Thursday, January 12, 2012

Are you sure you want to know?

Every project is different. Small projects, people generally talk to each other, big projects maybe not as much. This is why, of course, I hate small projects (like this one). On a big project, if you don't know the person or people next to you (depending upon whether you were smart enough and quick enough to get an end-of-the-row seat) it is OK to put your headphones on and never speak to your neighbor. On small projects, like the five-person heap of crap I'm on now, people generally talk to each other, at least some. Most folks assume (wrongly, I think) that they will "get to know" the other people on the project.

I think three of the five people on my project buy into this assumption. They seem to exchange a lot of personal information, and chat a lot. Usually, I have my headphones on and ignore them. Yes, I am an anti-social SOB. Problem?

However, there is one guy on this project who makes me look like a social goddamn butterfly. He never speaks unless spoken to, and then keeps it monosyllabic and short. Dude is my hero.  Today, however, I learned that not everyone values reticence.

The lone woman on the project, call her C1, thinks the silent dude, call him C2, is a "closed book" and apparently wants to know more about him. She went on for a bit about how we have no idea what his interests are, what he likes or does not like, things like that. This got me to thinking.

First, she obviously thinks that the rest of us on the project, call us C3, C4 and C5, have been more sharing. I think that probably is true about C3 and C4, and, to a lesser extent, about me. But the more I thought about what I have shared, the more I decided she was taking to much for granted.

Who's to say that the personae we are sharing actually reflect who we are? Does she know that I am actually telling her about myself, or am I telling her about a persona I wish I were, or used to be, or aspire to be, or have no interest in being but have created for the purposes of entertainment? Nothing I say is subject to verification. Much of it is not accurate, as I have little interest in sharing my actual life with people I barely know (or don't know at all). Personally, I think this is what makes reality television appealing. It isn't actually reality, but the show folks are putting on is much more interesting than their real selves. I think C2 is doing the best job of avoiding this trap by simply sharing nothing. Hats off, C2.

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