Despite what we see on the news on an almost daily basis, the world really is filled with nice people. But sometimes there are people who are so genuinely nice that it can be a little offsetting. That’s the case with someone at my company.
I’ve been told his real name before, but I can never seem to remember it. We refer to him as either Tater or Tot because someone once said he reminded them of those little “tater-tot looking cartoons.”
If he ever walked into the department, which was usually to ask the then-pregnant coworker if she needed anything or to rummage through a bin of magazines, someone would send a chat message that read either “Tater!” or “TAAAAAAWWWWTTTT.”
When he’d talk to the then-pregnant coworker, who sat next to me at the time, I often left her to fend for herself because I didn’t want to get sucked into the conversation. The more pregnant she got (is that possible? to be more pregnant?) the more he stopped by to see if she needed anything.
I could tell she was getting uncomfortable with his good-intentioned interactions. She once asked me “Why would I ever go to him for anything? My husband works here and I’m surrounded by other guys.” I started coming to her defense not long after that.
So this morning he saw another coworker, Jonathan, walking in with his motorcycle gear (helmet, jacket, etc.), just before a huge thunderstorm hit Memphis.
Tater: Hey, if you need a ride home this afternoon I can take ya.
Jonathan: Nah, it’s sposed to be nice this afternoon. Thanks though.
When Jonathan told me about his interaction with Tater, which was prolly the longest one he’s ever had with him, I gave him my thoughts.
Me: I think Tater is a genuinely a nice guy, like a really nice guy. And I think he’d honestly take you home without expecting anything in return. But you two would then be buddies for life though. He’d come over here and say something like, “Hey man, whacha doing this weekend? I’m working at the carnival if you want to hang out.”
Jonathan: I could see him working at a carnival.
Me: Heeeeyy… Y’all want this tilt-a-whirl to go real fast?
Jonathan: I could see him wanting to take me to his house to meet his Mom and make me have dinner with them before killing me and burying me in the backyard.
I really do think and believe that Tater is a nice guy, but there’s just something about him that seems off. Then again, maybe it’s just because I’m becoming a grumpy curmudgeon in my old age.