August 13, 2015

I Can Conversate, But Will They Listen?

Contrary to the popular opinion of cyberspace, I really am an introvert.


I have issues with being around groups of real people larger than 5, which is why I usually don't go to things like staff parties or certain family get-togethers. I even have issues dealing with some of my children's friends, but that's another story for another time.

Now you think this would be a problem at work, and for the longest time, it was. I have to do orientation at least half dozen times a year, and for the longest time, I had a built in excuse as to why I shouldn't have to go to a room filled with anywhere from one dozen to two dozen people and patiently explain to everyone about everything connected with their paycheck.

Sadly, that built in excuse ended in a seriously spectacular flameout this past January, so now every three months or so, I have to hoist myself up by my own petard and my own jockstrap, go to an AV/conference room filled with fresh meat....I mean, new employees, and play nice.

Play nice.

When you get fifteen questions on how to fill out a federal W-4 and a state W-4 (I'm not joking on this). When you explain to people what a tax exempt letter (IRS is cracking down on this) is and that if you choose to file exempt on your federal taxes you have to return the letter, and no matter how much you dumb down your explanation, you still have comprehensions issues. When you explain how important it is to have an up-to-date mail addy, and it's like "what?", it's wickedly hard to play nice.

Fortunately, what helps me play nice with people who will make twice my annual salary and have degrees up the wazoo, is my sense of humor, my brain dead delivery, and my ability to make everyone feel not-quite-so-stupid.

Because I truly detest speaking in public (yup that broadcasting skool did wonders for my confidence), I had to find a way to connect with people. Fortunately for them, I have a very dry sense of humor and a keen sense of self-inflicted stupidity. Mix in the ability to sound absolutely brain dead (Spicolli) and have a keen sense of understanding ala Bob Ross, and you got a person who you can simply wind up and let loose amongst an unsuspecting group of hostages...ummm, newbies, with no fear that I'll offend anyone (yet).

Beyond having to prostitute myself like a performing monkey (get yur head outta the gutter. it's a cliché), my preferred method of communication is the written word. With the written word, I is king of my domain (sorry, no Seinfeld reference for you). I are witty, I are full of both atrocious and kick-your-ass-with-high-heels grammar, but most importantly of all, is that I am me.

No bells, no whistles, no having to turn it on and turn it off nor censor myself until I'm Walter Mitty's personal whipping boy. What you read is what you get 99% of the time. Warts and all. And though I may possess a seriously surly attitude that borders on a "WTF are you bothering me for?" at work, away from work, this is who I really am.

The question is: can you handle the real me?

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Yeah, I'd definitely rather do everything through written word.

  2. I am confused about the real you. Was that part of the plan?

    1. A little bit. I often bring that type of confusion to people who know me either on a personal level, such as yourself, or on a peripheral level, such as co-workers. It's normal and legitimate to feel that way about me. :D

  3. I can relate to your dislike of large groups. I am comfortable with up to around 15 people in a group as long as I already know everyone or almost everyone present. More than that, or more strangers... I can't wait for the event to be over and done with. I think I put on a pretty good game face, so people think that I'm having a good time, but really I just wish I were on my way home.

    1. With me, even if I know the people, I am still uncomfortable being the center of attention.

      I gave up a long time ago putting on a game face. Now I basically throw off nasty body language to show my displeasure at being somewhere where I don't want to be.

  4. I am, as ever, in awe of your patience. I don't like big groups either, although I don't mind public speaking (but I hate it when I get bum rushed at an event - go figure.) I suppose I like to keep my distance from people in general ;)

    1. Thanks.

      I've gotten better at public speaking, or rather, as public one can get when you have a captive audience at work.

      I stopped being a people person quite a few years ago.


These days, the written word is to die for, so please leave a comment that shows me and everyone else the real you. All kinds of verbiage will be cheerfully accepted in the spirit it was written.