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February 20, 2004

the advantage of liking strange people

there's a woman in my office who is a little odd. a little bit of an outsider. well, in a geek office she'd be a little bit of an outsider; my department is equal parts geek and marketing, so that makes her even more of an outsider.

but you know, i do love the ousiders.

i think most people avoid striking up friendly conversations with her. i've almost never seen her talking to anyone about anything but work-- except me. i know she eats lunch alone with a book every day (except one day when she sat with me and dave).

i was kind of scared of her at first, too. not because she's intimidating, but because she really is kinda strange. at times she seems to be brilliant, and at others almost autistic in her inability to communicate or understand spoken instructions-- being in a meeting, or a training class with her can be an extraordinarily exasperating experience.

one day, and i can't remember how it came about, she found out that i had a halloween decoration that i was procrastinating hanging, because i realized i'd need help. it was getting quite close to halloween. she said, "I'll help you. Let's do it right now, don't procrastinate anymore."

and so we did. and i think she said something very smart about procrastination, something that impressed me at the time. i realized then that i kind of liked her.

recently, i've begun working with her in small ways. there's a group of project managers, and there's a group of applications developers. my new manager is using me as a sort of "translator" between these people; someone who can take the project manager's complaints about a UI, design a solution, come up with the markup to implement it, and pass something usable along to the programmer to plug into the application code.

she's a programmer. i'm starting to get the feeling that the project managers have a hell of a time communicating with her. i'm not sure that i'm doing any better, but i'm hoping that having already established a small acquaintanceship with her will turn into a surprise advantage in this situation.

Posted by lisa at February 20, 2004 04:16 PM | TrackBack

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