I went on a blind date last night – a definite dud. The guy wouldn’t shut up about the new office his company is setting up in Melbourne. As in, the company is actually his, not just one that he works for. Couldn’t he have told me about that, for crying out loud?
Seemingly not. The prevailing topic for the evening was evidently set in stone before I even got there. When I arrived at the restaurant, he was on his phone talking loudly to a supplier of office furniture in Sweden about new-season trends in desk design. It was almost as though he was putting on a performance for my benefit. If that’s the case, it backfired.
I tried to change the topic multiple times, but he kept steering everything back to offices. He seemed to be getting a kick out of comparisons between high-end commercial fitouts. Melbourne establishments, watch out for this guy – he spent a good portion of the date critiquing everything from the joinery work on the bar to the installation of the toilet door knobs. It was fun for a little while, but I have limited patience for that sort of thing.
Maybe I could have made a bit more effort to acknowledge that what he was on about was important to him. I guess I skimmed over it a bit. What would I have said, though? “Oh yeah, Melbourne office design companies are really smashing it at the moment. I hope you’ve picked one that has a firm grasp on seamlessly blending functionality with aesthetics!” Now that I think about it, that might have gone down quite well – and maybe appeased him enough to allow for a change of subject.
At the end of the day, he was probably just nervous and trying to get me to acknowledge his excitement, which, admittedly, I refused to do. It’s not even that I’m not interest in workspace design – I’d be more than happy to talk custom finishings and ergonomic layouts, provided it’s not the only available topic of conversation.