This is about the incident i faced with one of my colleague today wherein a word which was not noticed properly impacted in judging me completely different.
Normally I read technical books (Mostly C#, Unit testing, Refactoring, Design patterns, etc.) while i travel to office in the bus. As usual today i started reading Art of Unit Testing by Roy book. Not to forget, this book is amazing if you wish to improve your skills.
So as i kept reading, after a couple of stops one of my colleague boarded the bus and it happen so that he has to take seat next to me, hence i made some space for him, then i continued to read further. After a couple of minutes this guy turns towards me and says what is this book your reading.
I smiled and said its w.r.t to my work thinking that he does not belong to the IT field (yes i casually know this guy), he then says ok, about what specifically. This was the awkward moment for me because i did show him the cover of this book.
His immediate response was, is there a text book on unit testing too? He made a gesture and face expression as if i am a newbie in this field and was learning just now because he knew i am not. Although i did not feel embarrassed at that moment, but his weird smile made me further uncomfortable. He then started asking, why are you reading this text-book. This was another moment i felt awkwardness since he had already referred this book as “text-book” because most of us have a feeling that a text-book is just like a starter kit which is studied by college students.
He continued making further funny gestures which made me uncomfortable. I turned away from him for a moment to control my embarrassment because there were other folks who on-looked at our conversation. After a second, it suddenly occurred to me that he failed to spot one good meaningful word on the book cover. Immediately i turned back at him and smiled, which suddenly made him feel weird about my reaction. He kept staring at me for a second, after which i once again pointed him towards the cover of the book.
I pointed him towards the word “ART” on the book cover and said it’s not a text-book but It’s about improving your skills and its about writing better unit tests and maintainability code. At that instant, he felt some thing good in his mind and made a surprising face and immediately acknowledged that he did not notice the word “Art” in the title. He then said “oh nice” and went back to his sleep.
This incident kept me thinking and wondering about how just one word when unnoticed makes a big fuss or poor judgement about the person and his capabilities. I must say it was a whole new experience to me. Perhaps this is why communication is a very good topic to master in. Thankfully i came up with a good explanation to convince him that i am not a kid.
Thanks & Happy Reading/Coding,