Friday, February 20, 2009

There are things I'd rather not know...

The nature of the job means I often learn things about people I would prefer to not know. Sometimes they'll come to my office and spill their guts, and other times, I see a story unfold from the windows of my fishbowl office. Drips and drabs of information float in unbidden, and there's no un-learning of oogy details. Of course, it's unavoidable that I should know certain personal details, but I'd prefer to not be privileged with information which in no way helps me to do my job or to assist them.

[I wrote a great wobbler of an exposition, here, but decided it was distasteful to post even bereft of particulars as it was]

I have a great many residents who are just decent, stand-up folks, and then there are a few who have the same problems over and over and over. I could tell them each in 100 words or less what they need to do to fix their lives permanently, but only they can change the way they live.

I remember a movie where a character referred to someone as a Monet, saying they looked pretty from a distance, but up close they were a big old mess. We're all human. We all have our little screw-ups, but we should have the decency to not make others uncomfortable with excessive information of our failings. Discretion is the better part of valour.

Or is it indiscreet of me to say so?


Unknown said...

I think that was Clueless where she said the Monet bit (and so true). I do get uncomfortable with the overshare and when I was doing property management, I heard too many personal details that I really didn't need to know (esp. when couples were splitting up and breaking their leases). Now, teh worst offenders are the people on the bus that speak loudly on their cells -- just the other night, I heard all about some girl's break up and the lessons she learned from in (as so did the entire bus).

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, yes!
Miss Phlegm, I work in a bookstore. You would not believe (or maybe you would--and that's frightening) the conversations that I am forced to overhear by nature of my job. People on cell phones are usually the worst offenders. The prize in the TMI category goes as a tie to the guys who like to discuss in detail how the drug use/bizzare relationships are NEVER THEIR FAULT and the gals who like to describe the boyfriend's personal anatomy and/or the color/odor/texture of various discharges.
(head desk)
Is it completely unreasonable of me to ask to not have to listen to any of this?

Immortal Woman said...

I am a Monet, every moment of every day, from a distance bright and inviting, up close globby and frightening.

TMI is every where, from all the pages on facebook and phones in every pocket. It is overload and I begin to turn a deaf ear, sometimes to even those I really need to hear.