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The Autobiography of Russell
Life from a different perspective
"That's what they say anyway."
You can't save everyone; not everyone wants saved. That's what they say anyway.

You need to make a good impression; a good first impression is everything. That's what they say anyway.

You have to think about others. That's what they say anyway.

If I did everything people say then I'd never actually do anything or go anywhere.

My manager thinks I'm an extrovert. I know what gave him that impression, but I'm not. When there's a gap I'll fill it in and when there's a job to be done I'll just do it, but I don't go out of my way to talk to other people. "Hi, I'm the new guy. I don't actually have anything work related to talk about; I'm just here to waste your time talking about the weather and start the process of you hating me sooner." ... Does that make me homophobic?

The other day I learned that I've made some questionable first impressions. No matter how much I think about others there will always be some way I didn't and that's what will offend them.

So far I haven't found any allies, but it will only be a matter of time before I make some enemies.

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Current Mood: disappointed disappointed

5 comments or Leave a comment
legolastn From: legolastn Date: February 8th, 2013 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bromides (or, more generously, proverbs) can only take you so far. There may be some wisdom to be found in each of those "sayings" but if you try to follow them in absolute terms they can either make you a horrible person or drive you to the point of insanity. That said, does somebody need saving...at work?

I think people mix up extroversion with things like "talks to people" or "acts friendly," when both introverts and extroverts can do these things and even enjoy them - the difference is social interactions use up energy for introverts but generate energy for extroverts.

I'm not clear what the connection to homophobia is here?
zimzat From: zimzat Date: February 8th, 2013 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
(Re: taking bromides too far) True.
(Re: mixing up extroversion) Also true.

The saving thing was metaphorical. This workplace is the most conservative I've ever seen when it comes to making changes. They fully admit that it needs help/fixing, yet no one can do anything without passing it by everyone else first and getting approval from leads, managers, and principal developers. I'm a perfectionist, or at least I try to be, so when there's a problem I just want to get in, fix it, and move on. Within reason, of course; we can't stop bringing business value to the table after all.

Maybe homophobia isn't exactly the right word. Maybe male hetphobia is closer, or just an aversion to getting into arguments over programming ideals. Maybe it's simply feeling anti-social and not wanting to go out of my way to meet people I don't need to and yet have to see every day. (Remember that 99% of developers are straight and/or married and/or with kids, and maybe only 1% are gay)

Edited at 2013-02-08 04:51 pm (UTC)
legolastn From: legolastn Date: February 8th, 2013 06:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
So basically the business doesn't want to save itself? That does sound frustrating - and if that's the institutional culture that's not likely to change without a concerted effort from many people.

It seems like the feeling you're describing is that you don't have anything in common with the people you work with and don't want to have to spend small-talk/socialization time to get to know them? If so, I'm not sure if there's a term for that other than being judicious about expending your social energies - maybe with a small dash of misanthropy and/or heterophobia. Maybe with a dash (or more than a dash) of conflict aversion as well?
zimzat From: zimzat Date: February 8th, 2013 08:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the business wants to save itself. They've certainly hit a stride on the business side and are hiring like mad. It's the technical side that is being very slow and conservative and behind the times.

As fro everything else, "all of the above" is probably right. The good reasons reinforce the bad reasons to result in just not happening.

Wednesday I was finally told what time people meet in the conference room for lunch. This still requires going out and bringing back food.

Today I was finally told what the social chat room is (this is four weeks now), but only because I heard someone mention it vocally twice recently and called someone out on it. They're not going out of their way to include me any more than I am going out of my way to force my inclusion.
zimzat From: zimzat Date: February 9th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, today was a moderate turnaround to some aspects of that. This morning on the bus I ran into someone from the QA department and practically unloaded on him some of my frustrations. He pointed me toward the chat room and, while not much was said, I was at least aware and "in the know" finally.

Then later this afternoon I got into a rather lengthy discussion (~1 hour) with another new guy and one experienced guy, which turned out to be fun, amusing, and informative in some ways. Completely off topic for me and neither were in my group, but it was a nice break from the silence. There was also no name calling or storming off, so that was a plus too.

Maybe next week will also make some progress on inclusion? Time will tell.
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