Wednesday, August 9
I'm back, sorry for the absense. And I'm back just in time to develop serious anxiety about a big upcoming conference. Like Scarlet, I say yes too often. And then I get way behind. I owe some folks some responses. I will see them at this conference for sure. And they will ask me questions. And I will have to come up with something witty in response. Witty would be best, alternatives are less desirable.

The thing is, some of the people have been much better than others in understanding that sometimes things take time. But one person in particular - a senior person who has nothing riding on this - has really gotten on my case. He's actually way ahead in the queue compared to others, I've actually gotten material back to him. Yet he still sends me messages. And they are not appropriate. So I dread seeing him. And am still trying to figure out a witty response.

I realize this is somewhat cryptic and somewhat too generic. Let's put it this way, if others are completely socially inept, how much is it on us to have to deal with that? Well, I have to deal with it as he'll be in my face. But how much is it on me to have to deal with it politely?

5 comments:

kodachrome said...

Since I'm a clod, I'll hazzard a guess and say it's at least possible that impolite people don't need that extra measure of politeness.

Witty is always good, but not if it doesn't entertain you.

wisteria said...

Here's an old trick: Imagine the guy in his underwear. And try to be polite, you never know in which circumstances you'll meet him again (and my experience is that you probably will, especially if you're trying not to!). As for what to say to him, I would go with flattery regarding his comments so far. I know this doesn't sound very empowered, but some battles are better not fought...

kodachrome said...

Pa ha ha ha ha. Hi Wisteria! snicker snicker snicker. I'm sorry. WIsteria's right. Never take advice on maners from someone eho has none. (unless of course you just wanted to let yourself off the hook.)

Sienna said...

Let Me Be Too!!!

I snuck into the office this afternoon. It was quiet, so I stayed too late. The phone rang, and I answered it. It was a sob story. I fell for it. Rec letter by Thursday. Sigh.

Orange Ina said...

Sienna, I often wonder why in the world I answer the phone in my office! It's rarely a call I really want to take. If only I had caller ID.

Wisteria, cool image!

And now to address the original post: NBB, I tend to think that the mere fact of going into this situation recognizing that you may face this person will be to your advantage. That is, some of these situations are most difficult when they catch you off guard. But you can be on your guard now. Even if you don't know exactly how you'll react, you can think about it and prepare yourself. For example, one option is to decide that you won't really engage with him in a related conversation and will just politely acknowledge (e.g. with a nod) his comment and move on. An alternative would be to have a witty response. But in the absense of a witty response, I would probably just stay quiet and move along (or change the subject, compliment him on his latest whatever or whatnot).

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