I must have a sign on my back that says “Tell Me About Your Problems”, because that’s what people do!
Maybe that’s my gift from God is to be a good listener. Any of my friends will tell you that any time they have problems, I’m always right there to listen to them. I even try to give them good advice or at least keep them from making stupid decisions that they will regret!
But lately it’s like people are telling me about problems that leave me wanting to cover my ears saying “TMI, TMI, TMI” (To Much Information). Take for example one of my co-workers, last week it was just he and I in our office working away when he felt the need to tell me about his occasional problems with Erectile Dysfunction.
I had my back to him, typing away at my computer when he suddenly started talking about how sometimes he has problems with Erectile Dysfunction or “keeping it up” as he so eloquently put it. He went on to tell me about how he had tried Viagra but it just made him sick.
The whole time I’m making non-committal sounds like “uh-oh”, “really”, “that is bad” while in my head I’m thinking “OMG! I really didn’t want to know this about you!”
Thankfully the phone rang which ended this conversation before it became even more awkward!
Then their was the conversation in the elevator the other day. A lady got on the elevator at the same time I did and was just ending a phone call. I could tell she was mad, so I just smiled at her and said “how are you?” That’s just common courtesy where I work, to speak to other employees, even if you don’t know them. Well I guess it was a loaded question because she proceeded to tell me how she was. Evidently she and her husband are fighting a lot lately and she thinks he may have a girlfriend on the side and she really wasn’t sure how to handle the situation. All of this on a short elevator ride down two floors.
My advice to her, “I hate to hear that but I hope everything works out for the best. It usually does in the long run.” What else was I supposed to say, “that lying, cheating, sack of garbage, kick him to the curb!” Sometimes what we think in our heads is not always the best advice to give someone….especially when it’s a total stranger!