Jun 18, 2007 at 12:44 pm rating: 18
The Queen of Passive Aggressiveness
Call me crazy, but I kinda enjoy small talk. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to have fleeting conversations about inane topics with near-total strangers.
Jun 18, 2007 at 1:07 pm rating: 17
I agree!! and about the crackheads… maybe call the cops when u see one?
Jun 18, 2007 at 1:39 pm rating: 0
e. malachi howley
It’s interesting to see such polar opposite responses between small-talk lovers and small-talk haters. If I had to make a semi-informed guess, I wonder if tolerance for small talk has to do with where you grew up. My wife (small-town/Midwest) likes it and I (large suburb/East Coast) can’t stand it.
Jun 18, 2007 at 2:43 pm rating: 6
I don’t mind most small talk, but weather talk drives me crazy. It’s hot in the summer, it’s cold in the winter, rain sucks if you had outdoor plans. I agree with this guy.
I especially hate that my family members insist on long weather dialogue over the phone. I call them long-distance to find out what’s going on in their lives, not to know that it’s 3 degrees hotter than yesterday and there was a bit of rain earlier.
Jun 18, 2007 at 3:25 pm rating: 14
I’m from Michigan…so talking about the weather can sometimes be amusing…a typical Early March conversation on a 65 degree sunny day might go something like this: “Wow, beautiful day so far…think it will snow by the end of the day?”
Jun 18, 2007 at 3:43 pm rating: 9
Jun 18, 2007 at 4:57 pm rating: 3
i’m with tbrock; i like bitching about the fact that it’ll suddenly shoot up to 110 here (sacramento) when you’ve had a nice balmy 85 the day before. although maybe that counts as newsworthy and not just pointless small talk?
Jun 18, 2007 at 5:22 pm rating: 1
I vote for the crackheads have an underground barber who does his work on contract in the stairwell… also, why is this person digging through the trash for things other people can use??? I hate when people do that, buy your own pr0n :/
Jun 18, 2007 at 6:19 pm rating: 9
I like this one a lot…and to me it definitely seems to be less about an issue with weather talk and more about all of the shit that is going on in the building.
Jun 18, 2007 at 6:42 pm rating: 2
Re: small talk — I have no opinion either way. But leaving all-caps notes with the express purpose of putting people down anonymously? Not a fan.
If the purpose was actually to work on building issues, I’m pretty sure this is how a 4-year-old would go about it…
But maybe they *are* actually living in some sort of Lord of the Flies environment where preparing a case for the building’s management isn’t an option… In that case, queue up the conch shell!
Jun 18, 2007 at 8:45 pm rating: 1
Jun 19, 2007 at 12:22 am rating: 1
“this is what happens when you have no social contact except for the internet and believe yourself to be clever.
guess what, guy â€” people probably donâ€™t want to talk to you AT ALL, probably because youâ€™re creepy or an utter douchebag. By talking about the weather they are hoping to avoid further conversation with you on other topics.”
You’re right – if the writer had included the words “creepy” and “douchebag” and had reminded his/her neighbors what social pariahs they were, the note would have had much more impact and would have been MUCH more acceptable to the average reader.
Thank goodness you’re here to defend us all:)
Jun 19, 2007 at 5:37 am rating: 2
You have no idea how annoying it is for someone to go up to you and say, “How’s it going?” Then you respond. Then they say, “It’s really hot outside today, huh?” And then they make some excuse to walk off. It’s like they only wanted your opinion on the weather. That’s all you’re good for, right?
Jun 19, 2007 at 6:07 am rating: 2
I love it! Reminds me of a couple of friends of mine who would get on the elevator and then improv a fake conversation when somebody else would get on:
“So, I hear she finally washed the blood stains out.”
“Yeah, she decided to use bleach and that seemed to really work.”
“I wouldn’t use that blanket again.”
You could tell people were trying to both not pay attention and yet couldn’t contain the shock on their face at the same time.
Jun 19, 2007 at 8:22 am rating: 19
Now THAT’S funny! I’m going to try that later today: “So, did they ever find his teeth?”
The original is just antisocial. Berating others’ attempts at contact is like the people who complain when someone says “have a nice day” with “don’t tell me what kind of day to have.” It’s a litmus test for assholes.
I would make sure to talk about nothing but every finite detail of the weather with this bozo – I’d even call for hourly updates, and email every weather link I could find. THAT’S passive aggressive…
Aug 1, 2008 at 4:04 pm rating: 13
I love this note purely as a piece of comedic writing.
But if I lived in the same building with the guy, I’m not so sure I’d be as amused. Only because of the “I’m too sexy for this building” tone of the note writer. It’s a bit too holier than thou.
You can go along with his ideas up to a certain point – discussions about the weather are inane.
But then you have to wonder what scintillating conversational tidbits is this guy willing to offer as a replacement? Trenchant observations about politics? Dry, ironic commentary about the barren wasteland that has become pop culture?
I don’t think so.
I’ll bet that what we have here is more of a chronic bitcher who saves up his bitching for one huge, manic-depressive, semi-psychotic bitchfestevery three months instead of a high functioning neighborhood wit sharing his inescapable intelligence with the world.
But I may be wrong.
Jun 19, 2007 at 8:46 am rating: 8
Best. Note. Ever.
Jun 19, 2007 at 9:58 am rating: 5
Haha…I love this!
Jun 19, 2007 at 10:46 am rating: 3
I hate small talk. It makes my blood boil when I’m asked senseless and inane things, and my family is always pissed because my replies to their questions are only “yes” or “no”, instead of “Yes, I noticed. And did you see how the weather was yesterday? It was also very sunny!”
Jun 19, 2007 at 11:29 am rating: 5
That is FREAKING awesome!
You know . . . in a snotty passive-aggressive sort of way.
Jun 19, 2007 at 3:00 pm rating: 1
LOLOL! I so understand where that person is coming from. I feel like screaming every time one of my neighbors starts talking about the weather. ENOUGH WITH IT ALREADY!!!!
Jun 20, 2007 at 12:49 am rating: 2
This persons head would explode if they ever came to Britain. Complaining about the weather is the national sport.
Jun 20, 2007 at 6:57 am rating: 9
Is there a reason nearly everyone has assumed the writer is a man?
Jun 21, 2007 at 11:48 pm rating: 6
This is definitely on my top five so far.
Jun 22, 2007 at 1:17 pm rating: 1
Jun 22, 2007 at 4:24 pm rating: 0
Hey–why is Toronto woman (as we now know) spelling neighbour without the “u”? Is she some kind of nefarious anti-small-talk-American trying to change our Canadian ways? Next she’ll be trying to return us to the traditional definition of marriage or toughen marajuana laws by berating us all with elevator notes!
Jun 22, 2007 at 4:47 pm rating: 2
automatic spell check only speaks American; luckily it can only change the spelling and not the words themselves, and because of that we can all be sure our gay pride and our ability to pass one down the line is safe from her maniacal passive aggression.
Jun 22, 2007 at 11:37 pm rating: 3
Hahaha love it! I too hate the weather talk…
Jun 27, 2007 at 1:57 pm rating: 2
Yeah, well, in my building the old ladies always ask about my wife’s health (not at all good) and I have to fight to keep from crying. The weather is so much safer.
Jun 27, 2007 at 8:52 pm rating: 7
anywho…hot enough for ya’ ?
Jun 29, 2007 at 8:21 am rating: 3
Serously, I HATE WEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would just move.
Jul 2, 2007 at 1:44 pm rating: 1
Good to see elevator-spitting crosses national boundaries.
At least the the writer doesn’t mention porn shoots:
Doug in the T-dot
Jul 3, 2007 at 2:44 pm rating: 0
i didn’t read all the comments but many of the first ones people were missing the point the writer isn’t pissed about having small talk he is saying they’ve got some real fucking problems to fix in their building and he’s being really passive aggressive about it
Jul 9, 2007 at 3:06 pm rating: 2
OMG, that is *awesome*.
Jul 31, 2007 at 8:45 am rating: 1
See, the way I figure it is this person said they have only lived “here” for 3 years and by that perhaps they meant “Toronto” and not just that building. I imagine they came from some not-so-far-away land where they leave the “u” off of “neighbour” and don’t like indulging in small talk with people they bump into in the building.
Now if only we could work out exactly where this mythical land might be….
Nov 9, 2007 at 12:36 pm rating: 3
So what else is new? Another American-Bashing Canadian. Believe it or not, many conversations down here begin with a brief discussion on the weather. And we do have four seasons here in California, too, just after summer, Spring, getting ready for summer, and summer
Nov 9, 2007 at 6:31 pm rating: 0
OMG… I know that building.
Nov 22, 2007 at 4:37 pm rating: 1
Ok..ok.. I admit it. I shaved my head in the stairwell a few times. Once..perhaps twice I spit in the elevator. My crack head friends and I DO tend to be a bit sneaky and avoid everyone, but I have never…repeat NEVER thrown away any perfectly good stuff!!!
Nov 22, 2007 at 5:51 pm rating: 2
That note ís snotty.
I too hate small-talk, I’m lousy at it. I don’t know my neighbours and don’t really have much to say to them. I’m happy to just exchange polite “‘good morning”s and “good evening”s really. But the weather is a popular topic with the old folks here too. I live at the top floor so have to sit out their boring talks.
On the other hand, one time out of the blue a lady started telling me how her husband recently passed away and how she tried to keep a brave face on the street, but cried every time she entered her appartment. I was baffled and didn’t know how to react… The weather is just a safety barrier I guess.
Feb 4, 2008 at 4:51 am rating: 6
I lived in an apartment last year that was trying to be a little community or neighborhood. When I moved out I left some things next to the garbage because they were still perfectly useable. It’s like the equivalant of leaving something on the curb at our apartment. But before I was even done loading up the van someone had thrown it in the garbage. Why does perfectly good stuff end up in the garbage when other people in the community could use it?
Jul 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm rating: 2
Lots of people – Canadian born or not – can’t spell.
Aug 20, 2008 at 10:31 am rating: 0
I think it is clever, and I think if you wrote this, you’d have to be pretty unconcerned with how many friends you have in the building.
He’s probably a smoker and has to spend countless hours standing in front of the building, greeting and re-greeting every neighbor and hearing “Cold day, huh?” a thousand times.
If my hypothesis happens to reflect reality, doesn’t this make just a bit more sense?
Well, it does to me.
By the way…
MAN is it cold up here right now!
Wish I wore a better jacket.
Jan 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm rating: 1
You give a look of (hopefully) genuine concern, and say “I’m so sorry.”
It’s called allowing yourself to recognize we are all human beings.
Dare yourself, you’ll do better than you think.
Jan 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm rating: 3
Apr 21, 2009 at 9:52 pm rating: 2
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