Can You Please Repeat What You Said?

I’ve decided to start asking people what they said when I have no clue!

A co-worker was taking a couple of days off that was not planned. He told me something about the why, but I totally missed it. In this case it was because I had been focused on my work when he told me. I need time to shift gears and I did not have it. I knew I missed some detail, but he didn’t seem stressed about it, so I didn’t ask him to repeat himself.

The next day I came in and he wasn’t there, and I knew enough that it was a day earlier then he had said just the day before. Later our manager came by and once again I was focused on my work when she told us why he wasn’t there. Once again I totally missed it, but I rationalized it with a theory that his daughter was moving off to college – which is true.

Then another co-worker brought a card by for me to sign. I asked the who / why since I had no clue, and found out my co-worker’s father had passed away. It seems at first he knew he was doing poorly and was going to take a few days off, and then he died unexpectedly and thus the even earlier day off. And I never grasped what he nor our manager said.

This happens to me a lot. I focus very deeply on my work. And I have difficulty shifting gears. And I don’t do well when things are spoken fast. Some of that may be Aphantasia related, but some of that is likely to just be me. But I tend to not ask people to repeat things that our conversational, unlike in meetings. I rationalize that they will think I don’t care.

Yet by not asking for them to repeat themselves, I end up not caring because I don’t know what to care about! So I am going to try to step out and speak up – and ask more often for a repeat! I do care, and I want to know, but I need a chance to shift gears and focus on what they are saying. It may even take several repeats if its details and names – so I will start asking.

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