That ugly feeling
Why do some people leave me with an ugly, uncomfortable feeling? A phone conversation should be as simple as A,B, C. Yet some people are able to make me so uncomfortable that I never want to talk to them again.
Some years back, I met a senior director for breakfast at his hotel. Although it was an informal job interview, I took to the laid-back gentleman immediately. I could imagine working for this kind man. Unfortunately, it was his line manager that would supervise the job, and he was the one I needed to speak to.
On the telephone, I could sense the kind of person the line manager was. Impatient, authoritarian, arrogant. I asked, "Are you looking for someone to work with you on this project? He replied,"No, I'm looking for someone to work FOR me."
Right there and then, I didn't want the job. I didn't care how much it paid. I didn't want to work for someone like that.
Today's phone call brought back memories of that incident years ago. It also reminded me why I had turned down an offer to work for the person I spoke to today. He had interviewed me about an energy economist job a few years before. Now I've contacted him about something that he had written recently. He just seemed so constipated and condescending on the phone.
When phone calls fail, use emails. But even emails can be curt, abrupt, and disrespectful. Face to face encounters should erase all misunderstanding. They should, but they don't always leave you with a beautiful feeling.
9 January 2003 Thursday
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