Today at work I got to thinking about something.
As I’ve mentioned previously, we’ve been in training for a new campaign for about a week and a half now. The training means spending about 7-8 hours a day in a room with some 20 other people. Since we’re in the early days of training, the lessons have been fairly dull, and a bored me in close contact with large groups of people doesn’t always end well.
In the 7 days of training we’ve had so far, I’ve already managed to alienate two sets of people. I don’t know what to do about it; I can just be very abrasive without really trying to. You could put it down to a nerdy person having less than perfect people skills, but there are a couple of other facts that complicate that conclusion.See, I have excellent communication skills in other contexts. There’s the obvious example of my ability at writing. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you’ve noticed that I occasionally come up with something very entertaining to read.
I’m also very good at public speaking. I’m not totally sure where it comes from, but for whatever reason if I’m standing in front of a crowd, I totally forget my awkwardness and just enjoy myself. I might not be the most charismatic speaker ever, but I have a pretty good ability to control a crowd.
Again, I’m not sure where it comes from. Maybe the fact a big part of me, despite my introversion, really enjoys having all eyes on me.
Added to that is my ability to handle speaking from a place of authority. Right until I switched to this new campaign, I was taking supervisor calls at work. This meant that if a customer was having a tough time with an agent, whether the agent did a poor job or the customer was particularly stubborn, I took the call should the caller request to speak with a supervisor.
Those were pretty fun. Similarly to the public speaking, I got an odd sort of pleasure from handling these calls, and had a surprising knack for handling them well. Handling the calls well, just to clarify, mostly meant never losing control of the interaction.
Basically, I’ve been thinking about why I’m good at some ways of dealing with other people, and so mediocre/bad at some other ways. In any case, it is frustrating to be the sort of person everyone low-key dislikes so quickly. I wish I knew how to get better at this.
Sorry for the short post, guys. Life has been very busy, and I’m still exhausted from the weekend.