Friday, May 2, 2008

Close Talkin'

I like my personal space. I may have a bit larger than normal personal space need. (Ok, maybe I'm a bit of a freak. Instead of the traditional 7 inches, I need a least a foot and a half of personal space to feel comfortable.) I don't like it when people invade my personal space. Period. It's always been an issue with me. Even my kids are able to invade my personal space at times - especially while I'm on the computer. My co-worker is convinced it's because I'm an Aquarius (she is too and has the same problem. I guess we're both freaks.)

Anyway, the other day, I had to have an impromptu meeting with my division's controller - he's from Italy and is an extremely close talker. I met him and shook his hand and he stepped towards me, within a foot. Think about being your face being within a foot of someone you don't know. Too CLOSE. I stepped back. He stepped forward again and I let go of his hand and quickly backed up.

I led him over to my office. I was trying to step into my very very very small cubicle and talk to him - but he kept stepping closer and closer and closer... I was holding myself back from karate chopping pushing him out of my office. Back off, I kept thinking. I couldn't even concentrate on what we needed to discuss. I just wanted him to

At one point, he kept getting closer and closer and I would step back farther and farther (in an extremely confined space). And I was finally sitting on my desk and pushing my phone out of the way so I could make sure this guy was outside of my personal space. Finally, I pulled my desk chair in front of me (while huddling on the desk sitting on books, mice, and papers) which I was able to perfectly place between me and close talker. Ahhhh... Personal space...

We finally finished our business, and he left and I climbed down off my desk and pulled the paperclips out of my ass. Damn - one more cultural thing I need to learn to deal with. I'm not sure I can deal with people literally being in my face. I'm just not comfortable with that.

Clearly he hasn't taken the "Working with American's" class. Rule #1: Appreciate the American's need for space around his or her body. If you notice the American backing up - this is not an invitation to step forward, it means that you making the person you are talking to EXTREMELY FUCKING UNCOMFORTABLE!!!! SO BACK THE HELL OFF...

I'm so poetic, I should write a book.

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