Today I tore open the plastic wrapper on a new ream of paper. Then I looked up at my co-worker and said, in a mock-threatening voice. "This is a demonstration of my power." Then I had one of those moments - after a long, awkward silence - when I realise that I'm not quite like other people. I am, in fact, so not like other people that the level of my abnormality can still surprise someone that has worked with me for over six years.
I'm actually pretty sure this is a big part of the reason why we've been working together for six years and why I can't get a different job that I am in all other ways qualified for. Though in fairness, it's probably more likely to be my less than perfect portrayal of the character 'normal person' that I play when I don't know people very well. In my defence though - if I really knew how to act like a normal person I probably wouldn't tear open a plastic wrapper and declare it a demonstration of my power.
Then I started thinking about all those people who say "Just be yourself". Yeah, great advice, thanks. Because clearly that's working out so well for me. Then I wondered whether anyone who really knew me had ever actually said that to me because, you know, maybe it's just that it's not general advice but advice that is only meant for people who can have a conversation without veering off onto some strange and often unintelligible tangent that frequently consists of odd voices and bizarre facial expressions. But when I really thought about it I realised that they had. Which forced me to wonder whether they were just being nice or if they actually hate me and sit in a corner rubbing their hands together and cackling whenever they see me fail. (Yeah OK, so I guess they probably DON'T do that).
Anyway, I wondered if maybe there was something I could do with that. Like maybe I could be the poster child for conformity or something. There could be a series of ad campaigns consisting of me just talking to people and being myself, maybe with some kind of lead in or voiceover explaining that this is what not to do and ending with a warning to only be yourself if you're reasonably certain that you're normal. I think it could work.
4 days ago