One of the many downsides of life in the cube farm is that it’s impossible not to listen in on conversations at least occasionally. As hard as you try to avoid it, you’re going to pick up way more than you have any interest in knowing about the people you’re sitting in close proximity to for eight hours a day. You’ll come to know everything from health and personal life to bathroom habits and carryout preferences (my personal favorite is when they’re trying to have a quiet argument with their spouse over the phone). Being a bit of a tech head, I always seem to notice when someone brings up the topic.
This morning, I overheard someone ranting quietly about people sending him text messages, as in “I’m 47 years old. People got no business sending me text messages. If they want to talk to me, they need to pick up the phone.” Why hello there 1954, it’s nice to meet you. This kind of attitude is troubling in someone who has access to every modern communication technology, up to and including A/V via satellite. If he’s this resistant to something as basic as a text message, what are the chances he’s going to be open to anything that really changes the way he gets his job done?
This post has served as nothing more than a reminder that flexibility is important in life. It’s no less important as a professional. If text messaging is enough to stress this guy out, I hope I’m not around when a real stressor comes along. I’m pretty sure scrubbing blood out of upholstery is outside the scope of my job description.
Editorial Note: This part of a continuing series of posts previously available on a now defunct website. They are appearing on http://www.jeffreytharp.com for the first time. This post has been time stamped to correspond to its original publication date