2005.08.31 Ignoring the Issue
The other day I was having a conversation with one of my various bosses. I was asked why I was in a self-proclaimed "bad mood" when I gave a presentation earlier. I work with this same person on a team, where we're all supposed to be equals. It has resulted (as little surprise to me) that this person is delegating more than collaborating (any positive number is greater than zero). I explained that my bad mood was due to this person as a team mate, since they weren't doing their part, just being a bad team member. After they laughed, said "I know" then changed the subject to something else (all in about as much time as it took you to read those actions), this person took another step towards boss infamy.
I'm aware of the fact that there are several issues which most people don't wish to discuss. I'm personally not a fan of talking about politics (I just don't care enough), mistakes from my past (I've moved on, why can't you?), or carnie-folk (small hands). Even though I don't particularly care to talk about those previously mentioned things, I'll still do it to some extent. The act of completely ignoring a topic all together is just weird. It's the elephant in the kitchen. Don't mind the fact that he's crapped all over the place, and the peanut jars are now mysteriously empty.
You might be aware of the Seinfeld episode where George says "I love you" (Episode 109) and is waiting for his most recent girlfriend to say it back. He just leaves it out there in the air, and she doesn't say it back. The nice thing about doing what I did, is that I don't feel like the relationship can't continue because the other person isn't reciprocating (though my relationship with my boss isn't anything to brag about, since the majority of the conversations have to deal with recent observations of how they've made another mistake). Simple enough that they suck at collaborating.
Due to the fact that people want to ignore certain issues, I think there are some options for how to completely not talk about something that was just mentioned
- Trip on something
- Knock something over
- Act like you didn't hear it
- Continue talking about the previous topic
- Say that the piles of elephant poop are actually mud pies made by children