Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Don't Come Off Right

I worked at a popular Mexican restaurant in P town during my college days. I may have mentioned it before. One day a co-worker of mine asked if she could talk to me for a second. Sure, I said non nonchalantly (after all, I had no reason to be chalant...or so I thought). As we stood aside she calmly asked me Why do you hate me? Stunned silence. I DON'T! I blurted out. I was stammering to answer her question and utterly bewildered at the same time. As we talked she continued to plead her case as to why I hated her and I continued to plead my case as to why I didn't. I can honestly say to this day I don't know where she got the idea and I did not hate her or even slightly dislike her. The truth was, I didn't really think about her. (Except for the 1/2 second I was jealous when she was hugging my crush, but I got over it pretty quickly). She claimed I never talked to her and snubbed her...I just assumed we had a different set of friends at work and she talked to hers and I talked to mine. I was just doing my own thing and I can honestly say I never thought about it. There was nothing purposeful about my actions (or lack thereof). Again, I was genuinely surprised and taken off guard.

A little while later, while working at the same popular Mexican restaurant my manager pulled me in the office one day to "talk." It seems as if an unspecified number (more than 1 less than 4) of people had come to her wondering why I disliked them. Again SPEECHLESS. There was not one person at the restaurant I could think of that I disliked. This was some time later and almost an entirely new staff from when the previous girl had worked there. I begged her to tell me who they were so I could make sure to be extra nice, but she wouldn't. I understood where she was coming from...restaurant manager/server confidentiality and all. I once again left bewildered and tried to think of what I had done to make people think I didn't like them.

Fast forward a few years...I'm working for a sweet lil' internet company. It was the type of place where we were all felt like family. One of my closest friends--we'll call her Britty--was laughing one day as she exclaimed "I love to watch people walk up to your desk. They're always so scared to approach you. It's hilarious!" In fact, when we got bought out by a company comprised of a few rich dudes from Seattle, it became a joke that the vice president was too scared to approach me and would timidly tap on my shoulder asking if I could spare a few minutes. This man could have had me fired in a nano second and he was wealthy enough that he could have purchased my entire life 100 times over, but somehow it was known that he approached me with caution.

My personal theory goes like this...I'm a pretty outgoing person--once you get to know me. Because I am outgoing with my friends, I think some people assume that if I'm not outgoing towards them I dislike them. It's just not the case. There are a lot of conclusions and lessons that could be made here (making sure to be extra nice to everyone, the importance of including people, etc) but my point is this... sometimes I don't come off right. One of my best friends to this day was a girl I was scared of my freshman year of college. I seriously thought she might beat me up if I tried to be too friendly to her--I don't know what made me think that, but we laugh about it now. Truly, I remain dumbfounded to this day that people would ever think I hate them. The only thing I hate is hate. There I said it...I hate hate. So for any of you out there that may think I don't like you, it's just not the case. I do.

13 comments:

  1. I'm so relieved to hear this.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i have the same problem. maybe that's why we are friends? i was a little intimidated by you at first, too. but we've already gone over that...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't know you, but I'm glad to know if I ever do get to know you, not to be intimidated. I fear I'm one of those people, in theory, that would've talked to the boss about why you would hate me. I'm quite sensitive. I quality that my hubby wants me to improve on! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hear you. I've been told I have a more serious face. It's true I don't smile excessively, so people have asked me why I'm sad, when I'm really having a great day. People need to make allowances for differences in faces. Did Bracken have the same first impression?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm so glad people can relate! I was worried this post would come off like "well then you've got some serious issues missy..." Which I'm sure I do, but you know....

    Kim--I'll be extra friendly.

    Doug--yeah, you're in the clear.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hear you. Ever since I moved back to CO, whenever I run into people from High School, they never fail to tell me that I was mean back then. I wasn't mean, just insecure, and who's to say they couldn't have talked to me?

    Anyway, if it makes you feel any better, when I first met you...I didn't like YOU. Hahhahaha just kidding

    ReplyDelete
  7. Missa--Whatever you are SO NOT kidding. It's a well known fact I bugged the crap out of you...S-i-l-l-y Silly, h-e-a-d-s heads...I'm a much less spastic version of myself now.

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh finally. i've been so stressed to tell you that i thought you didn't like me...um, i'm kidding of course. how could someone with the EXACT same taste in guys not like me??? haha! i think you're real groovy! i can relate though - mostly with people telling me they thought i was stuck up when they first saw me. i quickly debunked that hooplah however! you know, because i'm so perfect and all!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That's pretty funny. I've never met you, but you don't seem scary to me!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. oh man, i could talk about this for hours. i've been shy my whole life but it's always interpreted as mean or stuck up. it's hard, i know how you feel.

    obviously as i've gotten older, my self-confidence developed and that helped my social skills. but i don't think i'll ever be the bubbly life of the party type. and i'm cool with that.

    and when i'm not, i turn to my mom's advice: people are too busy thinking about themselves to be thinking about you.

    thanks for posting this, it's been on my mind pretty much my whole life, haha.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Delurking here, to comment...
    I never thought you didn't like me, but I'm usually stand-offish and easily intimidated. I'm not the easiest to get to know sometimes. You always seemed too cool to be associated with the likes of me (I mean that in the nicest way), and that only indicates that I've needed to get over myself. Everyone I know who knows you can attest to what a great person and friend you are, though.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You know who can totally relate to you? Azucar's youngest sister, my best friend, the stank eye queen. The thing is, she doesn't mean to give the stank eye; it comes naturally. ( I hope you know who I'm talking about). In fact, I've heard from various tough guys how she scares them. You're nothing compared to her. She's deceivingly funny and nice, but many people miss out, because she just doesn't grin enough.

    ReplyDelete
  13. MoJo--I Concur...very deceiving indeed.

    ReplyDelete