Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lurker at Law

I've never been much of a joiner.  There are things that I participate in- I volunteer at church, I am a member of a community women's volunteer organization- but I also guard my personal time.  Nothing is crazier to me than someone who has no personal time because his or her schedule is chock-full of voluntary activities.  Like, why do you hate you?  Usually I just assume that no one has told them about TV.

Further, I am horrible at networking.  I am genuinely hopeless at social interactions with strangers.  There is this thing that people do in conversation when they are reciprocal that I just can't seem to get.  For instance, I'm at church this weekend volunteering in a children's classroom.  There is a volunteer I've never met before.  She asks me, "How long have you been attending Church."  I answer the question and then just...crickets.  Loooooooong pause.  Finally she says, "I've been coming about 5 years."  Why yes, she was waiting for me to reciprocally ask her the same question she asked me and yes, I totally dropped the ball.  When someone does this it is so awkward.  Even so, despite the many awkward pauses I've endured in my life due to my failure to ask the reciprocal question, I can never seem to remember to actually just ASK THE QUESTION.  It kind of defies logic.

So, this non-joiner, social idiot has stayed away from substantially all activities related to my profession and involving my colleges around the city. I'm basically lurking in my profession and, honestly, it is a little bit weird.  It's odd that you can do something for years and be moderately successful and still not really fit in.  It's odd when you do go to stuff and no one really knows who you are or has met you before.  For me, though, it is no less weird then going up to someone and basically saying, "We share this one thing in common- our job- so I guess that means we need to talk and know each other even though I don't care about you and we probably don't have anything else in common." It's just so inorganic and painful.

My own discomfort notwithstanding, this does make me bad at one part of my job.  All too often I have a tendency to just write it off as who I am when, in fact, it is something that I need to work on.  To which I say, "Add it to the list, bitch!"

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