Mind Reader

One of my favorite coworkers is someone that I have only talked to a handful of times. This person is one of the most genuine I have met here and actually puts their defense down when they are having a conversation. They report to one of the managers that I took my management course with so it was funny when I bumped into them in the lunch room and they were talking about one of the projects I am working on. We had a small conversation and I moved on to consume my cafeteria food.

Today I saw that coworker in the elevator and I said, “Wow you have a lot in your mind.” Then she surprised the hell out of me by not trying to cover up her expression or totally put things our her mind to converse, she continued to be deep into thought and smiled. She smiled and said, “you are totally right, but there is always tons of things going on at the same time here. (pointing to her head)”

Non verbal communication and facial expressions are very easy for me to read. The people I know the best or interact with the most are the ones that I can read the best, and for the most part they hate it. From my wife not being able to hide that she is super worried about something or annoyed with me, from my Mom’s or sister’s faces when they have not told me about something.

I had a long conversation with a friend I have not talked to for 15 years. We went to high school together and he got kicked out of school a year before I left. We lost touch and we never really used to hang out at school. I was friends with him because his grandma live across the street from us, and I was good friends with one of his cousins. At school he hang out with another “clique” one of the members being one of my biggest bullies. The bully did come up during our conversation but it had been from him not really talking or wanting friendship with the dude anymore after some bad business ventures they had engaged on after college.

Being bullied in high school made me very introspective. There had to be something wrong with me for people to want to pick on me so much. I found many answers, but the common theme of why I was being picked on (and even what my friend told me) was age. I was younger and while they were worried about screwing the brains out of their girlfriends I was still excited just the thought of getting to second base. It actually was nothing that I could really help, but still the source of much of my torment.

My fascination with non verbal communication was also due to loving being around grown ups. I always wanted to see if I could hold a conversation with someone way smarter than I was. I also loved talking to my grandpa and hearing his stories. It made me more aware of all the facial expressions and adults became easier to read with time. I knew which ones were just humoring me and which ones were actually talking to me. I still experience that feeling with the people that make small talk instead of having real conversations, that is the way that adults that don’t care much about kids talk to them. I have always found that if you talk to kids like a person they react way better in most situations.

During college I was made aware of things that I said too much. “you know” was and still is one of my sentence completion quirks. Also when I first lived in Michigan I could not shut up about Chicago. I was and still am very unaware of what I say sometimes, despite the fact that I try to watch what I say. Others can recognize those patterns a lot easier than we can.

Going back to my coworker. The first time we actually it was right after our cars almost crashed in our way to the parking lot. I was making a left turn and she got freaked out possibly because she was not paying attention to the road. We parked our cars and I apologized for startling her and she said no biggie. It turned out that I actually had to do something for her group the week following. Later I found out who she reported to and I’ve had to have a couple of conversations since the. She is always very relaxed and does not put on her poker face mask when engaging in conversation. I don’t know many people like that.

Remembering Mi Abuelito

My Grandpa was a very special person in my life. I have a great family and awesome friends, but the one person that always believed in me and encoraged me was him. He is probably the person that I will always consider my mentor and the thanks I have to give him will have to wait for heaven. On a phone call with my Dad sometime last week he reminded me that it was four years ago when we lost him. In a weird way the death of his father brought us a little closer because we both admired him from different perspectives but for the same reasons.

I have spent most of the time since thinking about him a lot. I have always wanted to write about him and some of the life lessons he shared with me. He had the most wonderful stories about his childhood and was a great story teller. Last time I saw him I asked him to write some of that stuff down so we could share it with the future generations in our family. I do hope my niece and nephew get to hear about him from my sister and I, but I know that it will not compare with having met him and spent time with him.

Most people search their whole life trying to find someone that will back them up no matter what, a partner in crime… I was lucky enough to be born and have him waiting for me. I now have my wife to be my other half, and honestly one of the reasons I am so in love with her is that she has backed me up even when it was uncertain or scary when we were taking a step. It takes a lot of love to have faith in someone. I wish she would have met the person that first showed me what unconditional love looked like. I miss you abuelito, I miss you a lot.

Long Meetings

I used to dislike meetings. Even though they are a necessary evil in most work environments, if they are not propely structured or have an agenda they can take forever and not accomplish much. I say I used to dislike them because now my distaste for them has grown closer to full on hatred.

If you have never been on a conference call that lasted more than 8 hours you do not understand my pain. Yeap, if something goes wrong and you have people all over God’s green earth that need to work together to find a cause and resolve it, you end up with a bunch of people stuck on a phone call that seems to last for days. Thank God for the mute button.

The good thing about it is that if you are not the one that has to talk much and give reports on progress; when you are in a company of thousands and your usershare is only in the hundreds you ar small potatoes, you get to sit back and listen to other people sweat. I could smell the fear of not knowing exactly what was going on with some of the voices an late the excitment when everyone seemed to turn into monkeys flinging poo at each other.

I laugh a lot during this little exercises on human communication. From the guy that goes on a 2 minute talk only to realize he had a bad connection and everyone is trying to make him call back from the people that confuse mute with hold. Putting hundreds of people on mute is one thing, but putting them on hold so they have to continue the call almost shouting because classical elevato music is playing in the background is down right hilarious.

I have heard kids, dogs, birds and even club music in the background while people try to support a multinational company and still have a life. Not that I am totally innoncent and did not have to be quick to mute button when my cat Maia thinks I am talking to her and she decides to talk back. Time differences are also a source of amusment specially when you are handing off an issue. Someone is just started their day while the other cannot wait t get some sleep. I thought I knew everything there was to know about meetings, but I have been learning quite a bit more lately. It sucks to be this busy sometimes, but if you are, might as well laugh while hearing a guy probably sell mangoes in some street in bangalore.

Haters!

This weather is making me so excited about our trips this year. Even though my wife is going to travel a lot more than I well with a couple of conferences she is attending, I think we have trips to California, Michigan, Florida and Colombia planned for the year! We also cannot wait to go back to KC and visit friend for another long weekend. We also have people coming into town in the next couple of weeks and more in the coming months. So what does this have to do with the haters?

Last Friday I was at lunch with a group of coworkers, one of whom recently got engaged and could not be happier. His honeymoon is going to be possibly in Iceland where he has been before and highly recommends. Someone that works closer with him brought up how he had shown restrain when another coworker in one of the lunchrooms went into a long diatribe about marriage being a mistake instead of congratulating someone about their happy moment.

I think a huge degree of those types of comments comes from not being satisfied with your own life.

I remember during our holiday party one of my “area” coworkers was chatting with some of her friends. This freaking company is huge so my “coworkers” is a very lose term. I met the people I hang out with at management courses but they work on other floors. I still talk to the people that sit around me. My team is never in the office all at the same time, I do wish I some day get to go to Singapore for a meeting. So her friends are people from all different floors as well and she introduced me, most I have seen on the halls or elevators, but some I had never seen before. I was the only guy in the conversation group when suddenly the conversation turned from “who had slept with who” to man hating extravaganza. I excused myself to get more finger food and moved on.

Putting energy into hating things is just showing how much you either miss or truly love those things.

I have been married before as most of you know, and also had my share of horrible relationships. I still believe in marriage and also on staying single. I believe that whatever works for you is what you need to do. I also don’t care if you marry someone of the same sex or not, again, it is your choice. I gave up smoking years ago, but even when I am in a situation with smokers, I try not to be the person that say “smoking smells horrible and its unhealthy, you should quit and live a better smelling life.” That would make me a huge hypocrite since I used to smoke them and enjoy them. I just simply can’t hate smokers because I made the decision to not be a part of them anymore.

Intellectual Partnership

Hit Coffee is one of my favorite blogs because of how many subject it covers, even though will can at times very private, he is also very introspective in his writing. Posts there have inspired me quite a bit, and recently he was written a lot about dating and being a geek. It got me thinking about attraction and intelligence.

Intellect is a catch all term that covers a lot of different aspects of thinking, reasoning and even the capability of learning. It is a topic that most people don’t like to talk about because most see it as a rating, like IQ, when in reality you can be smart about a lot of things and different things. I value intelligent conversation in relationships, but also think being able to laugh at a stupid joke just as important. Common sense and street smarts are also things to value and would make a person interesting in my eyes.

What separates us from animals is our mind. We all have instincts to be enticed by simply the visual and the physical aspect of looking at an “attractive” person. What floats my boat might set yours on fire. When around guys I am just as capable of being a pig as any other, but when it comes to relationships and love I have always placed intellect higher than just looks. Chemistry has to be there first, attraction has to be there, but the other side of the relationships has to be interesting or I personally will move on.

I have talked to many smart woman in my life and most of them at one point or another have suppressed their smarts so they can actually date. Many have told me that they let the guy feel smarter simply because relationships seem to end very quickly if the guy realizes that they are more educated or money savvy. When watching transformers there was more drool than popcorn on the floor, but would she be just as hot if she was not “smoking hot” and still able to wrench a car?

I am personally not intimidated by a smart woman, in fact I find my wife to be smarter than me in many subjects. She is way more educated than I am, has read a lot more and dominates 3 languages. I love those things as much as I love looking at her beautiful eyes. I could have never dated Jessica Simpson, even if her “ditsiness” is all a a front, and I am not that attracted to blonds anyway. I get the swimsuit edition of Sports illustrated and enjoy looking at beautiful woman, but I find their life story or personality to be more interesting.

Beauty wears off, intellect keeps on being build. We are all getting older every day and when it comes to a long lasting relationship the important thing is to find each other’s jokes funny and conversations engaging. Attraction and sex are very important but we spend more time interacting with one another in a relationship than awake under the sheets. When looking for a mate you truly want an intellectual partner or the relationship will face issues.

I have always been surprised by couples that call the other person “dumb” behind their backs. My first assumption is that there is some type of insecurity or control issue going on, but I have never gotten very deep down that road because I find people like that not very interesting to being with. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, and if you don’t feel comfortable posting your name, go ahead and use Anon. Have you dated (or married) someone less intelligent than you in every way? Do you currently dumb yourself down for your partner?

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