Friday, January 26, 2007

In my mind

I'm having an ongoing internal debate as to the effectivenes of my social skills since I started working the late late late shift. It seems that I've fallen from a normal guy, to a rabid social misfit. Granted to takes some work to be a social creature as it is, but I'm having some difficulty. I find myself more and more removed from contact in general and haven't been able to keep up with personal contact with friends and family. When I do get the opportunity I find that inevitably I stick my foot in my mouth with regard to proper interaction/etiquette.

Case in point and one that I've seriously been kicking myself in the arse for, for a good while. I had the chance to hang out with a couple that are nothing short of stellar great people and was invited to dinner. I was in a social acceptable funk I guess at the time, but enjoyed making dinner and having a few cocktails with them. During dinner I tried some food I'm not usually inclined to partake and in a thought or thoughtless second (I think this will be funny to myself) I spit out a simile and mentioned that my taste buds were tuned to this food such that it kind of tasted like new shoes smell at a shoe store. (that folks is a rude ass thing to say) Step one, insert foot in mouth, step two kick one's own ass, step three think about the interaction for a month to work yourself into anxiety attack. It didn't help that my hosts were gracious enough to offer that I crash there for the evening, and a prior engagement which was easily cancellable prompted an early exedus. It was a foolish call and I'm kicking myelf over that as well. I left and immediately felt dispair with my poor friendishness.

I've always had issues with saying good bye either after an evening, a hour long visit, a few days at my folks place, the last eye to eye meeting between past girls and I, and just over all in general (Nhu-Mai comes to mind...I really F-k'ed up that one hardcore). A handshake, and a hug for the lil misses? A pat on the back and a little bow out for the lil lady? A hearty smellya later? How is it possible to take leave of an encounter and be socially on top of your game? At points I know it'll be weeks if not months til I see the people again face to face...where do the standards come into play and what are those standards. I also find that when I end up leaving a place I have a hard time with that a character flaw, or just a social imperfection? Eye contact being one of the best interpersonal interactions that you can have denoting that you are A.) interested and attentive, b.) aknowledges the fact that you are present at the time and not off in la la land and C.) respectful enough to not stare at someones shoes while speaking to them even if it's saying see ya around. I'm such a bitch when it comes to thinking of my interactions of late, and frankly I suck.

Hopefully I'll be able to travel soon and put into practice better guest relations and provide myself with a basis for something less than self contempt.

Today is one of those days it's better to be looking into the fishbowl and not swimming around in it.

This arrived in the mail today and I'm going to line it with tinfoil to keep the voices out.


Monstu said...

In my mind...

I'm goin' to Carolina
Can't you see the sunshine
Can't you just feel the moonshine
Ain't it just like a friend of mine
It hit me from behind
Yes I'm gone to Carolina in my mind

Sara said...

Well, if you LIKE the smell of new shoes at the mall then it was a compliment...albeit hard to explain. Most women I know prefer the exit hug to the handshake, as long as they've known you for a bit, not a fast rule but at least something you can work off of.

Brendan has been working weekends/second shift/long long overtime hours since the beginning of time, it seems, so we've been recluses as well. I promise we'll catch up with you soon.

-RwB said...

Ah yes, the Late Late shift. Its not easy. No getting around that. On the inability to leave graciously note... I also used to have the same problem. I practiced and use on a regular basis: "I must be going, it really has been a pleasure." And when said in a firm confident tone by a tall man who owns his own universe such as yourself, nobody will stop you or think the less of you for bowing out. After the hugs and handshakes as you repeat the line "its been a pleasure," you walk directly to your jacket, then directly to the door, turn at the last point of sight (being it the room or the door to the outside), and say "I'll speak with you all soon."

Done. See ya, Bob. Everyone will have a pleasant "new shoes" taste in their mouth, and will speak highly of you as you drive off.

Works for me.