Yet again, today I am going to talk about work. But it’s also something so much larger than that. Hidden depths. The vast majority of a person, a place, a world…it’s not right in front of your face. It’s hidden beneath the surface. I oftentimes lament that people “don’t understand me”, due to the fact that I keep my feelings well hidden and rarely speak my true beliefs aloud. But how often do I pay attention to other people’s hidden depths? How much do I honestly take a deeper look? Not often enough.
At work, there are three people I cannot stand. One person has gotten meaner with each progressive shift I’ve worked and I’ve gone from genuinely liking her to mild annoyance to flat-out dislike. The second person is loathed by the majority of the employees for his incompetence, reliance on scare tactics, and condescending personality. The third person is liked by most everyone and is usually pretty nice. But our personalities are widely different and so we are really terrible at communicating with each other. He stares at me like I have ten heads and I death glare him. So it goes.
When this guy is around I act stupider than normal and his response is usually a mixture of confusion and annoyance. Like “oh my god how are you real”. Which then gets my hackles raised, so I get grumpy and distant. Which then makes him back off and get even more confused. Which then makes me more annoyed. The cycle continues. Believe me, when it’s early in the morning and I’m making dumb mistakes and getting frustrated with myself, the last thing I want is to have someone nitpicking my every move.
By some stroke of misfortune, we worked together the past two shifts. And it actually…wasn’t bad? When one of my coworkers was getting picked on, he jumped in to make him feel better. He had my back whenever things got difficult and overwhelming. We even joked around with each other at one point. I’m still wary, but I’m starting to think that maybe I should reevaluate my initial misgivings. Could just be the insecurity talking. I think there’s more to it than what I thought.
Hidden depths are everywhere. How can I truly judge anyone without knowing how things look from their perspective? Without walking in their shoes? Without living their lives? If I want people to understand that there is more to me than what they see, I have to grant them the same courtesy. Although I will say. People are like pie. The third level is usually the same as the first. It’s usually “surface level observations” followed by “oooh, they’re actually very complex” followed by “well, in their deepest sense, they’re pretty much exactly what I thought”. But you never know. People will surprise you.
A thought that I’ve always found interesting is. Look at your life. All the things you’ve done. The places you’ve been. The people you’ve known. When you try to think about all of them, it’s a little overwhelming. There’s so much to sort through. Now look at the people around you. Each and every one of them has experienced a bunch of crazy shit too. Learned life lessons. Grown as a person. Seen things you couldn’t imagine. It’s insane, yeah? So how can you really know anything about a person? You talk to me and there are certain personality traits you can pick up. But what about all the hobbies, the interests, the classes, the friends, the crushes, the accomplishments, the failures? You don’t know any of that. And I don’t know that about you. There’s so fucking much beneath the surface.