September 9th, 2015

planet

I should ask more people how their life is, shouldn't I?

I might have a below-average ability to care about people's lives and I'm wondering if that's a problem.

here's what happens all the time at work. I go visit Bill at his cubicle. we're talking about a project and all the stuff that has to get done. he says he can do all this stuff by Friday but also tells me he's leaving a tad bit early today because his cousin is coming over to help build a shed in his yard and he wants to get it started, cool whatever.

Friday I stop by to see Bill again and ask him about all the tasks and he's telling me about how everything is going, and says that Jim in the next cube is helping out too and calls Jim over. We all start talking. And then Jim says, "By the way how'd the shed turn out?"

Well shoot, I realize, that would have been a NICE way to start this conversation, right? Shouldn't you ask how people are doing, how their lives are, try to remember what's important to them?

aren't your coworkers supposed to know the names of your kids, know what your spouse does, know your hobbies?

I am so bad at that. It's not that I don't care - I do. I just don't think about it. I get right to the work stuff.

in my last group a guy arranged for us to all chip in for a christmas gift card for the lady who cleaned our offices. It's a contract company that does that so usually you don't see the same person twice, and often they're at night so you never see them, but for some reason we'd had the same person for a while and this guy knew her name. I was blown away.

It's like my brain lacks some social skill. They say that people like you when they get to talk about themselves to you. It builds trust. I've been told before that I'm seen as pretty kick ass and too the point, but kindness is something people remember too, and I'm not sure I remember when anyone has said I was just a darn nice person. It's good to be to the point, technical and get stuff done, but there's a balance - you have to be able to just relax and ask people how it's going, and I'm not sure I'm balanced.