Danish offices have this amazingly wonderful feature where the desks lift up on hydraulics so that the workers can either sit or stand while performing their duties. Aldo, my Italian colleague, and I had both left our desks in the standing position when last leaving the office so that we both started the day standing at our desks. After I while my lazy angel tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘Hey….WTF? Why are you standing when you could be sitting?’ For some reason the lazy angel said this with a New York Queens accent. I have no idea why. So I pressed the ‘down’ button on my lovely hydraulic desk and waited the requisite time for it to descend to sloth level. Shortly after I had sat down, Aldo started to wind his desk down too. Of course this is entirely permissable, but my sense of humour, or ‘sarcasm’ as some have labeled it, will not be contained:
“Copycat!” I said
“What?” asked the confused Aldo.
“Copycat”, I repeated, louder this time, because he is Italian and might not know the word. ‘COPYCAT’. Speaking louder always helps in comprehension when talking to foreigners.
“Oh!” He was surprised, but laughed in good humour at the silliness of my remark.
“Is there a word like that in Italian”, I asked for good measure.
“I don’t know” replied Aldo after giving the inane question polite, but serious consideration. “Let me check.”
Alarmed that I had now sidetracked him from his work, I tried to dissuade him from wasting time on what was just a silly question, but dear Aldo would not be deterred.
“Copione”, he stated, having consulted Google translate, but grimaced. “Ehhhh, but it’s not really suitable. It’s a word that kids use in school.”
“So is ‘copycat'”, I argued.
“Yes, but it is used in business too”, affirms Aldo
“True”, I agreed, trying to think if I have ever used the word in the workplace before that day.
“You know….like ‘copycat killer'” he said
“Oh yeah. So they don’t have a word for that in Italian?”
“No, they don’t”, he replied, thinking about it a little more
“I suppose they don’t kill people the same way twice in Italy”, I commented in what was to be the closing remark in a totally pointless conversation.
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