Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Thoughts on Work - Part 2

Working with many members of the opposite sex, I am often confused by how to greet them outside of work. The kiss on the cheek or the hug seems natural - as is often the norm when greeting a woman in a social situation. But since we interact with each other all day at work in a professional sense - even with a warm greeting or hearty nod - I am often awkwardly slow to peck the cheek of a co-worker at a birthday party, Christmas party, or work-party of any sort.

What if you were always supposed to greet a woman with a kiss on the cheek, even let's say, your female boss? And what if this held true for the workday? You'd come into work, kiss your boss on the cheek and then have her critique your spot. Would an affectionate greeting compromise your working relationship? What if it became an imperative to kiss all your co-workers? Is that how it's done in France? Does everyone kiss everyone - bosses and the like? The other day, at a baby shower for a co-worker - WHICH TOOK PLACE IN THE OFFICE - everyone kissed the co-worker on the cheek as they left. I did too. And it was nice. But it felt strange, like I didn't know I should do it until I saw other people doing it.

In truth, this thought doesn't plague me. Instincts are usually enough to judge the proper action and/or reaction depending on the context (in a bar, in the office, etc.) But the logic sometimes escapes me. I enjoy kissing my co-workers on the cheek - but do they ever note that our interaction in and out of the office is different. Is it just accepted that your philosophy is modified depending on the situation? Am I overthinking it? What's the deal?


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