Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Works for Thee but not for Me

  Every now and then, someone has a habit or mode of behavior that I find admirable.  I then think that I should emulate such behavior if I find it so great.  From one of my bosses, Ron, I learned not to make jokes about situations even if your intent was to set a person at ease.  I had just started work and needed a day off to go to the doctor.  Told Ron, he said no problem.  Got home and realized that I had told him the wrong day.  Went back, Ron said no problem.  Got to the door, noticed I had told him the correct day the first time, then had to go marching back to the office to ask him to change the schedule again.  I expected  a big show of groaning and sighing, but he didn't.  He just said, "Your health is more important, and the schedule is easy to fix.  Don't worry about it."  Saved me a lot of embarrassment, and I follow his example.

  From Mike, I learned to always say hello.  We didn't see each other very often, but if we passed he would come over, introduce himself, ask how everyone was doing, say enjoy your movie, and go about his business.  I thought his brief no-nonsense greeting was wise, so for the past year I've been going up to people I think I know and saying hello.

  You know, it might not be such a good idea.  I work a long way from the old haunts, and I've noticed a lot of people move away because they don't want to be known.  Fresh start and all that. Or they don't recognize you and are uncomfortable thinking they are on the spot.  Perhaps they just want to shop and nothing else.  Anyway, sometimes people just don't want to say hello.  

  I think the big culprit is high school.  It turns out a lot of people were miserable, and I wasn't the only one who thought if you weren't a direct friend you were a bitter enemy.  Well into adulthood a surprising number still hold on to these feelings.  Strongly.  Chris' Corollary to Mike's Friendship Law:  Look for (Friendly) Recognition First.

1 comment:

  1. A decade or so ago when I was a manager in a large corporation, I was told people thought I was grumpy. It wasn't true, someone was playing head-games with me but from that point on, I started greeting everyone I met in the halls, or in meeting rooms and called them by name (if I could remember.)

    It's amazing how people will react and become more cooperative if you just say, "Hello!" and call them by name. That helped me get several promotions because I became to be viewed as a "people person" when I really thought most of those low-life, #$)%QW%@*)* were worthless. ;-)