Thursday, October 5, 2006

Fond farewell

Tonight I went out to bid farewell to the first coworker of mine to leave the company who I'll really miss. I don't say that in a mean way to those other people; other people I've liked have moved on too, even friends, but I don't really think of them too often. I'll actually miss having this guy around.

(Of course, I'm going to feel really bad after writing that if I think of someone else... but I don't think I will.)

It's interesting... the fact that I'm not currently in the job position that I originally interviewed for an internship in (I'm a Software Design Engineer, but I interviewed to be a Program Manager) has come up at dinner a couple times. Every time I talk to coworkers about this, every single one of them either has no comment, or recommends that I switch jobs as soon as I absolutely can. In contrast, every time I talk to a manager about this, every single one of them recommends that I stay in my current job. I generally trust the honesty of my friends and coworkers much more than management, so it's hard not to see some conflicts of interest in there.

On another topic, my ex-officemate and I were talking to one of my coworker's girlfriends for quite a while. It was a conversation I've had many times before: I wouldn't be so shy if only I'd go out and meet more people... go to clubs... approach more girls... spend more time being social. I never know whether I should respond with an annoyed "duh" or a stunned "what?" so I usually just nod my head. I guess I can be grateful that she just advised me to go to clubs more often and all my problems would be solved; her advice for the other guy is that he should change his hairstyle, buy nicer clothes, and clean himself up a bit, and then go to clubs.

And at some point someone said that it would be really funny if I would wear my black trenchcoat wrapped completely around the Segway so it looked like I was just hovering above the ground, with a cape and a cane for effect, and then under that I'd be wearing a full evening gown and drag makeup. Apparently this is how I should go to Office Triage if I ever need to go—Triage is where the final decisions are made of how bad bugs are compared to their fixes—and they'd be so confused that they'd have to approve my fix. I don't know where that came from, and frankly, I'm not sure that I should.


Anonymous said...

The question is, do you want to change the fact that you are so shy or do you see nothing wrong with it. If you don't mind, than just accept who you are. I don't know why, but I've noticed when a person is shy, everyone feels that they have to do whatever they can to bring you out of your shell (I know, I've been there!) It all depends on what YOU want....a person won't change themselves unless they honestly feel that THEY want to change. On that note, I am sure if you want to change yourself, you have a bunch of wonderful friends that will help you change at a pace that is comfortable for you. But if you are happy being who you are - than there is no reason for you to change for others.

Anonymous said...

Argh....had this nice long thing about being comfortable with yourself and your shyness...and then your blog ate it.

Bottom line: If you are happy with who you are, than there is no reason for you to change. If being shy bothers you, than change it. If you decide that this is an aspect of yourself that you want to change, you have wonderful friends who will help you change at a pace that is comfortable to you. Don't change yourself because someone else thinks that you should change. Change yourself because you honestly want that change.

Advice from someone who has been there.

Anonymous said...

Okay...didn't mean to post 2 times. Sorry

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it just takes a good hard kick in the ass.


There, you've received your kick in the ass.

Travis said...

Louise—Thanks. This is my current policy on record. Shy and introverted are part of who I am, and I don't really have any interest in changing this. I like being alone.

Ian—You mean Louise or "one of my coworker's girlfriends" who said that I could overcome my shyness by just being less shy? Because I do buy Louise dinner. (Except I think I owe her money now...) If you meant the other woman, I'm not sure that her boyfriend would be cool with that.

Anonymous said...

clearly not the other guy's girlfriend, that would be a good way to get a real kick in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Your welcome Travis. I don't like changing my friends - its just a policy I have.

And yes, you do owe me some money...and a dinner or two.

As for boyfriends being cool with stuff, well, we do live in Seattle....

Luke said...

I liked Travis's style when he lived in Lincoln.

I draw a distinction between shyness and the ability of people to work well or interact well with others. I can have a girlfriend, but still be shy, though maybe its less likely.

Your biological wiring means you can't change totally. If you tend to be a little shy and quiet, you will probably always be so. But that doesn't mean that certain things that require some skill with interacting with others are beyond your reach.

So for me, the answer is that I do not seek to change my unique personality from shy to loud and social. But, I do try and get better at understanding and communicating with people. To me, it seems obvious that this would be my approach. Those things that are part of my identity I leave, but those things which are clearly faults, such as lack of social skills, I always want to improve.

I see life as a personal Odyssey where you are going to have some unique talents and lack others. Your ability to attract other people and develop friendships is, I think, more about utilizing those talents that you have.

And I should have been a philosopher. Imagine that ;)