I’m Curious … Annoyed

I’ve had a number of incidents in the last week, starting with my first ski trip of the season, which caused me to scratch my head in curiosity … after being annoyed.   

I’m curious, is self-absorption acceptable now?

As I am starting to get into the line to get on a chair lift, a young man on a snow board slides into me at the entrance to the line, unbuckles his boots, and proceeds to get in front of me.  He looks right at me, and says not a word.  So, I engage him in conversation.  Nothing, absolutely no response, and he is still looking at me.  So I continue to try and get his attention with “Yo, do you speak English?”.  At that point he removes the ear buds from his ears and says “What?”.  I apologize for having bumped into him in the lift line.  He stands staring at me with his mouth open.  Yes, he bumped into me, not I into him, and his reaction clearly shows he knew that he did.

I’m curious, does rushing mean you are allowed to be rude?

I’m working on a project with a short deadline that includes about 10 other people in different departments.   I get Emails that don’t even contain my name at the beginning.  They just start with a demand to do something.   It’s been my experience that time pressure leads to short fuses.  So politeness is more, not less necessary.  Is this a generational thing?  If so, I’m glad I’m a member of “my generation” and not the ones addicted to rushing and using it as an excuse for rudeness.

I’m curious, does random action trump thoughtful planning?

I’ve been on far too many conference calls lately where no one wishes to plan anything, or be thoughtful about the consequences of their actions.  Attempts to have a published agenda, keep on track to the topic or raise questions about complex issues are met with “Well, we don’t have time to boil the ocean.”  The inevitable result is “scrap and rework” at the 12th hour when there is even less time to think through the implications of last minute, rash decisions, and the deadline often slips as well.  How does this deliver value, profit or any sense of pride in one’s work?

Just thought I’d share.  Are you as curious as I am, or am I the only one without a clue?

3 thoughts on “I’m Curious … Annoyed

  1. I don’t think that rushing entitles you to be rude, but sometimes familiarity leads to some leeway with formalities. Devil’s advocate on behalf of your co-workers: maybe all the time you put in on the project together leads them to believe they know you well enough to skip the introductions?

    In any case, hopefully your upcoming interactions will lead you to have more faith in humanity!

  2. After a long week that’s still not over, I reverse my devil’s advocate position. People who are rude and demanding in their emails suck.
    Also, as far as I’m concerned, the word “please” is not as optional as people seem to think it is.

    • Rachel,

      I’m a bit sorry to hear you recant on your observations. I think you did provide a good alternative to interpreting blunt Emails. That said, I conciously add a salutation to my first Email to someone each day, “Good Morning [first name]”, “Good Afternoon”, etc. I find this is a good idea as people who contact me literally work all over the world, so I think its useful to include time of day in my current location. If there are followup Email (which is another topic in its own right 😉 ) I will use “Hi [first name]” and if this is now the 3rd or latter in the series, [first name].

      I find that lack of facial expression and body language increases the opportunity to come across as rude or uncouth. It takes some effort to limit the opportunity for the receipient to feel that way. AND, PLEASE and THANK YOU are never bad ideas, as well as some self deprecating humor when I make a mistake. My current favorite is “Bah Bah BAHHHH …. (feeling sheepish)”.

Leave a Reply to Rachel Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *