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Let's Talk About Awkward Coworkers!

I’ll start!

Some context: I’m in contracts and the work is detailed and demanding. It’s a steep learning curve and even seasoned new hires will need to learn our systems and documentation. We’re a pretty open door “ask around” kind of group when it comes to “how would you do this?” or “how do we do this?” I really like that about the team I work on (there’s about 20 of us in this role; we largely all get on just fine). I’ve been here a decade so I’m giving more answers than questions these days and I like being a resource for my colleagues.

Enter: One Of The New Staff. He was hired into a senior role (not a manager, though) so he’s got experience and managed to pass at least one interview with a panel of 3-4 managers/senior colleagues. He had to have impressed someone at some point. But I’m not seeing it. It’s how he talks, or rather his LACK of talking, that has me wondering if I’m too intimidating, dazzling* or what.

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I’ve only had maybe four interactions with this guy but each one involved him walking into my office (which is fine), coming up to my desk (also fine) and then just looking at me, even if I make eye contact (*blink* blink*). Each time, I have to initiate a friendly “Hey... so... what’s up/can I help with something...?” to overcompensate for his robotic silence. We’re talking “deer in headlights”. There are always several opportunities in there where he could greet me and ask if I have a few minutes.

My inner monologue is something along the lines of: Dude, I’m not psychic. YOU walked into MY office. CAN I HELP YOU?

FTR, he will then generally say what he needs to but he’s a man of few words so that’s also awkward in its own way. One time I didn’t understand what he was asking me b/c he literally wasn’t using enough words to describe what he needed help doing. I had to like coach it out of him.

It’s not like he’s rude or dumb it’s just very, very, very... awkward.

And, yes, I have considered that he may be on the spectrum and I’m being an asshole. But that’s why I’m anonymously writing this instead of whispering to any mutual colleagues, “what is the DEAL with that guy?!”

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So what do your co-workers do that’s awkward?

* This is a joke, I have no reason to think he is actually dazzled by me. Although he ~should~ be.

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