Monday, May 18, 2009

Sometimes it's the little things

Most of my life I have been religiously conflict avoidant. Ask any former roommate. (Is avoidant not a real word? I keep getting the red squiggly line. hmmm.) Getting married, however, kinda knocked that out of me. (Er, getting divorced is what really did it.) It's not totally gone, but you try being married to someone who sometimes does things that married men are not supposed to do and see how long you can avoid a conflict. So yeah, I'm way better at handling conflict than I used to be, but the tendency to avoid is still there.

I share an office with my boss, meaning I sit in the small rectangle between his desk and the wall, with my back to the door. This is so not feng shui it's not even funny. There is one particular gentleman I work with who is a pretty big guy. And he was in the habit of walking right into the 1 1/2 square feet of free space in my area and going through my drawers for stuff he needed... WHILE I WAS SITTING RIGHT THERE. It was so invasive and claustrophobic and frustrating it would ruin my whole day every time it happened.

So I resolved to handle this like a grown up. The next time he came in and started helping himself to my very limited amount of free space, I asked him if, when I'm sitting at my desk, he could ask me for what he needed instead of getting it himself. And he said oh sure no problem. And today? Today he walked in the door, stopped, and said "Hey, would you mind handing me the reservation books?" And I said "Sure thing."

It was like magic to this former conflict avoider. =)

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