20 December 2018

Strange social interactions

I think I'm generally OK with social interactions! But I recently had one and I struggle to make head or tail of it. A handful of colleagues and I were just having a chat over lunch when I started answering a comment by a chap called Brian, when Jaco cut straight across. I wasn't pleased with that and called him out. He ignored me! And just kept talking. I called out again. The same effect. As if I wasn't there! That was so insulting and humiliating. I muttered something like 'well, screw this then', packed my stuff, and stormed off. I caught a sympathetic glance from one of the chaps, and a lady I had to squeeze past squeezed my hand in sympathy. But nobody spoke. I went back to my office feeling rather upset.

Some time later I saw Jaco walk past, to his office. He didn't look or stop to say anything. As if it hadn't happened! That didn't improve anything. It upset me. We had to re-organise an entire module! What now? I couldn't really break all ties with him, but as he had treated me like a sub-human I wished I had that freedom. Not that that was something I'd likely do; I am not one to bear a grudge. But having the choice would have been nice. The following lunch breaks we both attended I was a bit on edge. I made sure to not let him get away with such things again.

A week or two later I bumped into Marjan. She said she hadn't seen me in ages and missed me. And it had been silly busy and that doesn't help, but I confessed I had also been hesitant to initiate social contact as I wasn't so keen on Jaco these days.

The next day Jaco came into my office, asking if I had some time to talk. Marjan had mentioned our conversation! But he had no idea what she had been talking about. He seemed to have honestly not noticed! I think that's really weird, but it's either that or he deserves an Oscar. He apologised and we hugged. The air is cleared! I'm glad. But still a bit puzzled. How can you not notice if the person next to you storms off? But at least we have a solution for if this happens again; if I prod him in addition to addressing him verbally he'll notice me. But I hope it doesn't happen again! And I hope Jaco hopes it too!

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