A Letter to my Coworkers
I know that I am the quiet girl in her cubicle. And that I don’t always know if I should say good morning because some of you have ear buds in. I often sneak in without some of you noticing because I cannot tell if I should say hello.
I do not always know if I am part of a circle of conversation. I do not want to ignore you. I do not always know how to enter the conversation. And I do not know how much I am supposed to share with you in a conversation. Or how much you want to share. When there are multiple conversations happening I do not know which ones I am supposed to join.
I often do not make small talk throughout the day because I am spending most of my energy filtering out the sensory and have very little left for social cues.
Sometimes I don’t hear you when you say my name. I am overwhelmed by the extreme sensory I am experiencing throughout the day and cannot always hear it the first time. I hear everything from people typing across the room, to the sound of papers turning in the cubicle beside me. I hear the loud buzzing of the lights. It drowns out my name.
I smile a lot so that you will think of me as approachable and friendly. Because that is what I want and hope to be. I do not pick up on office politics or tensions between other people. In general, I want to interact with everyone.
I do not always know if you are making eye contact with me from across a room. And if your Skype is set to “busy” but I see you making small talk I do not know if it an okay time to ask you a question or if it is still a signal not to be bothered.
I know I don’t get to talk to everyone in the day. I do not do this intentionally. I don’t know how to create social situations while still spending most of my energy focusing on my work. I do not wish to ignore anyone. Workdays take more energy for me.
Thank you for being so kind to me.