At my previous job, I worked with a woman who had an annoying speech habit. She would preface a sentence with the words, "Like I said..." She would say it 6 or 8 times in 5 minutes. I used to listen to her carefully, trying to catch her using it when she was not restating something. I had this fantasy that I could cure her of using it if I could just catch her using it improperly, but I never did. I learned to deal with it.
In this new job, I have a co-worker with whom I must work rather closely. She's not very pleasant to look at - bad skin, really bad teeth, ugly moles and a weight problem. But I can deal with it.
One of her weird habits is called "cueing." If she hopes I'll answer "Yes" to a question she asks, she nods her head while asking the question, as though prompting me for the answer she wants to hear. If she wants a "No" answer, she shakes her head and frowns while asking. I think I can deal with it.
She also has a really irritating habit of sending me an e-mail, then walking over to me and explaining, in great detail, the contents of the e-mail. I'm hoping I can deal with it.
What I'm having trouble dealing with are her incredibly annoying speech habits. One problem is her poor diction. She drops the "g" and the "th" that end words. For example, she said her husband is in "seven heaven" when he's "playin" golf. And, she seems incapable of pronouncing the names of foreigners. We work for an international company, so there are lots of foreign names being tossed around, and I'm forced to listen to her mangle them every day. This is going to be difficult for me, because it appears disrespectful if you can't learn how to say someone's name.
However, the speech habit that is already driving me insane after one week on the job is that she uses two prefaces constantly. One of them is "How should I say?..." For instance, she'll say, "I went into Jerry's office to ask him about that project. How should I say?...He hasn't made any progress." She uses this device constantly, which I find irritating, but it doesn't make me want to deal with it somehow - not yet, anyway.
The other preface is the one that will break me, I'm afraid. It's "Lo and behold." She'll say, "Yesterday I tried to log in to the server. Lo and behold, my account was disabled." She's said "Lo and behold" 20 times in the past week. It's like a stone in your shoe that you can't remove. It grates and irritates and I can't seem to create any mental lacquer that will turn it into a pearl. It's not funny, it's not cute, it's not charming, it's not even colorful or unique.
The problem, as I see it, is that she doesn't respond to mirrors. If she did, she'd have lost some weight, fixed her teeth, had those moles removed, etc. But since she hasn't, I can only assume that when she sees herself in the mirror, she doesn't see anything she wants to fix. The same must be true about her speech patterns. If she hears herself use these expressions, she must not think they're worth omitting. Somehow I have to convince her to omit them. I'm thinking of using something very persuasive, like a cement truck. See, I'm dealing with it.