At the end of my working day yesterday, I received a call from someone in another department of the company, an Australian or NZ woman with whom I’d not spoken, and whose name I didn’t know. She had just introduced herself when a phone rang at her end and she said ‘Sorry, I’ve got an important call just come in, I’ll call you back.’ After five minutes or so she did so, and started straight into talking. I realised this was probably a followup to a query I’d sent out by email over six weeks ago, which various people had passed to various other people. Here she was diving into it as if we’d been talking about it only yesterday. Except that now she’s asking me to explain the background, current practice etc. I was about to do so when she suddenly said ‘I think we’ll need a bit more time – can I call you tomorrow?’  and off she went.

I reflected on first impressions – here I have an impression of someone who’s disorganised, rather self-centred and in too much of a hurry to get anything done. (She also had that irritating habit of ending every sentence on a question mark?) Now I may well be wrong about her and learn differently today, but how you put yourself over is so important, especially at work, that you ‘d think she would know better.

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