Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cubicle dilemmas

Suddenly one of my co-workers has decided that I am a person she can go to for advice on handling difficult people. I don't know where this came from.

It would be painful enough if she just asked my advice in passing, but she comes into my cubicle and settles in and tells me a long story while I'm hyper aware of my idling computer (unanswered emails, unfinished spreadsheets, half-composed invitations) and the fact that neighbors on all sides can overhear. But there's something about her delivery that makes me think she is fully aware that people are listening, that it's part of the reason for her visit. Sometimes it's almost like she's testing me, to see what I will say, which is clearly my own paranoia, but still creeps in there.

I never have a straight answer, because the simple truth is that she and I are very different people, with extremely different styles, and anything that works for me will never work for her.
Some of the situations she finds herself in would never happen to me - I am not that aggressive or forceful or bold. Of course I still have personality conflicts with people at work, but they aren't in the same vein has hers, and so it's like asking a long distance runner what she thinks is the best way to hold your breath under water.


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