Monday, December 03, 2007

Talking in Public

I don’t know what this picture is, but it illustrate this topic nicely.
Source: Dave Pollard’s blog on Conversation
In silence listening, like a devout child,
My soul lay passive, by thy various strain
Driven as in surges now beneath the stars,
With momentary stars of my own birth,
Fair constellated foam, still darting off
Into the darkness…
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1807)

It’s cold today, so I was taking my afternoon walk around the inside of the building. In the security-hyperconscious time, people continue the ancient the ancient tradition of conducting private business in public places. OK, so the company cafeteria is not as public as a Damascus café, but still!

I wandered over to the Pepsi machine, thereby more than undoing any health benefits from the walk. I was amazed by how much people relied on the din to cover their conversations—even though they had to raise their voices to be heard over the ambient roar. In those few minutes, I could have gathered juicy intelligence on business practices, marketing strategies, and technical specifics.

But that’s not the frightening thing. As the machine dispensed my carbonated high-fructose corn syrup, I realized how many of these conversations happen in restaurants and taverns all over town. It’s like hiding but not encrypting a wireless signal: “Obscurity is not security,” as the Internet security pundits say.

Good thing I don’t take notes.

Grateful Monday

I am glad that my current boss doesn’t treat me like my former management treated contractors. While I don’t feel like “part of the team,” I really don’t want to. I am treated like a professional, and I try to act like one. I try to deliver more than they expect, but I don’t take ownership of the problems their rush to completion creates. It’s almost my dream job, just without security or insurance.

But someone once said, “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”


Suna said...

You were really nice to the contractors, though.

Lee said...

Thanks. I tried.

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