I’m very careful to keep a mighty firewall between my professional self and every other aspect of my life. Having either one bleeding over into the other is just not something I even want to contemplate dealing with. Today I’m reminded why. It seems one of my colleagues is having a baby… and that has led to an unending round of sonogram showing and appreciative cooing from the female members of the staff. It’s also let to merciless ribbing that it wasn’t the sought after son he had predicted. When I say unending, I mean that. It’s been going on now for three hours more or less non-stop. Fortunately, this poor soul apparently has a longer fuse than I do. Maybe it’s just me, but the squealing, shrieking girl thing just doesn’t play when it’s coming from a room of 30 and 40-somethings. Once is endearing. Doing it each time anyone who hasn’t yet been informed comes into the office makes you seem slightly insane.
It’s possible that I’m the oddball here, but most of my coworkers really know next to nothing about me other than that I come in on time, leave on time, get my work done, and generally keep a neat and tidy desk. That’s really all they need to know. They don’t really know if I’m married. Don’t know if I have kids. I don’t give away weekend or holiday plans other than letting one or two people know that I’ll be out of town or otherwise unreachable. For the most part the reverse is also true. I make every effort not to drag work issues home with me. No one at home needs to know the details of what’s going on at the office any more than the guy at the desk next to me needs to know if I enjoy collecting wedding cake toppers and visiting small New England bed and breakfasts.
Call me crazy, but there are aspects (i.e. most parts) of my life I just don’t feel compelled to share… and yes, the irony of saying that on a blog is not completely lost on me.
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.