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on being anti-social at work March 12, 2009

Posted by That Guy in People in General, Seen Elsewhere.
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I don’t know for certain if The Roller of Big Cigars originally wrote 10 Reasons to be Anti-Social, but the concept of anti-social behavior at work is worth exploring. People at the office are becoming less and less satisfied with their jobs, preferring to just be thankful they still have jobs. But everyone has to do more with less for less, and no one is happy. Why spread it around by complaining to everyone in sight?

Here’s a few highlights:

1. Genius is antisocial. [I]f you, by some slim chance are, in fact, a genius, you will have no patience for average and below-average humanity. You will see it as annoying and distracting like a high-schooler being forced to endure a day in pre-school. You will seek to isolate yourself and work.

When are you more likely to get work done? When people are coming by and interrupting your train of thought by saying “hi there! How are you today?”, or when you can close yourself off and just do stuff?

5. Conversation-padding. A 2-hour conversation usually only consists of about 10-20 minutes of actual worthwhile information sharing. […] This results in a lot of your life being wasted talking to people and needless stress as you share meaningless nonsense.

This happens at CorporateSpeak Headquarters all the time. In fact, I’m sometimes a perpetrator of needless conversation extension. But how often has someone come to you to see how you’re doing, just to butter you up before asking you to do something difficult, time-consuming, tedious, or otherwise annoying?

9. Comforting self-deception. If you are just an antisocial moron, then it’s probably a good idea to isolate yourself so that you can tell yourself that you are, in fact a genius and that nobody recognizes what you are because they are all so stupid.

Take ten seconds to think of everyone at your office who drives you up the wall by stopping by your desk to chat. You’ll probably need longer than that, but who needs to spend that much time on those people?

10. It helps you deal with loneliness. You treasure the moments with no distractions, no background movement, no responsibilities beyond what you have in front of you. That is largely, I suspect, a learned reaction to being alone a lot, but it’s good since everybody has to be alone at some point and it’s best to see it as a gift rather than a burden.

Try telecommuting for a couple of days (once a week for a month, for example). You’ll probably get a lot more work done at home with no one to bother you, and you’ll miss out on the hassle of the drive (or ride) to and from work. You’ll be surprised just how productive you are, and how annoying it is when you get back and people won’t leave you alone. By working from home, you’re not really being anti-social, and when you do see your friends, your spouse, or your kids, you’ll appreciate them even more for not having had anyone to talk to all day.