Missed Signals

Those of you who’ve done me the honor of regularly reading my posts for four months now know that I’m putting some effort these days into being more mindful of the world around me and more attentive to the details emanating from its inhabitants. The hope is to use what went previously unseen to be less intimidating, annoying or otherwise irksome to the non-type-A members of the human race.

So when I walked into the gym tonight fifteen minutes after the yoga class was scheduled to be finished and found the yogis just leaving, I suspected I might have to wait for time in my new sanctuary. Rather than wonder, I went to ask. Before the yoga teacher even reached the door, I could see something in her face that was less than pleasant. I prepared for disappointment.

“Do you need the room?” she asked. We’d met a few times and chatted on Sundays; so she was smiling.  I nodded but told her I could just go to a squash court until she was done. “That’d be great. I’ll come get you. It’ll be about half an hour.”

I guess I read her wrong, I thought as I walked toward the courts.

Forty-five minutes later, after warming up and doing a few abbreviated forms in the boxed in boxing room because the squash courts were occupied, I headed back to the yoga room. Camille was still there.

I gave it another fifteen minutes, but she and a yogi were chatting on my second return. At that point, type-A woman that I am needed some clarification. I knocked and was granted entry.

“Just real quick: in the future, should I figure on you using the room for at least an hour after your class is over?”

“Yeah. I’m sorry,” she added, looking at the clock. “I take private clients at the end of my class. But not Sundays. You’re still good on Sundays.”

Heading back to my staff, I couldn’t stop shaking my head. Why wouldn’t she just tell me to begin with that she had a private client and I wouldn’t be able to use the room? Was that passive aggressiveness at work? Conflict avoidance?

Whatever it was, it made me awfully comfortable to continue being a potentially intimidating, annoying or otherwise irksome, type-A woman. I may miss a few signals from others but at least mine are clear.  So…note to self: trying to be more attentive and less irksome doesn’t mean others will do the same.

About T. D. Davis

Baker and former journalist. View all posts by T. D. Davis

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