Wednesday, June 21, 2017

War Room

It's the end of a work day and I'm crammed into a small conference room with other colleagues. The room is dubbed the "War Room", and the extreme proximity is intended to make us more productive. For me, it's mainly noisy, and I can't help being affected by the rising tension in the room.

Though I try to drown it all out, I happen to hear a remark from a coworker at the other end of the room. Some remarks stand out to me. My ears are attuned to them, unfortunately.

"I've never seen you interact with anyone," he's saying to someone else. "You're almost like Zeri, over there," he says, pointing at me, "but minus one or two points."

In a way, I suppose that I like being known for my taciturn nature; I mean, it gives me an excuse to avoid interactions (not to mention a reason to write a blog entry). But sometimes I wish I could just do my work without being measured for my social activity. I'm not sure how the chaotic environment I'm in is supposed to help me work, but it's clearly not making me communicate more. Perhaps the "War Room" will change me, but I doubt I'll become more productive.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

On Snark And Enthusiasm

Sitting around a conference table, I typed away at my laptop while others chatted. I tuned in when they began discussing one of my projects, and when I was asked whether their plans for it were acceptable, I gave the thumbs up.

The product manager sitting nearby chuckled and said, "I've never seen Zeri enthusiastic."

"Oh," someone at the far end of the table piped in, someone I barely know, "the day Zeri is enthusiastic about anything will be the day that I eat my shoe." (Okay, to be honest, he may have said something else, but it was -- I promise -- equally dramatic.)

Meanwhile, I did some more work on my laptop and generally ignored the rest of the chat until, about twenty minutes later, I was told that -- given that the discussion about my project was finished -- I could leave if I wanted.

My eyebrows went up, and I shot out of my chair almost as quickly. Closing my laptop and smiling, I said, "I can leave? Now I'm enthusiastic!"

The product manager laughed loudly and said, "I love it! That's more snarkiness than I've ever seen out of him." I heard another manager say, "Wow, you do seem enthusiastic."

It wasn't faked. I've never been a fan of meetings.


Monday, June 19, 2017

Zen And The Perks Of Motorcycle Maintenance

Two coworkers were chatting about their motorcycles, and after some time one of them turned the conversation towards me.

"We should get Zeri to join our bike gang," he said.

"Unlikely," I muttered, looking over.

"Think about it," he said. "If you had a bike, you wouldn't have to talk with anyone."

While the other coworker contradicted him, saying that his own helmet has a microphone inside, I pondered; eventually, I said, "That is an interesting selling point."

And then I made a mental note to join conversations at work a little more frequently, if only to avoid ones like this.