So I'm sitting there working away at my computer and the little chat window pops up, and it's a message from -- let's call him, for the sake of anonymity -- "Barry". And Barry is asking what time I'm going to lunch. Now, perhaps a lot of people would type in an answer, and everyone would go away happy. But for some reason I can't help but find this insistence on not talking just a tad vexing, particularly when Barry is, how do I put this, one of those Engineers who probably would benefit enormously from as much vocalisation as he can get.
So I turn to Barry and I say "Twelve O'clock?". His response is to jump like someone dropped a tarantula down the back of his neck. He then peers at me through his glasses and nods in a kind of dismissive way, as if willing the voices in his head to go away. I'm left feeling like a bit of a meanie, but hopefully my point has been made.
Of course, one of the side-effects of my insistence on meeting his text questions with verbal answers is that the rest of the office now thinks I have a tendency to spout random, unconnected phrases at full volume to nobody in particular. This probably explains why conversation tends to hush when I walk into the kitchen.
1In case you don't know what that is, it's a little chat program that lets you send text from one computer to another, kind of like an instant email.