I’ve worked with quite a few folks who exhibit what I’ll call Professional Asperger’s. See if this sounds familiar:
- You stop by their office to ask a question. They look up with their lips pursed, give you a
one-wordanswer, then return their attention to their computer. Consistently.
- In a meeting, a
co-workeradmits to making a mistake. This person literally boggles, and with a clipped tone reprimands the co-worker.
- A user complains about the workings of a
little-usedpart of the system. This person complains privately that the user’s “an idiot” or “shouldn’t be using the application if they can’t figure it out.”
Note that I’m not talking about people who are quiet, or who aren’t “people persons.” There’s a big difference between being quiet or focused, and being outright rude.
And yet…when you go out for drinks with this person, they’re nice and normal and polite. No problems whatsoever. They’re downright fun outside of work.
What’s going on? Why the difference?
I think people have unrealistic expectations of the workplace. “People should just do their jobs,” they’ll say, with the unspoken addition, “correctly, all the time.”
These people treat
But what can we do about it? Well, we can accept that our
We would also do well to think more about our
That’s all I can think of. What would you do?