I had a conundrum the other day that I wanted to run past you. I mainly want to find out if I’m:
a) totally Penelope or
b) a little bit crazy.
Maybe it’s both, but If it’s just option b, tell me, and be as gentle as possible. Here’s what happened:
Last week, for my day job, I had a meeting with a consultant. This guy is smart, capable and so far, we’re really happy with his work for us.
However, last week’s meeting involved a face-to-face demo of some software he’s developing for us. On his laptop. His cute, little white Macbook. Which was really, really dirty.
It drove me to distraction. The meeting went on for 4+ hours, with me trying mightily to keep my focus on the work at hand, instead of concentrating on the horrible fingerprints and food smudges on his computer. There were whole words on the screen that were obscured by the muck. I mean, really!
All I wanted to do was clean it. My entire body itched with the urge. It would have taken maybe 90 seconds and it would have looked like new.
But I don’t know this guy that well yet. He hasn’t been fully vaccinated against my Penelope-ness. I thought about waiting for a break and then saying “Hey, I’m kinda nuts, and this is totally my issue and not at all about you, but would you let me clean your laptop?”
But I couldn’t help but wonder if he’d be offended. And I do not want to offend a good consultant because I’ve got a thing for pristine office equipment. That’s my quirk, not his. In the end, all I could do was just sit on my hands, bite my lip, and try to ignore the mess.
As soon as the meeting ended, I rushed up to my office and re-cleaned my already clean Mac keyboard. I felt better afterwards.
So, what do you think? Did I do the right thing by just keeping my mouth shut? Would you have said something? If so, how would you have broached the topic?