At work in the computer lab for the last 5 1/2 hours, I am reading Malcom Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers on the comptuter (as a pdf). I’m completely immersed in the book, my mind pondering the ideas he presents. One of the student supervisors comes into the lab to check on it (well, check on me really, make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing). There have been people walking in and out of the room all day and I’m so focused on reading that I don’t notice her walk right next to me.
She says ‘Hi, I’m Ashley”.
My body moves in her general direction but my brain, even though my eyes have left the page, hasn’t switched gears. I’m in a total mental daze. I’m glad I can’t see the look on my face as she looks at me, expecting a response along the lines of ‘Hi, I’m ben’. I’m not responding, staring out into space, dazed.
“And you are”, she prompts.
A few more seconds pass.
“Oh, ” I finally force myself to respond, trying to shake my daze and focus so I stop looking like a socially inept moron. “I’m Ben. Sorry”, I retort, “I was reading something and was lost in thought”. I think I try to smile, but I’m still halfway in zombie land so it probably came off as a bemused smirk.
“Nice to meet you Ben”, she replies slowly, giving me a quizzical glance. “How are things up here today”?
“Not bad”, I reply. “Things were slow this morning but they’re picking up a bit”. Finally social brain is coming back onilne. Which means I’m starting to realize I’ve a bad first impression.
“Okay, well, I’m just going to take a look around and see how things are”. She gives me one more half amused smile and walks off to inspect the lab.