I wasn’t sure if I should post this, since it’s a) horrible lame E/N, and b) kind of a call out, but whatever.
I got a phone call at work last week, from someone I haven’t seen in a while. We used to work together, back in my working-retail-during-college days, but fell out of touch shortly thereafter, given my propensity to forget people exist if I don’t see them every day (speaking of which, I need to call my parents).
Anyway, I don’t answer the phone, because I’m at work, but I check the voicemail when I get off. Apparently her computer died, and she needs help fixing it, or at least for me to tell her what broke.
This actually doesn’t bother me. I have to help Sean with his computing woes every time he breaks something, but it usually turns into a thing after that - we hang out, eat some food, drink some beers, it’s a pretty good way to kill an evening. The dude is genuinely grateful that his stuff is getting fixed, and what the hell, I like fixing things. Not saying I want to do help desk for a living ever again, but problem solving, particularly tech problems, is why I got into the field I’m in.
So, anyway, I call her back, and the conversation goes right to business. Just “Hello”, and then “So here’s the problem…”. Not even a cursory “How’s work?” or anything like that. It doesn’t bode well, but I explain what I think the problem is (for the curious, hitting the power switch does nothing, not even spin up the fans, so I’m pretty sure the power supply croaked), and give the most detailed description I can on how to fix it. And what do I get for it?
“Ok, thanks. Talk to you later.” Conversation over.
I’m sorry, but what the hell is that? If I can squeeze answering your question into my schedule, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for you budget time for some small talk or something. You know, at least pretend you aren’t calling specifically because there’s a fire to put out.
Look, I know I’m pretty much the last person allowed to criticize anyone for their behavior, but this is just insulting. It says, with no degree of subtlety, that “we will only talk when I want something from you”. I’d have to be out of my mind to think that was a fair deal.
That said: Whatever, it really isn’t a big deal. I’m not going to hold a grudge over it, and in all matters not-fixing-someone-elses-computer, I’m (schedule permitting) down with hangouts. But don’t take it for granted that I’m going to field these questions out of the blue, for someone, functionally speaking, that I don’t really know.
Contrast this with another former co-worker I haven’t seen or talked to, this one for close to three years, who randomly sent me a Facebook invite yesterday. Even though I generally hate social networking, and it’s more than likely a fetishistic “collect em all” sort of thing, it’s an unexpected surprise, and maybe we’ll end up hanging out. Probably not, since I don’t even know which state she lives at this point, but you never know.
That’s how you get back in touch, folks. By acknowledging that we might actually be friends, or at least interact in a social context. Not by pretending I’m your personal fucking tech support.
Rant over. Back to not updating but every two weeks.