Quasimodo – Gary Young MySpace Blog

I’ve got a problem.

A few months ago, I was talking to Ajay about my social issues at work. I was telling him that it will be a big part of why I leave my current job whenever that may be. In fact, it’s enough to be the sole reason. He said two things to me that helped put things into perspective. First, when you’re in a situation in which you don’t fit in, you have to put forth some effort to bridge the gaps and things will more than likely fall into place. Second, why not try to change things first before taking off.

And you know me. The latter sounds like an honorable thing to do and makes a lot of sense to me. So that’s what I’ve been doing.

Since last Fall or so I’ve been attending all of the company events and functions. Went to a few extra-curricular get-togethers, ended up playing on the softball team, playing tennis every week with some co-workers.. Making an effort to talk to people that I usually wouldn’t interact with or who sometimes look like they don’t want to interact with me. To not do so would be the greatest irony since some people think the same about me.

I had a brainstorm one day. I got a whiteboard and wrote a message on it that says: “You are not a distraction.”

When someone comes to talk to me (I often have my headphones on) they tend to apologize profusely for interrupting me. Apparently, I look intensely busy when I’m focusing on work. But I point to “You are not a distraction” and we both laugh and it’s all good. And I mean it. Because work is a distraction from the humanity of my co-workers. My co-workers are not a distraction from work. They’re people with hopes, dreams, hurts, goals, issues, baggage, virtues and vices. Just like me. They’re bigger than a job.

The point is, I’ve been out there waging a campaign of participation and congeniality. Very sincerely so. And it’s been good. I mean, I have worked at this company for nearly three years. It’s about time, right.

So when someone, say, throws a party and invites, literally, everyone who sits around me and I’m excluded … it bothers me. When multiple people come by and ask every single one of those people, “Are you going to so-and-so’s party tonight?” and ignore the fact that I’m sitting there, it hits a nerve. When I overhear my co-workers and work “friends” discussing hang-out plans for the night — for after the party, for example — see them look in my general direction and then walk off … something snaps.

Someone asked me about the party and I mentioned that I wasn’t invited. Their reaction was, “Oh, I shouldn’t have mentioned it to you, huh.”

Like, that’s the response? Not “there must have been some oversight”. Not “come with me, it’ll be cool”. Not “oh, I’ll talk to the party thrower”. Not “oh man, that sucks”. Not “sorry dude”. But, “Oops, I should have kept you from knowing about it”.

Aside from that, when I participate in an activity with people on a weekly basis and then those people go to a relatively big event of that same activity, don’t invite me or, say, fail to mention it even though we’ve discussed the activity before and after the event … I begin to lose it.

I realized that a lot of that is because I want to be included, a point I made the last time this kind of social hell blew up in my face. But this time, what bothers me, what kills me, is not being acknowledged. I am a human f*cking being. I have helped, consoled, hung out with, protected, taken up for, looked out for, worked with, listened to confessions, collaborated with, broken bread with these people. None of it matters. C’est la vie.

I’ve had to accept the fact that there’s nothing I can do to change this situation. Because I’m not one of them and no matter what I do I never will be.

When I talk about why I haven’t pursued other opportunities, I say that it’s the people. They’re the main reason. More important than money and career advancement. I told my boss that. “They’re good people with a lot of energy, talent and potential.”

I have trouble looking some of them in the face now. I admit defeat.

And then there’s the professional aspect….

comments

Gary Young

It’s not all doom and gloom, though.  I’ve got to give a shout out here.  I once heard someone say that if you want really good friends, first you have to make a lot of friends then you’ll find out which are the true friends.

Once again Larry and Jenny come through in the clutch.  The last time this party thing happened and I wasn’t invited, they went but they invited me to have dinner with them beforehand.  This time they invited me to see Talladega Nights with them, which was very entertaining, by the way.  Silly, of course, but funny.

The gecko and the pink star are friends, for real.

Posted by Gary Young on Aug 10, 2006 10:25 PM
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Gary Young

Holy crap.  I have a partial retraction to make.  Someone was kind enough to inform me that I actually was invited to the party that I mentioned above.  Whatchoo talkin’ ’bout, Willis!

In a myspace bulletin, which you don’t get alerted about like you do for emails and comments.  So almost two weeks ago, sitting in the long list of unread bulletins that I didn’t know I was receiving, there’s an invite to all the party thrower’s myspace friends.  So … yeh.  Thanks.

Hey, next time do an event invitation, Napolean.

As for the rest of it … it still stands, unfortunately.

Posted by Gary Young on Aug 11, 2006 2:40 PM
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Mike Gurtzweiler

🙂

Posted by Mike Gurtzweiler on Aug 17, 2006 6:57 PM
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Jenny

See, they aren’t out to get you!

In the meantime, it’s been great hanging out with you.  Party, or not.

Posted by Jenny on Aug 21, 2006 11:23 AM
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Gary Young

Haha!  Yes.  Good to know.  But I’ve never thought it was a conspiracy or, what’s the word… malice.  Let me put it to you this way.

Someone said to me the other day, “Gary, everybody likes you.”

The thing is, people like me in a “Hey, let me tell you what we did.  It was fun.  Man, you should have been there.” kind of way.

But not in a, “Hey, here’s what we’re going to do.  It’ll be fun.  Man, you should be there.” kind of way.

Or in a “I’m going to do such-and-such” as opposed to “Do you want to do such-and-such”.

That seems to be the general social flow, I’ve observed.  Congenial familiarity as opposed to inclusion.  “Counselor/therapist” as opposed to “friend”?

Hmmmm.

Posted by Gary Young on Aug 21, 2006 11:46 AM
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