I work on the 40th floor in my new job and I don’t take the lift. True!
Well, some would say it’s the second floor, but technically, between the big floors there are all those miniature floors. Some would call them stairs. I call them what they actually are. Mini floors!
It was after lunch and my colleague and I were walking from the staff canteen, ascending these mini floors up to our floor. I saw my new boss sitting on the next set of miniature floors. She was on the phone. I am still in training but it is her team that I shall be working on and we have only chatted briefly before.
As I looked down at my feet to concentrate on the arduous climbing task I hear her say, “Hi, how are you?”
I look up and note that she is kind of looking in my direction but also looking down at some paper in her lap.
In that split second my internal dialogue, combining my logic, reasoning and perception consisted of the following.
‘Was that to me?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘She’s not looking at me. Surely she’s on the phone?’
‘But it sounded like it was aimed at me and now she’s suddenly looking down at her pad.’
‘Perhaps she said hello to me and then the automatic answering service of the call centre she may be calling answered and she now has to listen to the options to dial to get through to the correct department.’
‘Or perhaps she’s speaking to someone on the other end of the line.’
‘Or perhaps she said hello to me and is now taking note of an answer phone message that she is listening to?’
‘Or she is actually speaking to someone on the other end of the phone.’
‘Right, you have two options. Unfortunately either of which could result in you looking like a Dick.’
‘First option, say hello back. If she did say hello then well done, you win! If she is in fact talking to someone, then you look like a Dick for speaking to someone who is blatantly on the phone to someone else.’
‘Second option, say nothing. If she was speaking to someone else, well done, you win! If not then you have affirmed yourself in the second week of your new job to your boss that you are in fact an ignorant Dick.’
‘I’ll either win or be a Dick.’
‘If I’m a Dick, what kind of Dick do I want to be?’
‘If I’m weighing up being a Dick as opposed to being an ignorant Dick, I think I’d prefer to be just a Dick.’
‘You had better say something then!’
So I did.
“Yeah I’m good thanks how ar-”
“I’m just on my lunch break so I’ll make it quick.” She was in fact on the phone to someone else. Of course she was! She looked up and laughed as I probably went red and made some stupid comment trying to be funny when in my head my internal dialogue said, ‘Well done! You’re a Dick!”
We even made a joke of it in passing later on but I fear that my first impressions have been hindered by what I shall now forever call, The Phantom Hello!