The Career Counseling Tests Never Said: Be a Diplomat
Remember when I started my job and a few of you wrote, "Oh Good! Blog fodder!" You know the adage be careful what you wish for? Yeah, well think that one. Blog fodder... full force this week.
My buddy who hired me, my friend who was laughing at me "Off with their heads!" from yesterday's post, is not only a really smart guy, but he is very diplomatic in his approach to just about everything. He could probably look you in the face, "Call you an ass" and you'd feel like it was a compliment. He's just a sincerely really good guy. Not a mean bone in his body.
In the beginning, we used to carpool together... when we were both new engineers at my old company. Then I ended up sitting behind him for about 4 years. He told me I needed diplomacy training and set it out as his mission to 'tone me down'. The words blunt and insensitive have been used more than once to describe me. Someone would be at my desk and I'd be ready to go at it and he would turn around and give me 'the eyebrow raise'. I think I posted once that my then boss thought I must surely have failed the Assertiveness Training he sent me to... I realized later to 'tone me down'... because I was too Aggressive still. Whatever. I've mellowed.
So you can imagine how I felt today when I got to work and I got this e-mail from my buddy and it says, "Hey. Want something else to do? I have another job that might not be so aggravating."
Great. Know what that smacked of to me? That smacked of, "I'm being nice. You suck. Let's try something else."
So... that's what I told him. Heh. I sent him a note back and said, "I suck that bad at this, huh?"
And then I waited. Five minutes...tops. I hear the door to my cube farm open and close and I hear his voice answering questions to others who work for him and then... he's standing in my cube.
No good morning, no nothing. What I got was, "No. You don't suck. I'm just in a bind and I have a deadline and I need someone to help me or I'm going to miss it. Can you help me? I have a family. I have no desire to be here 6 days a week to make this deadline."
How could I refuse? Actually, put like that I felt kind of honored. And to think I thought he was just being diplomatic.