27 August 2008

Poker Face. NOT!

I had a college professor ask to speak to me after class one day. He waited until the others filed out and then the conversation went something like this:

Him: Is something wrong?

Me: What do you mean?

Him: You look very unhappy in this class.

Me: I do?!

Him: No. Not unhappy. You look like you're bored out of your mind. Are you bored?

Me, thinking "Oh, this is so not good": OH, NOOOO. Absolutely not! I'm just tired by the time I get to class. I'm really sorry if I don't look enthusiastic.

Him: It's very disheartening to look out and see your face looking so bored.

Me: I'm really sorry. I'm not bored. I'm just tired. Truly.

'Cause when you're lying it always helps to punctuate your comments with "Truly."

I wasn't tired. I was busted.

I was bored out of my mind. And it showed. It always shows. I try to be aware of what emotions are playing across my face and manage them. At least a little. But most of the time, what you see is what you get.*

Amazingly, I've had the opposite to be true. Well, not the opposite. Maybe the catty-corner.

I used to have a coworker that was in love with the sound of his own voice. He'd talk to me, or anyone else who didn't get out of the way fast enough, forEVer, no matter how bored we looked. He just wouldn't take the hint. Even if you said "You're boring me. Go away." He thought you'd told the funniest joke.

You could turn away, he'd keep talking. You could start typing, he'd keep talking.

Eventually, I learned to just get up and walk out of my own office. He'd follow me down the hall for a little bit but if I strode purposefully enough, he'd give up. If all else failed, I'd duck into the Ladies Room. I felt sorry for the guys who had to listen to him because they didn't have that option.

* This has played havoc with my bid for the Senate.


Narm said...

If he was truly dedicated he would follow you in there.

Gilahi said...

Gosh, in response to one of my posts, you said, "TMI! TMI! I CAN'T HEAR YOU! LALALALALA!"

Did you ever try that with him?

LivitLuvit said...

I've had to develop all sorts of tricks to avoid the talkers in my office. I get up to get an awful lot of coffee, which is great, because then I also have to pee all the time. WINNER

Tina said...

I'm kin dof impressed with the Prof. Way to put himself out there - Can you imagine if you had said - yes actually you are boreing me to tears do you think you could do something to make yourself even marginally less useless?

Wait - its probably only me that would do something like that.

rs27 said...

In class I used to bring a crossword puzzle to do instead of taking notes. The professor asked me if I was listening in class and I said, "um yeah oh 5 letter word for place of learning is CLASS. High five!"

I got a C in that class.

Mike said...

Are you sure he wasn't hitting on you?

Reya Mellicker said...

I think Mike is right - the prof was hitting on you.

As for the guy you worked with, isn't it amazing that the neediest of people can be so obtuse when it comes to what's going on with others?

lacochran said...

Narm: He's clearly a slacker.

Gilahi: I did! He kept talking.

Livitluvit: Good strategy. If I drank coffee, I'd adopt it.

Tina: For a split second I thought about telling him the truth. But I had no suggestions for ways he could improve. So I thought no good could come of being honest. It was gutsy of him, though.

Rs27: "C" is for "class" and "classy"!

Mike/Reya: I'm sure. He was pissed.

zandria said...

I always find it hard to keep the boredom off my face, whether it was in a school classroom, or more recently in long staff meetings at work... :)

lacochran said...

Zandria: :) Perhaps we were separated at birth.