Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Voices Carry

They've done a great deal of re-arranging here at the daily grind: cube walls down. Cube walls up. New carpet. Three of 10 people randomly displaced to new aisles. Old neighbors lost. New ones unfound.

Et cetera.

And the group now located on the opposite side of me includes a couple people I know, and a handful I've spoken to, but never at great length. Among those is someone who's been here about six months; next to her is a girl whose been with the company two years. I've only spoken to each a couple times; they're both nice people, though their voices are somewhat similar in pitch and tone.

The one just across from me (mind you, we're separated by the back of an office wall, which we share) talks on the phone a fair amount, and I just realized this week that she's not who I thought she was.

In other words: after three weeks of hearing her on the phone — and thinking she was the new girl — I just walked down their aisle, only to realize I had their desks reversed in my head.

This resulted in a most unusual paradigm shift. I found myself having to readjust faces, voices & names. When I hear one of them speak, I feel like the voice belongs to the wrong person.

I've been tricked by my own perceptions.


XOXO said...

Is that like thinking purple is orange?

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Below the belt, man. Below the belt.

michele said...

I have this experience almost every year, as the office shuffle - I'm sure you're aware of it - happens each fall. I've actually been in the same place for 4 years, but every year there's someone new next door and I find out all the details of love lives/work lives of someone new through the paper thin walls. Makes for interesting - albeit distracting - listening!