OK, so potentially debatable opinion: I hate Zoom.
Work has just switched to Zoom for conference calls and that means more video calls. I’ve managed to avoid them so far for the most part – himself almost always interrupts my regular Wednesday group meeting and I’ve started making him wave at the other participants in an attempt to put him off.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in a video call when a colleague (almost a friend, someone I trust and we share moans and advice regularly) remarked, as soon as I joined: “Oh Smell, you look tired!”. (He didn’t really call me Smell, obviously, but you get the point).
Now, I still don’t know how to take that.
He IM-d me immediately to ask if I was OK – clearly genuinely concerned that something might be wrong, so exhausted and dishevelled did I appear, apparently. Honestly, I was quite hurt. Sure, I was a bit tired but I didn’t feel like I looked any different than usual. I was quite horrified with the strong sympathy expressed – strong imposter syndrome doesn’t want people to perceive any weakness?
On the other hand, it’s wonderful that I have a colleague how genuinely cares that I’m OK and wants to help and support me if I’m not. But I am.
Is it OK to ever say “you look tired” in a group setting? Is it better or worse than “oh wow, nice legs” or “hey, someone took their handsome pill this morning”? Should we ever comment on how someone looks?
I felt really bad when it was said to me, almost as though it implied I couldn’t be doing a good job that day because I was clearly so tired I was sure to underperform. As well, that maybe I’m not capable of coping with working (almost) full time, having a family, and dealing with everything else in life.
We should be really careful when we make that sort of throw away comment. The person on the receiving end might indeed be rather tired, but remarking on that isn’t going to make them feel any better!
What do you think?