Fun people are more approachable

When I’m in an airplane and sitting in one of the back rows waiting to get out after we have landed, I sometimes wish there were slides that would come out of the sides of the airplane so we could whoopsy-slide our way to the terminal sooner.

During warm weather months, I think it might be even bigger fun if they were water slides, too. You could wear shorts, a tank top and burst onto the airport scene, slipping and sliding your way to the terminal, where you could change into dry clothes if you wanted to. With how hot it is these days, you could choose to drip dry as you walk to your final destination, too.

I think about things like this while doing laundry on Saturday afternoons after completing long, five-day work weeks.

Four day work weeks are better than five.

Two day weekends are inadequate.

Some days I feel I can do nothing better than anyone—that is, I feel that no one does nothing better than me.

Can you do nothing and just think all day long?

You might if you did not have to work.

There is always talk of making a plan and sticking to it.

That sounds like a lot of work.

I think game time decisions are how the world generally operates when it comes to figuring out what gets done or not—like players in the NFL who are listed as questionable on weekly injury lists and are a coach’s “game time decision” on whether they will play or not.

Men, if they’re lucky, get to enjoy the game time decisions of their ladies when it comes to what they are wearing before going out on the town with them.

Men are also lucky if their women opt to give them a fashion show after a day of shopping for new outfits.

In the case of your woman not knowing what to wear before attending a function with you, the key is to have adequate time to help her decide what looks best and is most appropriate for the occasion.

These times can be very enriching for relationships for mostly obvious reasons. Plus, it’s something a guy should just want to help out with, too.

I remember one time on a job long ago a co-worker complained I was not approachable enough.

The general manager called a meeting.

I found out most of the people I worked with found me unapproachable.

My co-workers, the general manager and I sat around this round table and one by one they told me how unapproachable I was.

I did not socialize with my co-workers after work and I think they resented me for that. I could see how they might mistake my just wanting to do my job while at work, for aloofness.

Once they were each done describing my approachability deficiencies, it was my turn to respond.

I was not offended in the least by their criticisms as none of them were finding fault with the quality of work I was doing.

“I love you all,” I began, “and I will try to chat a little more with each of you in the future.”

“If you get to know me, you’ll find I like to have fun just as much as the next person; the difference being that I try to let that happen only after the job is done.”

I said what I did and it occurred to me I did not address my perceived unapproachability (by my co-workers).

I needed to demonstrate that I would perhaps be more open to having fun on the job and that would help change my image for the better—co-workers would find me more approachable.

The meeting was adjourned by the general manager, but he asked me to remain after the others had left so he could chat with me privately.

“Bob, you’re one of my best workers and I don’t want to lose you,” he began.

“You heard what your co-workers think about you today.”

“I need you to throw them a bone.”

“Think about what you can do to address what they were telling you and let me know what you come up with,” he concluded.

Not one to let too much grass grow under my feet, I felt compelled to find a solution, to come up with an answer to this perplexing (to me) work situation that really had nothing to do with my actual performance of the job itself.

I tend to try for the simplest answers when I’m incredulous over something.

I used to love those helpful workers at let’s say, Target, that would wear name tags.

Everyone has made the mistake of being in a store and asking a fellow patron, instead of someone who works there, where something is or whatever…

“I don’t work here, fool!”

I decided to craft my own name tag.

It said, “Hi, I’m Bob. Ask me, I like to help.”

A customer came walking through shortly after birthing my new creation, checked it out and asked, “Where’s the camera department?”

“Straight ahead!” I helpfully replied.

He smiled, thanked me and walked on.

My new work “aid” was already paying dividends.

But the general manager walks up to me not too long after I give the customer directions.

He leans in, reads the name tag and says, “Great. Now, not only don’t they like you, but they think you’re a smart ass, too. Come up with something else, Bob!”

So I did.

I decided to join the crew for beers after work Friday afternoon.

“You ARE a fun guy, Bob,” says one of the co-worker knights who attacked me at the round table.

Indeed I am, sir, indeed I am.”



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