May 3, 2006

Unfair Impressions

When I started in this new place, two ladies warned me to be wary of this Thai guy. They said he eats cats...or at least misses eating cats. Made fun of how he speaks and how he looks. Of course, I'm no cat, but hey, a warning was a warning.

Truth be told, my first impression of him was just...ok. He didn't stand out. He didn't look cute. He didn't even look like a cat eater (though I really have no idea how they look either). I couldn't understand what he was saying, but I felt awful for not understanding. Add to that was the thought that I'll just avoid him, if ever I'll end up with a cat.

Anyway, he comes by my office to chat when it's lunch time. Talks about how he enjoys eating smoked salmon and bacon for lunch. How much his leg hurts. Today, he came by again to say he's just looking for someone to talk with. He said no one really talks to him, except for work-related matters. He feels ignored. Turns out he's lonely and looking for friends to chat with. Nothing more. He even told me how he feels awkward speaking in English. I told him, "well, practice makes perfect." Sadly though, he said he had no friends to practice his English with.

I felt terrible. Honestly, I haven't been making any effort to befriend the guy. During lunch today, I resolved to be friendlier to him. I resolved to be a better colleague. Kudos to me today for making him laugh. What makes me different from him, really? I, too, come from an Asian country. Why should I join the bandwagon? I also asked him if it's ok for me to correct what he's saying. He was so happy when I said that. The last thing I want to do is to make him feel worse.

I was never the type who got influenced by the things other people say. Strange though, because when I started here, I was just all too willing to listen to whatever other people said. I forgot that different people will have different opinions. It doesn't have to be my opinion too. I can make up my own mind.

No one should feel isolated at work. We spend far too much time there to feel that way.


Paige said...

We the mother in me, sends caution. But being a nice co-worker, there is nothing wrong with that. But mother sends caution anyway

Cez said...

Thanks, Paige. :)