A Day in the Life

Lane BeGone

I have cartridge toner under my fingernails, and it looks like I’ve been digging potatoes out of the earth with nothing but my gnarled claws, but my hair looks nice, so it balances?  No.  Dirty fingernails are my pet peeve.  Listen, my dad works on cars all the time.  His fingernails?  Clean.  It can be done.  I recoil from dirty fingernails.  Imagine how hard it was for me to watch the Lord of the Rings movies.

Speaking of recoiling…

I was in a seminar recently, and one of the men seated next to me was visibly uncomfortable being there.  Not “there” in the classroom, but “there” beside me.  My sense of humor was repellent to him.  At first it was funny that he found me so unfunny, then it hurt my feelings, then it was funny again, and I honestly felt sorry for him having to sit there.  So, I just concentrated on writing down my witty observations in the margins of my notebook, rather than sharing them aloud.  I’ve had to sit beside people who made me feel like I was biting down on a raw nerve before.  I know how that feels.  [He was a very, very nice man, by the way.]

Karen pointed out that given how much unwanted attention I attract, he must seem like a vacation.  Funnily enough, that was true-ish.  Of course I’d like for everyone to like me, and of course I’d like for everyone to find my asides as amusing as I do, but we’ve agreed that even though all art is art, we don’t necessarily want all art hanging in our living rooms, yes?  And, since my sense of humor leans to Soup Cans and Bowler Hats, I can’t expect leanings toward the Coronation of Napoleon to laugh along.

Ironically, the seminar was about how to manage your interpersonal relationships, and how to style your communication to meet other people’s needs.  I’ve had this class before, which is how I knew to stop talking to the poor captive at my elbow altogether.

As usual, I ended up in the Personality Type group with the smallest number of people.  All the other tables were full and bustling.  My table, which appeared to be made up of three introverts-socialized-to-be-extroverts, reverted to happy, independent silence when the group work was introduced.  Note to seminar people:  Introverts are exhausted by group work, so when you leave them alone together, they will sit happily, side-by-side without ever speaking, doing the work individually.  Then, when it is time to present, they will look at each other, and will communicate a decision on which of them will speak, using their eyebrows as semaphore.

This particular seminar types you in two ways.  A month ahead of the class, you send out a survey to a minimum of 5 people, who score you out on how you function socially based on your control or expression of emotion, whether or not you communicate by asking or telling, and whether or not you appear to tend to the alleviation of your own tension, or to the tension of others.  The first two sections give you your personality/communication type.  The last gives you your versatility.  You also take the survey, and when you get your results, you see where you scored yourself, versus where others scored you.

What you want is to see that you score yourself near to where others score you.  This shows that you have a realistic grasp of yourself.  I, apparently, have as much social function dysmorphia as I used to have body dysmorphia.  The long and short of it is that the 10 people (current and former management, coworkers, peers, and old friends) who surveyed me did not find me nearly as annoying as I find myself.  On the versatility scale, my people scored me as being extremely versatile, while I scored myself as being a stubborn mule. 

I think this shows that while I may think and feel one thing, I have learned to adjust my attitude so that I can live among humanity without being driven from the village by an angry, pitchfork weilding mob.  It’s either that, or take over and I am way too lazy to be staging coups.

Anyway.  Of the animals I could have been (a turtle, a dove, a lion, or a peacock) I scored as a dove.  And of the combinations to include secondary traits, dove-turtle, dove-dove, dove-lion, dove-peacock I could have been, I was a dove-lion.  The facilitator short-lined that as being a worker who says, “Heeeeeey!  Good to see you!  I gotta work.”  I can agree with that.

But no one wants to read about someone else’s personality type.  You want to know how things ended up with the repelled man.  Did I win him over with my charm?  Did he come to see that my jokes were funny?  Did he even crack a smile when I changed the animals to people?  (Dwight Schrute/turtle, Marmee March/dove, Gordon Gekko/lion, and Liberace/peacock. )  Well, friends, the answer to all these is, no.  No, he did not.

In fact, he bolted from the classroom so quickly after dismissal that I actually felt the air move.  Had we been cartoon characters, my hair would have blown back.

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