Monday, November 15, 2010
Heard in the Workplace.
c. David Grim (taken 10/31/10)
There's usually not a lot of belly-laughs to be found in a full work day of department meetings. I don't expect to be entertained. The best I can usually ask for is to find enough of interest to keep me awake. To be honest today wasn't even that bad. There was plenty of insight into the current state of the profession, and I realized that I could look forward to the impending shifts bolstered by a sense of my own competence and ability. And I even got a few hearty chuckles along the way.
I had noticed that our first presenter was sporting some sort of medal around his neck, over top of his necktie. It was pretty gaudy, so I naturally wondered what he was thinking with that strange accessory. After awhile he chose to explain what the thing represented, but I believe he probably stepped over some kind of line by repeatedly assuring us that he wasn't a "Special Olympian". Now don't get me wrong- his insistence made me laugh... still I suspect it wasn't his intention to amuse me in the way that he did. I appreciated the situation in the same way I might enjoy a particularly embarrassing Larry David moment. However, he never should have returned to that well again.
Then another colleague shared a catch-phrase that our co-worker (not the same one mentioned above) used to be famous for. He used to say (quite often) that people have three basic needs- food, shelter, and someone to blame. Not only is that entertaining, but there is definitely a certain truth embedded in the quip. The world of work is fraught with opportunities to draw attention to ourselves. What we so often find ourselves looking for is deflection. That kind of thing doesn't stop when we graduate high school.