Friday, August 3, 2007

Rude in New York

I'm at a conference in upstate New York right now. And I'm miserable. I'm way too far away from my wife and son. The "conference" is being held at a YMCA campground...which is beautiful and all, but there's no cell phone service here. (I can't believe there are still places in this country where you can't get cell service.) The wireless service goes in and out. It will likely take me over an hour to write this post, with the service going down and such. Oh, and let me not forget to mention that it's in the 90's here, ridiculously humid and the rooms don't have air conditioning.

This is 2007.

Who holds a conference in a place with no cell service, poor wireless service and no air conditioning!? Ugh. That's not a conference...that's camping! And remember the "forced socialization" I wrote about earlier? Yeah, there's been a lot of that throughout this "conference" too. Ugh. I am so out of my element. I just want to be home. I just want to hear my son's coo...hold him in my arms. I want to be back in my comfort zone.

When I get uncomfortable, I retreat into myself. There's been a lot of retreating these past couple of days, let me tell ya. Trust me, it's better for everyone if I just disappear by myself and stay away from people when I'm this uncomfortable. For example:

Last night, at dinner in the dining hall here at the, I mean "conference", I was sitting in the farthest table away in the back corner. Two ladies and two kids came up to the edge of the table and one of the ladies asked:

"Are you expecting more people at this table?"

"No. I was trying to be unsociable." I answered, without even looking up.

"Oh." She paused for a moment, not sure what to do with that answer.

"Well, if we promise not to talk to you, can we sit here?" she asked.

"Sure. That sounds like a plan."

It was rude, I know. Like I said, it's better for everyone if I can just disappear away from people.

Myers Briggs says an introvert is a person who does not get their energy from other fact, may even find other people draining. They focus on their "inner world" rather than the outer world. That's definitely me. Given the choice between solitude and mingling with other people, I choose solitude 10 times out of 10.

Because we prefer solitude over crowds, we introverts rarely have a long list of close friends. For me, the list is very small and I'm okay with that. But I would say that none of my friends really "knows" me. I guess I'm a secretive introvert. Or perhaps we all are, I don't know.

I am an introvert. And though I sometimes feel compelled to apologize for that, I won't. It's who I am. I know I do owe that lady at dinner an apology.

Go figure. I came to New York...and *I* was rude!

Someday, I'm going to hold a conference for introverts. It will have 300 attendees...and will be held in 300 different locations at the same time. But there will be wireless, cell service...and yes, even air conditioning.


Jezla said...

Tim, I understand exactly what you mean. I'm that way myself, which is ironic because I work in a people intense environment. I know many of my co-workers and customers think I'm surly or rude because I'm not always comfortable at work. Most days I do OK, but some days you don't want to be around me.

I enjoy reading your blog, by the way, and I'm adding it to my blogroll. Your music rocks, too! keep up the good work.

Andy said...

I feel you dog, although, strangely, I am en extrovert. But even so, I feel you.

(A point of clarification: When I say I feel you, I mean it in the sense of empathy, not inappropriate physical contact.)

(Also, by "dog," I mean person or dude or man or bloke, not hairy canine. Nor did I mean Samaritan or any kind of racial slur.)


(glad we got that clear up...)

(okey-dokey...ummm...bye then)

Andy said...

(Not that "Samaritan" is a racial slur. I don't know any actual Samaritans, but I'm sure many of them are wonderful people. It's rust that a Samaritan women referred to her own people as dogs when she was in conversation with Jesus.)

(So, what do you think? Are we good now?)