Yesterday, I was waiting for my new Ukrainian friend (the exchange student) at the entrance to the building where I work. She’s 19, so I guess I subconsciously felt younger although I didn’t verbalize it to myself. I dropped my backpack on the floor, climbed on a table, and sat there dangling my feet, chewing gum, and furiously texting on my phone.
At that moment, my secretary was coming downstairs on her way home from work. She saw me, and obviously I never comport myself that way at the office. I’m the kind of person who never gets called anything but “Professor” because I don’t invite familiarity. I’m usually kind of intimidating.
“Are you OK?” she asked, looking disturbed. “Do you need help?”
“Yeah, I’m good,” I said, chewing ferociously. “Waiting for a friend.”
“Oooh-kaaaay,” said the secretary staring at me like I was a total basket case and slowly backing away.
Then an Associate Dean came by and also offered help.
I’m starting to think I need to show the different facets of my personality more at work.