Friday, March 17, 2006

A little eye contact, please

I recently met with a coworker to discuss, um, work stuff. I knew him by name, having worked with him in the past, but I couldn’t recall his face, and vice versa. So we met in person, and he brought me up to speed on the work stuff. The thing is, his eyes kept darting from my eyes to my hair. It’s not like my silver streaks are blinding, or anything, and I admit, I’m not one to keep up with things like haircuts and color updates. But come on. It’s rude! Maybe one glance would be okay. It wouldn’t bug me (much). I might not even mind a chiding comment, like, say, “Looks like project X is taking it’s toll on you, har har har.” I might come up with some wry and witty retort, and that would be that. But to keep darting from my eyes to my hair to my eyes to my hair. Again, I say, how rude! That was the first meeting. The second was with the rest of the team. (It’s a special assignment task force, oh so very important, yeah, yeah, right, unh-hunh, yeah.) Ahem. During this meeting? He calls me Jan. Being new to the team, and considering we were teleconferencing with people from across the country, I at first thought he was talking to someone else, not in the room. But I realized that 1) I am the only woman on this team, and therefore 2) he was speaking to me. Now I don’t know how one confuses Jan with Sueeeus... And during this meeting? The steady-eye-contact-challenged team leader introduced me to the other team members in the room (who I already knew). One of them looked at me with unfeigned lack of recognition. Ummm, we worked in the same group and I sat two desks down from you (a few years ago), I reminded him. Ohhhhhh, he says, not completely convinced. I don’t think I look that much different. I did change my name though (having married Mr. Gadget), and that throws people off somewhat.

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