I don’t go to the main office.
My company has a satellite office that I live closer to, so whenever I have to go to the office I go there. There’s hardly anyone usually there. Actually, the only people who are usually there are the tax people.
There’s a tax partner there that often goes and talks to the audit partner. Since I sit near the audit partner, he’ll usually say hi and we’ll small talk.
This last week the audit partner wasn’t in the office, but the tax partner went to go see if he was and we made some small talk. When lunch came around, he came to see if I had plans. I said no, not really. I was planning on walking to the nearby mall and getting something there. He offered to give me a ride over there. I wanted to walk over, but that would mean missing out on lunch with him, so I accepted the offer.
We covered the easy stuff quickly. Family. Sports. Work. What to have for lunch. He’s not a typical down the middle guy, so I was looking forward to getting to the fun stuff. Religion. Politics. Views of life.
Sure enough, we got to the fun stuff around the time we sat down at the restaurant.
I pushed a little on his family. I asked something general about his son and followed up with if his son usually behaves that way. He responded with how his wife is too concerned about feelings and how feelings should be ignored. He wants his son to focus on his principles, because he believes principles should drive actions instead of feelings driving actions.
That’s what I wanted. I wanted to talk about something real, like this. I can go online, or talk to any other coworker, about pop stuff. The new Dr. Strange movie. What they’re doing for Thanksgiving. How their weekend was. But I can’t really talk to someone about something like this without killing the conversation, or at least getting a weird look.
Some people I talked to don’t like that about the tax partner. But I don’t think it’s an issue if you’re relatively sure of who you are and are open minded. If anything, it’ll make you think and what’s the harm in that?