I am not a big fan of conversations. If it were up to me, I would communicate exclusively through sign language. For emergencies, I would use whistles, clicks and loud popping sounds.
I try my best to avoid talking to my colleagues. If we are out having lunch, they occasionally crack jokes at my expense by saying, "Goddamn, gawker, stop talking for a second, you are not even letting me get a word in." But most of them, by now, have adjusted to my taciturnity.
All except this guy. Who is also this guy. Some people have a habit of stopping and striking up a conversation with whomever they happen to pass in the hallway, in the parking lot, in the toilet, or heck, just about anywhere. This guy is those people. He is like the ants, who, while running around ever so busily in a line will always stop and exhange friendly banter with every other ant who they happen to encounter in the course of their travels.
State Transport bus drivers in Maharashtra are guilty of the same actions. If they pass each other on the road, there is some obscure governmental regulation which makes it mandatory for them to stop and chat. Maybe they are comparing notes. How many of your passengers threw up today, one probably asks the other. Ah only two, good for you, says the other. Five here. Ok, see you on the return trip. Let that steering wheel fly.
But coming back to this guy, man, he is just too garrulous for my tastes. Doesn't matter if I'm clearly walking towards the men's room, he will accost me and inquire, "Are you going to the men's room?" "Yes", I will reply, "I am going to the men's room and I intend on urinating there". If I'm going to get lunch, he will ask me, "Are you going to the Subway?" And I will say, "Yes, and I intend on urinating there."
The problem is not that he insists on speaking to me but that most of his speech consists entirely of questions. There's a difference between exchanging pleasantries and asking questions. For example, saying something like "Hey man, it's hot outside, we should take off our clothes and jump into the creek" is a pleasantry. It doesn't require the other person to reply. A smile and a nod from him, acknowledging the idea of two men swimming naked in a creek is sufficient to end the conversation on a friendly note.
On the other hand, if one were to ask, "Hey man, will you take off your clothes and accompany me to the creek for a swim" is a question and it confers an obligation on the other person to shed his silence and tender a response on whether he is for or against swimming naked with another man in a creek during office hours. Unless a reply is offered, the conversation is incomplete and will lead to feelings of resentment between the two and quite possibly, a bad work environment.
Questions are thus, not a very good way to make small talk between colleagues. And this guy needs to understand that.