Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I don't know you.

It seems I've been avoiding people lately.

Situation 1:
I've only fired two clients in the ten years I've had my own marketing agency. I genuinely like the work I do and most of my clients are good people; several have become close friends and others have brought me more business as they've moved to other companies. These two just happened to be the exception and I looked forward to never again gazing upon their smug, arrogant, nasty faces that made me queasy every time I saw an email from them.

Except that I did -- on the soccer field Friday night where one of them has a child on Thing 2's team. I'm sure he dislikes me as much as I dislike him so I did what came naturally to me: I pretended not to know him.

Situation 2:
As you know, Dave was in Dubai this week so my free time was practically non-existent. I got a shower in every day but did not always complete the look with a blow out and makeup. The Pinks and I stopped at the grocery store one day after school and came upon a former co-worker. She was someone I really liked but it'd easily been ten years since our last encounter and I was not looking so pretty. Nor was she, fortunately. So I did us both a favor and scooted down another aisle pronto.

Situation 3:
I've lived in quite a few places. Three stints in California, high school in Alaska, college in Wisconsin. I've consulted to more than 25 companies. When I see people out and about I can't always recall where our paths intersected. I attribute this issue to the brain cells I lost while pregnant. Really and truly, there's only room in my head for things that are critical for survival.

A few weeks ago Dave and I were in Costco and I noticed a familiar-looking guy. He looked at me, too, so clearly he was thinking the same thing. I didn't say hello even though I probably should have but we were in a hurry and I just didn't want to expend the energy. Sure enough, he, too, turned up on the soccer field Friday night and I remembered that we met at indoor soccer in the fall.

Three different situations and three different reasons for avoidance. In the first I didn't want to talk to the guy as I would surely have been impolite and said pointedly "Does your lovely wife here know that you are a total a$$hole in a work environment?" In the second I wanted to save us both from wishing we'd brushed our hair more recently than first thing that morning. In the third I just didn't want to struggle with trying to figure out where our paths had crossed while stressing that I had to be home in 20 minutes for my next conference call.

Am I antisocial? More food for thought.


Polka Dot Moon said...

I tried to pull "situation #2" the other day. Didn't work.........

Thom Singer said...

I love this post. I don't think you are wrong.

I tend to do just the opposite.

#1. I say hello and act very nice. I hope to God they hate me too, so that it bugs the crap out of them.

#2. Sorry, I am a guy, I don't care how I look in the supermarket.

#3. I own it. I say "Hey, I know you and I can't place it out of context in Costco".

But I am not the norm on this stuff either, as my wife and kids cringe when we go anywhere for fear I will run into people I know.