There’s a lot of high drama in an office environment. Combining a small space with tight deadlines is bound to bring out people’s real personalities fairly quickly.
What personalities, you wonder? I’m so glad you asked.
Things you’ll often hear from the social butterfly:
My computer broke so I’m just wandering around talking to people.
What did you think about the new movie? I went to see it with three different groups.
I invited 270 people to my wife’s birthday party—wanna come?
Prickly nice guy
Though it’s a label with an identity crisis, there are people in the world who can grumble about projects or people in one breath and check to see if you’re doing okay in the next.
But I didn’t do it
If I’m walking with my eyes closed and you’ve got your back to me, and I walk into you and you drop hot coffee on my foot, it wasn’t me. No one listens to me, I’m misunderstood, and I didn’t break it.
A lot of people (okay, me. I’ll admit it) have 10 or 15 outfits that they cycle through week after week. But there are some people with special fashion taste that dive into their closet, dig out some clothes, and make new combinations every day. And they somehow always look straight-from-a-magazine good.
Signs that you work with one of these:
Every time you schedule an event or plan something, it’s the exact same as the last one, and the one before that, and the one . . .
Whenever you see something they’ve done, you get déjà vu
Deviating from the norm is simply not an option
If there’s one thing that can really give ulcers to 80 percent of a crowd, it’s putting four staunch introverts in a room with one social butterfly. Side note: though they say opposites attract, in this case it’s not true.
Everyone prides themselves for different talents, but these people have a special talent for nosing into information, keeping it all in their heads, and pulling it out whenever needed.
Who you know
Somewhere along the way, someone said it’s not what you know, it’s who you know—and really, what better excuse is there for missing a deadline: I was having coffee and crumpets with the boss.
A lot of life is spent learning how to work with people.
The process often lives on a sliding scale that can move from ‘miserable’ to ‘frustrating’ to ‘rewarding’ to ‘delightful’ in a manner of moments (words, really), depending on how an interaction is going.
When you’re working through something with someone who’s different from you—social butterfly and staunch introvert go on eight-hour car trip to a sales conference—remember that you have as many idiosyncrasies as they do. Remember that you both need bountiful grace, and at times, neither of you will deserve it.
And remember that one of the great joys in life is overcoming relational difficulties and learning how to get along. Maybe even becoming friends, if you’re feeling crazy.