I’ve got an employee who hasn’t been able to come to terms with the fact that I’m leaving. Every day he comes in and wants to discuss events that are going to happen months from now and stands there blankly looking for some kind of meaningful response. Why he thinks that I’ll suddenly care at this late date and with my time getting very, very short I just don’t know. After four of five days of this, I though I’d make it very easy for him. I explained that, yes, I was leaving and no, I wasn’t paying much attention to what he just asked. I literally told him that I wasn’t paying attention when he was talking. I said it to his face in front of God and everyone… and he kept talking. Just kept right on rambling about whatever it was he decided was important that morning.
I still wasn’t paying attention, but this time it wasn’t due to lack of interest but because I was too stunned that even at point blank range he couldn’t process that I really didn’t care about what he was saying. Sometimes I wonder if it’s actually better to live life in that kind of bubble of obliviousness and just roll from task to ask happily unaware of the subtitles of the world around you.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of previously de-published blogs appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date.