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Old 10-19-2018, 11:26 AM
amaguri amaguri is offline
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Introverts at Work

I've done fairly well for myself career-wise, all things considered. But I was in a management meeting yesterday where HR gave a presentation about the importance of networking and I think I made a bit of a spectacle of myself.

I am keenly aware of the importance of networking in terms of career progression, especially beyond a certain point. I am also extremely bad at it, and I acknowledge that as well. So far, so good.

But then they start talking about people who avoid happy hours and other work functions and how they become a "running joke" at the office and I think that triggered me :P I said some people don't do those things, not because they dislike their co-workers or because they think they have better things to do with their time, but because they are intensely uncomfortable in unstructured social situations and it's not fair to turn that into a joke.

Some of my colleagues started chiming in with networking suggestions and, for the most part, I'm sure they were trying to be legitimately helpful. But I struggle with this only because I feel like if you don't have social anxiety it's impossible to understand just how difficult this can be for some people.

Anyway... it's been a long week. Thanks for letting me vent.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:05 PM
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Network on your own terms, it doesn't have to be a crowd thing. The basic point is to humanize yourself to others and let your skillset be known to people so you're not that antisocial creeper nobody knows anything about. If there are group projects at work you can get involved with, those sorts of things can be a decent opportunity because there's not usually a bunch of people involved, and your skills get showcased without you having to soak up too much limelight. At my previous job, most people knew my name and the sorts of things that you could get accomplished by invoking it, but not many knew the name belonged to me. Perfect--the name is recognized and receives opportunities and I could remain comfortably in the shadows. It doesn't take much to get known, and if you can do it without risk of getting hammered at happy hour, even better.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:24 PM
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But then they start talking about people who avoid happy hours and other work functions and how they become a "running joke" at the office
Well, to me that sounds like an incompetent HR department on a make-work exercise to show how important they are: and that particular remark is very close to licensing bullying.

I rather think the warning bell sounded when you said "management meeting"!

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 10-19-2018 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:40 PM
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Getting me to attend happy hour or 'other work functions' wouldn't help - you can lead an introvert to a crowd but you can't make them chat. Crowd environments have two simultaneous effects - they encourage the overwhelmed introvert to stay silent and sidle towards the edge of the crowd, and they provide the bulk of the crowd with sufficient other targets that it's relatively easy for the introvert to get away with this.
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:43 PM
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I'm a loner at work myself. What cracks me up the most is the look I see on people's faces when I tell them I'm not interested in joining in on the "pizza party" for hitting whatever goal or milestone.

"Whaddya mean you don't want pizza? It free? "
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Old 10-19-2018, 01:56 PM
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I resent the very idea that anyone should be expected to attend outside-of-work social events.

For me personally, I don't drink much, don't play golf and don't care to spend my time with people not of my choosing. It's possible this has held me back in some way (no evidence of it that I'm aware of), but if it did I don't think I care.

I make every effort to be personable and kind to my co-workers, and I genuinely like many of them. Networking is indeed important, and I keep mine filled with good people. But we should let go of this ridiculous attitude that we should have to drink together, bond over sports or whatever. Peoples' off time should be their own.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:04 PM
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Amen to the OP. I dislike that style of networking intensely.

I'm a consultant and I don't "network" in that way at all. I let my reputation do the job for me. Seems to work fine as I get enough to me busy and the kids in shoes. I have no need for additional work, more money or advancement and especially not if the price to pay for that is the netwroking described in the OP.

I will happily go out for a meal or a drink with a very small group of people that I'm working with and who I feel comfortable talking to. Sometimes there will be a new person or two to meet and I'm perfectly happy in that small-group scenario but large-scale gatherings with people I don't know make me very uncomfortable and as begbert2 suggested, it just provokes me to hide or run-off.

The attitude described in the OP's meeting is all types of wrong and the leader should have clamped down on it and made it clear that it's not cool to have a go at people like that.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:05 PM
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I used to enjoy facilitating the department meeting, and was eager to volunteer to work on presentations concerning my projects, but at one point I felt people were taking advantage of my giving nature, so I pulled-back from all of that. Now, I do not raise my hand for such events as I would have in the past. When I was more active and visible, it was creating more work for me, and no additional rewards (my manager never made mention of nor recognized my efforts, and they did not appear on my annual review), so I had no reason or motivation for these things.

At the same time, I also retreated from some of the more social aspects of the company. I will do the minimum necessary, and happy to help when asked, but if I don't want to do something, I don't. I am with the OP re: being very uncomfortable in unstructured social situations, and if it is a large group, I try to hide or leave the room for breaks. I don't give a damn if people notice and mock me. I just want to to a good job and help the people I work with, but the social stuff I can do without (I don't judge those who like that stuff, however).

I agree that networking is done on your own terms, and there is no "right" way to do it. The company may offer some avenues, but you can manage your own contacts your way. My company is big on creating social groups oriented around someone's race, gender, etc. for the purposes of networking, but I prefer handling it myself.
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Old 10-19-2018, 02:18 PM
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So let me get this straight...

I work in a group of about twenty people. I see them, on average, ten hours a day. Iím pretty sure I see these assholes more than I see my own family. What am I supposed to do during happy hour that I donít already accomplish during the work day?

After-hours social time is almost physically painful for me. Its not just that Iím introverted and awkward and quiet, but I deeply resent the fact that Iím expected to give up my personal / family time to show up to an unpaid work function. And if all youíre going to do is drink and talk about sports, then I have no interest at all.

I once got an annual performance review (an Officer evaluation when I was in the Army) which my senior rated told me the only reason I didnít get top marks was because I ďwasnít social enough.Ē

Seriously. Not that my work was bad or my skills need improvement. I just wasnít social enough. By which he meant, I didnít drink beer and talk about hockey.

BTW, sir, if you happen to be reading this: Fuck you, you disgusting piece of shit.
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Old 10-19-2018, 03:26 PM
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It is my most hated part of the job. It is also a painful necessity.

One thing that helps me is to look around for someone as uncomfortable as I, and try to help them feel welcome. We may end up talking all night like the wallflowers at a high school dance, but at least the topic will be something more interesting than football.
Another is to make it my goal to give five compliments in the course of the evening. People like people who like them. If all you do is avoid interaction, they will assume you don't, and then they won't like you in turn.

I also highly recommend LinkedIn(troverts). It's a great way to make connections, remind old coworkers who you are, and give meaningful compliments that really help other people's careers.
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Old 10-19-2018, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by amaguri View Post
I've done fairly well for myself career-wise, all things considered. But I was in a management meeting yesterday where HR gave a presentation about the importance of networking and I think I made a bit of a spectacle of myself.

I am keenly aware of the importance of networking in terms of career progression, especially beyond a certain point. I am also extremely bad at it, and I acknowledge that as well. So far, so good.

But then they start talking about people who avoid happy hours and other work functions and how they become a "running joke" at the office and I think that triggered me :P I said some people don't do those things, not because they dislike their co-workers or because they think they have better things to do with their time, but because they are intensely uncomfortable in unstructured social situations and it's not fair to turn that into a joke.

Some of my colleagues started chiming in with networking suggestions and, for the most part, I'm sure they were trying to be legitimately helpful. But I struggle with this only because I feel like if you don't have social anxiety it's impossible to understand just how difficult this can be for some people.

Anyway... it's been a long week. Thanks for letting me vent.
I think extroverts don't really understand how some people don't want to be around other people all the time. I'm not anti-social and I like people just fine, but I also like to have time to myself.

At one point we had a 'team-building' day that was built around the MBTI personality exercise. As part of this we all had to stand in a line across the middle of the room, the instructor would read a question and we had to step forward if we agreed or take a step back if we disagreed, for example "If a member of staff comes to me regarding an issue they have with a colleague, step forward if (a) I deal with the issue based on an unbiased examination of the facts, step back if (b) I deal with it depending on my personal opinion and whether I like or dislike the people involved. By the end of the exercise I was one of only three people towards the front of the room, everyone else was crowded at the back.

It explained a lot.

It wasn't just me though, another part of the exercise had everyone writing what they thought were their good and bad attributes and then everyone else secretly writing what they thought of that person. One colleague said he was well liked, easy going, approachable etc but his feedback said he was arrogant, a bully, bad-tempered etc he tried to put a brave face on it but you could tell he was very nearly in tears. For the record I found him a bit over-bearing but very far from a bully and he certainly didn't deserve to have that done to him.

The sort of nonsense above is why I hate team-building days. That and I'm an antisocial introvert.
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Old 10-19-2018, 11:34 PM
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Well, to me that sounds like an incompetent HR department on a make-work exercise to show how important they are: and that particular remark is very close to licensing bullying.

I rather think the warning bell sounded when you said "management meeting"!
I'm having flashbacks to several managers who expected people to go chase skirts (uh, I have several of my own) and/or get drunk/do drugs with them. Oh, and those people who ask "why don't you drink, anyway?" as if not imbibing alcohol was some sort of offense to the universe (plus, I'm drinking; I'm drinking a soda and you were already an imbecile before you started to slurr).

It's fucking inappropriate when the boss does it and it's fucking inappropriate when HR does it. Sadly it's also fucking illegal to hit them with a nice hefty vase.
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Last edited by Nava; 10-19-2018 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:52 AM
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It wasn't just me though, another part of the exercise had everyone writing what they thought were their good and bad attributes and then everyone else secretly writing what they thought of that person. One colleague said he was well liked, easy going, approachable etc but his feedback said he was arrogant, a bully, bad-tempered etc he tried to put a brave face on it but you could tell he was very nearly in tears. For the record I found him a bit over-bearing but very far from a bully and he certainly didn't deserve to have that done to him.
That is so unbelievably fucked up. That is not the kind of feedback you deliver in public.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:26 AM
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The OP should get into IT where we introverts are the majority.
Saying that in a public meeting is obnoxious - but at least they put it out in the open, which is better than finding out in a couple of years that you didn't get promoted because you didn't go to Happy Hour.
Networking is useful for leaving a situation. I hate parties too, but the way I networked was to get involved with industry activities. They are often structured, and give you a chance to meet lots of people and to also show what you can do. That will help you get away from this place.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:43 AM
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Well, to me that sounds like an incompetent HR department on a make-work exercise to show how important they are: and that particular remark is very close to licensing bullying.

I rather think the warning bell sounded when you said "management meeting"!
I wouldnít quit go so far as to calling it bullying. Itís just extremely different personality types unable to understand each other.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:03 PM
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That is so unbelievably fucked up. That is not the kind of feedback you deliver in public.
I agree entirely, the day did have some interesting aspects and exercises but as you say some of it should really have been in private, not public.

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The OP should get into IT where we introverts are the majority.
I worked in quality-assurance in an IT department for a couple of years, in general it was an OK work environment but one thing drove me nuts. We would have a weekly conference call meeting with our parent company in America...every...single...time...the issues would be resolved in the first five minutes with the next couple of hours ago throwing out ideas and circling around problems that have already been solved. My feedback from management was generally good but I was told that I need to speak up more during these conference calls, sorry but I'm not good at wasting time like that.

Perhaps it was more a social networking thing than problem solving in retrospect but that's not how it was presented.

Last edited by Atomic Alex; 10-20-2018 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:14 PM
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Not quite the same thing, but at one company we had an annual week long all-hands company meeting, where we'd sit and listen to hours and hours of boring presentations by each department head about what they'd done all year. In an effort to engage the audience more, I guess, they'd have a session where they'd give us a discussion topic and we'd break up into groups and discuss it and then present our conclusions to the company. Thing is, these topics were ALWAYS marketing questions like "who is our most serious competitor and what should we do to counter them?" or "how can we make our product more attractive to this demographic?". So we'd have engineers and secretaries and technical managers sitting around a table discussing a topic totally outside our areas of expertise. WTF was the point of that waste of time?
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:35 PM
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I'm very introverted, and reading "Quiet" by Susan Cain made a world of difference to me. Introversion is a strength and the reason I succeed. There is a lot to be gained by introverts and extroverts getting to understand their traits and how to enjoy them -- both one's own and that of one's opposites. She also has a 19 minute TED video that is very worthwhile.

Being introverted is reason to be very pleased!
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:10 PM
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I think extroverts don't really understand how some people don't want to be around other people all the time. I'm not anti-social and I like people just fine, but I also like to have time to myself.

At one point we had a 'team-building' day that was built around the MBTI personality exercise. As part of this we all had to stand in a line across the middle of the room, the instructor would read a question and we had to step forward if we agreed or take a step back if we disagreed, for example "If a member of staff comes to me regarding an issue they have with a colleague, step forward if (a) I deal with the issue based on an unbiased examination of the facts, step back if (b) I deal with it depending on my personal opinion and whether I like or dislike the people involved. By the end of the exercise I was one of only three people towards the front of the room, everyone else was crowded at the back.

It explained a lot.

It wasn't just me though, another part of the exercise had everyone writing what they thought were their good and bad attributes and then everyone else secretly writing what they thought of that person. One colleague said he was well liked, easy going, approachable etc but his feedback said he was arrogant, a bully, bad-tempered etc he tried to put a brave face on it but you could tell he was very nearly in tears. For the record I found him a bit over-bearing but very far from a bully and he certainly didn't deserve to have that done to him.

The sort of nonsense above is why I hate team-building days. That and I'm an antisocial introvert.
Team building, my foot. This sounds like cult indoctrination.

Did you also have to sing the company's theme song every morning?
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:11 PM
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Yes, but the OP also mentioned social anxiety, which isn't really the same thing as introversion.
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Old 10-20-2018, 06:46 PM
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I worked in quality-assurance in an IT department for a couple of years, in general it was an OK work environment but one thing drove me nuts. We would have a weekly conference call meeting with our parent company in America...every...single...time...the issues would be resolved in the first five minutes with the next couple of hours ago throwing out ideas and circling around problems that have already been solved. My feedback from management was generally good but I was told that I need to speak up more during these conference calls, sorry but I'm not good at wasting time like that.

Perhaps it was more a social networking thing than problem solving in retrospect but that's not how it was presented.
First, it's work time, not your time, so if it is wasted it is on their dime. Learn the joys of solitaire while on the call.
While I hate cocktail parties I love public speaking - I'd rather talk to 1,000 people than be in a party with 20. It's a performance, it isn't you, which helps with the social anxiety problem. Think of something to say, and try to break in. People will interpret what you say from their own viewpoint, so it doesn't have to be brillinat. Most comments aren't.

The best meeting approval strategy I've ever seen is a short feedback period where each participant says what worked and what didn't. This turned a really useless meeting I went to to a great one where we made tons of progress. Your meeting sounds too big for everyone to talk, but suggest voluntary feedback, or feedback from a sample of attendees. I bet you aren't ehe only one who thinks the meeting goes on too long. And you can hardly get into trouble suggesting a feedback system.
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:21 PM
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One thing that I find frustrating is that it's rarely clear whether or not you should just stop asking people if they want to go to X if they always say no. There's a certain type of person that feels pressured and bullied by a simple invitation because they hate to say no, and another type of person who feels excluded and hurt if they don't get asked . . Even though they don't want to go. Sometimes the same person feels both ways.

At my age, I have learned how to just ask, but even then, I worry super socially anxious introverts don't feel they can tell me the truth (whichever it is). I really, really appreciate it if the person that turns me down tells me if I shpupd keep asking without me having to prompt them.

Last edited by Manda JO; 10-20-2018 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 10-20-2018, 08:41 PM
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Pay me, or I don’t show up.
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:09 AM
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Pay me, or I donít show up.
Hooker?
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Old 10-21-2018, 01:36 AM
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I wouldnít quit go so far as to calling it bullying. Itís just extremely different personality types unable to understand each other.
That's the basis, but exclusionary groupthink that makes someone a running joke for not being or doing something extrinsic to the job in hand - that's how bullying develops. And a good HR department is alert to the risk and challenges it, rather than going along with it.
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Old 10-21-2018, 04:31 AM
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I worked in quality-assurance in an IT department for a couple of years, in general it was an OK work environment but one thing drove me nuts. We would have a weekly conference call meeting with our parent company in America...every...single...time...the issues would be resolved in the first five minutes with the next couple of hours ago throwing out ideas and circling around problems that have already been solved. My feedback from management was generally good but I was told that I need to speak up more during these conference calls, sorry but I'm not good at wasting time like that.

Perhaps it was more a social networking thing than problem solving in retrospect but that's not how it was presented.
Nah, it's a case of bad time-management. The meeting has been established to last two hours, therefore the meeting shall last two hours. Two hours shall the meeting last; not one hour and fifty-five minutes, nor two hours and one minute, nor will it be considered finished once the agenda is completed. For two hours is the established time, and the established time shall be respected.

Apparently the established time is more important that things such as people needing to pee. I had a few projects where that kind of meetings were announced as "X time or less"; if we finished after five minutes we wrapped up real quick. Those meetings usually had better attendance, less people coming in late, and I could swear they even had less people forgetting how to mute/unmute than the ones without the or less.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:50 AM
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Agree with the OP, and I hope, OP, that when you spoke up, that it wasn’t with an emotionally-charged, not-in-control delivery. Your points are excellent, and hopefully they were ultimately received and will help to change things at your work. And, for the other posters who shared their work ‘helpful’ feedback that ends up becoming public humiliation, those people in charge are so very out of line and are magnifying discord in the work place. So much for teamwork.
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Old 10-21-2018, 10:14 AM
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The only thing I disagree with is conflating introversion with social anxiety. The latter is a mental illness. A person needs to confront their anxiety, not indulge it. But introversion is an interpersonal style. In some contexts it can be a disadvantage. But most introverts know how to do the socializing thing perfectly fine. They just don't want to do it all the time or in an element that doesn't work for them.

Making contacts through close professional relationships, I totally get. Trading banter in the breakroom, I totally get. Raising your profile at work by volunteering to participate on special committees and events (river clean-ups), I totally get. Showcasing your work at professional meetings or informal brown bag seminars, I totally get. But I draw the line at schmoozing at the bar with rando coworkers I probably don't even like. That's not my scene and that's not where my social skills shine the best.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:25 PM
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Team building, my foot. This sounds like cult indoctrination.

Did you also have to sing the company's theme song every morning?
Thankfully it was pretty much a one-off, one of those fads that burns through the management layers then fades out.

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First, it's work time, not your time, so if it is wasted it is on their dime. Learn the joys of solitaire while on the call.
While I hate cocktail parties I love public speaking - I'd rather talk to 1,000 people than be in a party with 20. It's a performance, it isn't you, which helps with the social anxiety problem. Think of something to say, and try to break in. People will interpret what you say from their own viewpoint, so it doesn't have to be brillinat. Most comments aren't.
You certainly have a point, unfortunately it was held in a meeting room with one of those triangular conference phone thingies (stop me if I'm getting too technical) so no place to hide and/or play solitaire.

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Nah, it's a case of bad time-management. The meeting has been established to last two hours, therefore the meeting shall last two hours. Two hours shall the meeting last; not one hour and fifty-five minutes, nor two hours and one minute, nor will it be considered finished once the agenda is completed. For two hours is the established time, and the established time shall be respected.
That sounds about right!
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:42 PM
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Hooker?
Based on an article on sugar dating in the Times today. this should properly be called a "monetized relationship."

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  #31  
Old 10-21-2018, 04:09 PM
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Last year I was teaching in a school doing "redesign." They were trying to completely change how elementary education is done, and they had good intentions.
One thing they wanted was to have students able to work together and collaborate on projects. This is good, but I felt the need to suggest that some students don't always work well in groups and introverts need time to be alone and regroup instead of constantly being in loud groups. From the principal's reaction, you'd think I was trying to give work space to future serial killers. To her, no one should ever be allowed to be alone, and every student should always be extroverted.

There's a problem when a culture wants to change or eliminate all people with one particular temperament type.
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Old 10-22-2018, 01:20 PM
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You know what's a running joke in most companies? HR departments.

Always remember that the HR department works for the company, not for you. If they try to shame you into going to social functions, it's not because they care about your career advancement. There's some other reason, like they want their employees to be a bunch of loyal drones.

It is not the company's business why someone doesn't go to social functions. An employee is there to do a job and get paid for it. Happy hour isn't part of the job description anywhere I've ever worked. You may be an introvert, or you may have social anxiety, or you may have other things you want to do with your life, or you may have children you need to take care of, or you may hate being around drunks. . .

I have worked with many people who didn't go to social functions. None ever became a joke, at least not because of this.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:53 PM
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It wasn't just me though, another part of the exercise had everyone writing what they thought were their good and bad attributes and then everyone else secretly writing what they thought of that person. One colleague said he was well liked, easy going, approachable etc but his feedback said he was arrogant, a bully, bad-tempered etc he tried to put a brave face on it but you could tell he was very nearly in tears. For the record I found him a bit over-bearing but very far from a bully and he certainly didn't deserve to have that done to him.

The sort of nonsense above is why I hate team-building days. That and I'm an antisocial introvert.
That's horrible. I participated in such an exercise at work once, where the results were, fortunately, kept secret. A few months later I read (probably an article on LinkedIn) that this is an example of what NOT to do when team-building.

I'm glad that there may be a growing awareness of the needs of introverts. I am mostly introverted (engineer) but have been in highly-social, sales and marketing departments for most of my career. The social outings were always exhausting to me. I think extroverts just assume everyone else is either an extrovert or an a**hole, which doesn't bode well for those who just don't want to party with colleagues during their personal time. Good HR policies should embrace all types.
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Old 10-22-2018, 05:44 PM
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It is ridiculously unprofessional of anybody in management to publicly suggest -- and condone! -- that certain people are being mocked by others at work.

That said, I found a good article about how an introvert's social battery works. It may help you explain to those who don't get it.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:12 PM
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Others have already touched on this, but the other thing that a lot of extroverts don't get about introverts is that it isn't socializing, per se, that's difficult for us. It's unstructured socializing. You put us in a room with others and tell us "Mingle", or "Network", or "Hang out", and we're lost, because we don't know how to do those things. But if you put us at Board Game Night, we know what we're doing: We're playing board games. That's much easier.
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:38 PM
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Others have already touched on this, but the other thing that a lot of extroverts don't get about introverts is that it isn't socializing, per se, that's difficult for us. It's unstructured socializing. You put us in a room with others and tell us "Mingle", or "Network", or "Hang out", and we're lost, because we don't know how to do those things.
I know this is MPSIMS, but do you have a cite for this? I ask because it seems that you're conflating introversion with an absence of social skills. In my understanding, introversion is not an inability to engage with social situations but a disinclination to do so.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Others have already touched on this, but the other thing that a lot of extroverts don't get about introverts is that it isn't socializing, per se, that's difficult for us. It's unstructured socializing. You put us in a room with others and tell us "Mingle", or "Network", or "Hang out", and we're lost, because we don't know how to do those things. But if you put us at Board Game Night, we know what we're doing: We're playing board games. That's much easier.
I disagree - my introversion manifests directly in proportion to the number of people and number of strange people I'm dealing with, compounded by how noisy and uncomfortable the space is. Board Game Night is nice because there are only four people that I already know in a relatively calm room, but you have me mingle with those four people in a quiet room without the game and I'll last just about as long.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:18 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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Hooker?
Employee in America. If you want me to show up and laugh at your jokes, pay me, otherwise you are stealing my time from me.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:56 PM
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Others have already touched on this, but the other thing that a lot of extroverts don't get about introverts is that it isn't socializing, per se, that's difficult for us. It's unstructured socializing. You put us in a room with others and tell us "Mingle", or "Network", or "Hang out", and we're lost, because we don't know how to do those things. But if you put us at Board Game Night, we know what we're doing: We're playing board games. That's much easier.
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Originally Posted by RadicalPi View Post
I know this is MPSIMS, but do you have a cite for this? I ask because it seems that you're conflating introversion with an absence of social skills. In my understanding, introversion is not an inability to engage with social situations but a disinclination to do so.
Yeah, I agree with RadicalPi. That sounds like a rather idiosyncratic definition of introversion.

Personally, I am okay with "unstructured socialization", where everyone is just chitchatting and goofing around. I'm okay with being thrust in a room full of strangers. I just don't want to be in either situation for a super long time since I get tired and/or bored.

For me, the problem with happy hour networking is that it's at a bar. I really don't enjoy bars, since I don't care for drinking. Happy hours held at popular spots tend to be crowded and loud, which means I'm not going to be good at conversation either as a listener or a speaker (I struggle with tuning out background noise). However, drop me in a casual restaurant, and I'm good. I like to eat so I can hang in that setting.

I think if I were in the OP's management meeting, I would have emphasized the importance of creating a diverse set of networking activities--not just the standard "let's do Happy Hour!" Even extroverts have their preferred way of "hanging out".
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:52 PM
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I’m a manager and I never expect people to use their free time to hang out with their boss.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:56 PM
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Yeah, I agree with RadicalPi. That sounds like a rather idiosyncratic definition of introversion.
I'm with Chronos on this one. I believe, based on both personal experience and things I've read, that preferring gatherings designed around a purpose or activity to unstructured socializing is, if not part of the definition of introversion, at least correlated with it. Where an extrovert would see getting together with other people as an end in itself, an introvert is more likely to be open to the idea of getting together with other people to do something.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:26 AM
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Last year I was teaching in a school doing "redesign." They were trying to completely change how elementary education is done, and they had good intentions.
One thing they wanted was to have students able to work together and collaborate on projects. This is good, but I felt the need to suggest that some students don't always work well in groups and introverts need time to be alone and regroup instead of constantly being in loud groups. From the principal's reaction, you'd think I was trying to give work space to future serial killers. To her, no one should ever be allowed to be alone, and every student should always be extroverted.

There's a problem when a culture wants to change or eliminate all people with one particular temperament type.
There's a Spanish expression I still haven't been able to translate to English (well, there's many...): puesta en comķn as noun, poner en comķn as verb. Literally, "to make common", "to make owned-by-all". Some times, teamwork consists of 1) splitting up the work, 2) distributing the work, 3) the team getting together and not just putting each piece of work besides every other piece, but also doing a general once-over so the completed work is completely smooth; a casual observer will not be able to tell that different parts were done by different people.

Those 3 steps are always done when you're managing something in a professional environment. No matter whether it's a project or operations, nobody expects the production people and the maintenance people and the sales people and... to be telling each other all the time "I'm starting a machine-clean operation", "I'm verifying the readings in our environmental meters", "I'm entering a new contract into the system"...

You split the work, you each do your part, and you communicate to each other the parts the rest of the team needs to know. Not because people from different departments / streams / whatever don't want to talk to each other, but because otherwise nothing would get done!
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:57 AM
monstro monstro is offline
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I'm with Chronos on this one. I believe, based on both personal experience and things I've read, that preferring gatherings designed around a purpose or activity to unstructured socializing is, if not part of the definition of introversion, at least correlated with it. Where an extrovert would see getting together with other people as an end in itself, an introvert is more likely to be open to the idea of getting together with other people to do something.
There may be a number of things are correlated with introversion, but correlation doesn't make something a defining characteristic. I would never say something like, "Introverts are quiet" even though it is true that many introverts are on the quiet spectrum. "Lots of introverts are quiet" is a much more accurate generalization.

At least once a month, I hang out with a group of fellow coworker introverts at a bar to do absolutely nothing but kvetch about work and imbibe (and talk about how monstro's penchant for red and purple drinks). As I said, I don't like the bar scene, but because it's just 1) the four of us, 2) we have been working closely together for years, so we aren't trying to do the awkward "getting to know you" thing, 3) we don't let the night drag on, and 4) we only meet up once in a while, it's tolerable. This is an unstructured activity. Do you think we're outlier introverts? Or do you think it's more likely that there's a subset of introverts who don't like unstructured activities at all and a subset of introverts who do just fine with those kind of activities as long as certain conditions are met?

If "unstructured activities" were anathema to introverts, you would not expect to find them accepting invitations to or hosting parties. But my experience shows neither is true.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:44 AM
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Employee in America. If you want me to show up and laugh at your jokes, pay me, otherwise you are stealing my time from me.
And really, "Hooker" implies professionalism, standards, and a support network which makes it too refined. I believe the proper term for someone who sells themselves to the highest bidder, with no standards as to the actual job duties and no recourse in the event of abuse, is "Whore."
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:45 AM
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One thing that some may not consider is physical difficulties. Especially ones you can't see, like being hearing impaired.

I have horrible tinnitus. I do wear hearing aids and they help a little. I'm Ok in quite surroundings with a few people. But sometimes, even just a room that echos, a loud heating vent, or someone that doesn't enunciate gives me trouble. Just got my flu shot. Was in a room with just the nurse. I could hardly hear a word she said. A classic Seinfeld low-talker in that case. A lot of people just mumble.

Put me in a loud group with a lot of back ground noise, and I can't really hear any one at all.
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Old 10-23-2018, 01:28 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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And really, "Hooker" implies professionalism, standards, and a support network which makes it too refined. I believe the proper term for someone who sells themselves to the highest bidder, with no standards as to the actual job duties and no recourse in the event of abuse, is "Whore."
Way out of line and reported.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:44 PM
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...how they become a "running joke" at the office and I think that triggered me :P
You could quote Tommy DeVito: "I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown?"

But then again, maybe that's why I don't get invited out to work mixers any more.....
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  #48  
Old 10-24-2018, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
And really, "Hooker" implies professionalism, standards, and a support network which makes it too refined. I believe the proper term for someone who sells themselves to the highest bidder, with no standards as to the actual job duties and no recourse in the event of abuse, is "Whore."
I'm going to assume that you were just running with the joke that RaftPeople started, but let's drop the whole hooker thing.
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