My coworkers are all very nice, but damn if some of the things they say don’t make me want to jump out a window.
One of them — a woman in her mid-twenties — is quite proud of the fact that she hasn’t read a book since high school. She doesn’t really watch movies, either, she says. (Then what do you do with your life, I silently howl.) I was working in the stockroom with her today, and she asked me what I was studying at school. I gave her my usual spiel about science writing and how I want to do environmental stuff and fieldwork when I notice she’s suddenly eyeing me with some suspicion.
“Do you believe in that evolution thing?” she asks.
“Hmm,” she says. “I mean, this is where my husband and I differ, because I’m Christian and he’s sort of…in the middle. Like, I believe that when I have a baby it’s a gift from God, but he believes that it somehow came from a monkey.”
I start a cliffs-notes version of my spiel about religion and science not having to be mutually exclusive, etcetera, but she’s no longer listening and so I go back to folding pants.
And then this other kid wandered in talking about a customer with a Russian accent, and it was revealed that he 1) thought England was in Eastern Europe and 2) didn’t know that Poland was a real country.
My favorite awkward evolution story involves a former roommate.
She’d moved in with me a few weeks before, and we were sitting on the couch watching The Big Bang Theory. Specifically, the opening credits had just come on. She turns to me and asks “Do you believe in evolution?”
I blinked and responded “Well, I work in an evolutionary biology lab.”
“….what about macroevolution?”
“I work on speciation.”
Fortunately she left it at that and did not attempt to proselytize me afterwards.