Posted by: Anne | January 29, 2011

you know what I think I’m sayin’??

My oft-frustrated OfficeMate was getting frustrated yet again. This time, it was about having to type up a long list of questions to answer about his current project. I suggested that he ask the secretary or the file clerk if they had time to help him with the typing. He immediately dismissed that, saying that he lacked the authority to give them work to do. I replied, “What have you got to lose by asking? If they have time, I’m sure they would be happy to help.”

As luck would have it, minutes later the file clerk arrived at our door to talk about the upcoming company picnic. OfficeMate said, in his typical joking way, “Anne says you need to help me with this stuff.” He continued to skirt the real issue by rambling about how he has to answer all these questions about a job. The clerk must’ve thought he was either just griping or talking nonsense (as he very often did). The subject changes back to the picnic, and she leaves.

He then grumbles to me, “What did I tell you? THAT went over well.” I’m sure he thought his intention was very clear… but obviously it wasn’t. He kidded around, dropped hints, and made obscure references to me telling him what to do, but he never simply asked her to help.

I try to keep this instance in mind as an example of how important it is for me to be clear when I’m trying to communicate with someone. I don’t want be like OfficeMate was in this situation, and end up peeved with someone for, essentially, not reading my mind.

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