Excerpt from mail sent in 1999 about an incident at work:
It didn't profoundly disturb me when the visiting Japanese engineer tapped on my shoulder. Sure, it startled me. I was staring at my monitor, chewing my dinner, listening to the music in my headphones. Startled but not profoundly disturbed, you see.
It didn't profoundly disturb me when my startled jump dumped my dinner into my lap. I'm a twitchy guy. I tend to get startled by lots of things. If some visiting Japanese engineer tries to get my attention when I'm spacing out, I'm probably going to spill something. So I ended up with a lap full of fried rice. This was not profoundly disturbing.
When I noticed that this visiting Japanese engineer could watch me jump and dump a bowl of fried rice in my lap--he could watch this and then not laugh; When I noticed this, I was profoundly disturbed.
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