Last week my boss asked me to write a short autobiography of myself to be included on our team website. I’m new to the team, and this is a way for them to get to know me better since we all live in different cities. (Though the paranoid part of me suspects that honestly reporting my hobbies and interests will have an adverse effect on my chances for future promotion).
For years now, I’ve maintained blogs in various incarnations for the sole purpose of writing about myself. I find myself endlessly fascinating, and I have no qualms about sharing my most intimate details with my friends and total strangers on the internet.
Yet when I’m compelled to write up a short blurb for work, I’m at a loss for what to say. In my non-work life I’ve maintained a level of transparency that many who know me have found cringe-worthy. But at work, I’m remarkably close-lipped. I’ve always had a strict policy about keeping my work life and my real life completely separate. It kills a little part of me to share my hopes and dreams with the people around me who daily quash my hopes and dreams.
How does an ontologically retarded man who has spent the better part of his adulthood in the throes of one long bout of existential angst answer the question “Who am I?” Or more to the point, how does one answer this question in a way that will not result in him getting fired?
I don’t relate to other people well, and have a sense of humor that is off center, and the times when I’ve let a little of my personality shine through in various tele-conferences has resulted in awkward silence. My instinct is to post something sarcastic and scathing like, “I enjoy amputee midget porn and racism.” But I somehow think that my boss, who enjoys listening to sermons on her iPod when she works out, wouldn’t find such an absurd statement as hilarious as I do.
So after a week of agonizing over exactly what to say that would define me and capture my distilled essence in a completely politically correct and beige kind of way, I finally came up with this:
My name is Lance. I like cookies.