Sunday, January 4, 2009

Don't Force It

Ouch…is all I can say about a recent encounter at work. I absolutely love to read. So as I was walking past someone’s office I noticed a book I had heard great reviews about. I peeped my head into this person’s office and asked,"Have you read that book pointing to the book?”, I should I have known that things were quickly going downhill when the person didn’t turn around upon hearing my question. But hey…I kept going and asked if possible could I borrow the book? I could immediately since the tension my question created and quickly said, “Oh is it special to you. No problem, I check out books from the library all the time. Don’t worry about it. I can definitely find it at the library.”

Office Mate: Oh, it’s just that whenever I’ve loaned out my books, I don’t get them back.

Me: Oh, I totally understand (even though, I really don’t. I just wanted this whole awkward situation to end as soon as possible.)

Office Mate: You can borrow it if you can find me another book to serve as a bookend.

Me: No, that’s okay. I can definitely find it at the library. Have a good day.

What I’ve Learned from this encounter……
This situation could have totally been avoided if I had kept my mouth shut.

Keep it short and sweet at work and don’t force interactions.

Has this ever happened to you…you’ve tried to be too friendly to someone at work?


KGW said...

Ha, Ha. There are so many places I could go with this. I actually have become very good friends with a few (emphasis on few) of the people I have worked with in the past. Generally, work does not seem to be the place to make all of your friends. Most of us have a decent friend-base by the time we reach working age. However, I see nothing wrong with friendliness. You have now learned from this experience and you can continue to be friendly with this person. He/She set a boundary and now you know what it is. I think it is important for us to set our own boundaries as well. I had a job once where every word out of your mouth was some how publicized to the whole building by the end of the day, so I had to set boundaries. My conversations were narrowed down to "good morning" and "see you tomorrow".

pecanglo said...

Of course you will most likely get several comments and responses to this question. My most immediate comment is that you didn't do anything wrong and when the book caught your eye, you were naturally interested and wanted to inquiry if you might borrow it or get a decent comment from its owner. Now there are several lessons that could be learned from this or one might go a different route and say, "it takes all kinds of people to make this world and you are not going to necessary have a friendly experience with them either." That's just one of my thoughts. However since I know you intimately and personally, I know your heart and know that you are a woman of great kindness and integrity and who can take a situation like this and not even blink or falter. You are the type of individual who simply would go to the library as you said, or to Borders or some other bookstore and purchase the book. This office mate only showed, in my opinion, how very uninsightful and small she could be. She didn't have to ignore you when you first asked her a question, nor did she have to ask for some type of "collateral book" to replace the one she had. How very petty and unnecessary. But again, we cannot control or wish to control other people and their lack of friendliness or lack of humanism. So I say my dear and sweet daughter, carry on as you have been and don't even look back on this as some kind of deliberate rejection or anything else. It does not merit that kind of interest. Besides, remember to ask yourself, "how important is this?" Usually you can find the answer to a problem or experience by that question. You're bright enough to deduce that every second is precious and wonderful and you learn not to waste you precious breathe or time with any individual who chooses to be ignorant,whether they do it out of innocence or because they just feel that way. Who cares? You handled the situation in a way that Jesus would be very proud of you and so am I.


Helen said...

I'm going to state the obvious. Some people just don't like to loan books out. Some people are defensive about saying that because they sound selfish. As one of those people, let me say, it IS selfish, but I don't mind admitting it.

Christie-A Work In Progress said...

I dont think you should have kept your mouth completely shut but when they didnt acknowledge your presence or question the first should have kept it moving