Friday, February 24, 2006

Close Talker

It could truthfully be said that I have some personal space issues. Specifically, when someone I don’t know/don’t know well/don’t want to be close to is in my personal space. Even more specifically when said person does not get the body language indicators that they are too close (i.e. if I take a big step backwards, maybe don’t match me step for step.)

Case in point: We have a new guy working in our warehouse. He seems like he’s an okay enough guy (compared to some of the warehousemen we’ve had), but he is sort of a close-talker. (He also stares and interrupts conversations that he has no part nor business in but that’s a different rant). Or maybe it’s just with me. I don’t know.

Every time I go into the warehouse to get something for a customer, he tries to engage me in conversation, and he stands WAY too close. Generally when I go back into the warehouse, I’m in a hurry. I have a customer on hold, or standing at my desk. Also I’ve been doing my job for 15 months. I know my job. I know the equipment. If I need assistance I ask. I don’t chit-chat normally, much less when I’m in a hurry.

I could put up and possibly get used to the constant attempts at small talk, if only he wasn’t such a close talker!!

Did I mention the strong, bad aftershave? No? Oh. Yes. Added to close-talking and not reading body language cues, there is an almost visible aura of aftershave around him. Not “oh that guy smells great” aftershave/cologne, but “Oh, that must have been on sale at 7-11” aftershave.

Now, mind you, I much MUCH prefer the attempt at smelling nice for work. The guy we had before this one was also a close talker, but he was a non-showerer, nor was he much of a tooth-brusher. However, I tend to sneeze a lot around strong cologne/perfume, and added to the uncomfortable attempts to chat, and the fact that I’m in a hurry, and the fact that he is just this side of creepy (did I mention that? No? He has a tendency to walk up behind me. When I’m bending down to get something or to write while standing. shudder), it’s kind of, well, unsettling.

So, where was I going with this? Oh, Yeah. I wish there were some way to strongly and in no uncertain terms explain the boundaries of your personal space to people who don't get it. Other than just shoving them or telling them "I can't stand it with you being so close to me!!!!" and running away. You know. Maybe some way that isn't so, well, off-putting...

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