Monday, October 25, 2004

People skills: Part the second

These two posts are titled “People skills” because The P.I.’s social disabilities were not limited to a lack of phone manners. The P.I. is a classic science geek, brilliant, but unsocialized. When he meets someone new, The P.I. usually fails to make eye contact during the handshake, and he has a lot of trouble discussing things that aren’t science based. Case in point: I once wore a t-shirt with the slogan “What part of [long complex triple-integral equation] don’t you understand?” The t-shirt is meant as a joke, but The P.I. tried to figure out what equation it was. He was not being ironic; he really wanted to know. I had to stand there for several minutes while he tried to determine whether phi represented specific volume.

At one point, the Doktah made a sign for The. P.I. that said, “While I am interested in what you have to say, I am unable to focus on your problem right now because I am busy with other things.” She told him to tape it to his computer monitor and point to it when people seemed to be hanging around waiting for a response to a question.

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