Someone is going to pay.
Here's how my new rule works: If you ask me a question and it's something that I need a few moments to look up, and then, before I have a chance to do it, you say "Oh, never mind, it's okay" and walk away, you owe me a dollar. Upon accumulating three or four of these (it shouldn't take more than a week), I will then proceed to the nearest Dairy Queen to soothe my soul (see illustration above).
You can ask me a hundred questions and I will go after the information just like the dog in the "Lycos! Go get it!" commercials from the 1990s. I know where to go and where to look, and am not the least put out at being asked to find stuff out for you. I like finding stuff out. Makes me feel smart.
I don't like being stopped before I even have a chance to get started, especially for no good reason.
People pull this crap on me several times a week at work, and I don't get it. I don't use resistant body language; I don't make a face and throw my pen down in annoyance at the interruption. My typical response is "Sure, give me a second to look it up." Is there something wrong with that? Is it a problem that I can't magically produce the information in a split-second without going online, or to a file or other reference source?
When Moe asked me where a particular customer was located and I started to go into the database to find it, he said "No -- it's okay, I know they're in this town and that's all I need." So if he knew that, why did he ask in the first place? I went into the database anyway and found that they have two locations in town. I waited for Moe to come back from the bathroom, where he'd retreated as he retracted the question. But just then, the phone rang, and Moe slipped out the door, apparently bound for the customer's location. I hung up the phone thinking I hope you get lost. I hope you get a flat tire and it starts raining and the cops come and give you a citation for blocking the road, and I want a dollar and I'm going to use it to buy ice cream, you big pain in the butt.
Wouldn't it be great if we had the nerve to say what we're really thinking?
I could really use a mint Oreo Blizzard right about now.