In the past 24 hours, about six people have said to me, “You are a busy lady” – or something like that. It usually happens when I’ve been playing phone tag with someone and we finally connect. Or I have an appointment out of the office and someone comes 15 minutes early to my office and expects me to be waiting for them, but I arrive 5 minutes later, still a few minutes before we are scheduled to meet. Or someone stops by with no appointment and asks if I have ten minutes to talk about something (which might actually take thirty minutes) and when I say “No, I’ve got a meeting in 3 minutes,” he/she says:
“Wow, you’re so busy.”
How would you respond?
- “Yes, I am.“
- “I’ve always got time for you.”
- “We’re all pretty busy.”
It makes me wonder:
- Do I give off the appearance of being harried or crazed or wiped out or so-incredibly-important-that-I-have-no-time-for-you? (I don’t think so, but – faithful friends – please do me a favor and let me know if I’m sending “I’m constantly overwhelmed” vibes.)
- Do people expect that we (my colleagues and I) are just hanging out waiting for someone to call or show up?
- Do men get these comments as often as women? (i.e. Is there a subconscious expectation that female employees should always be available to help?)
I’m about as busy as everyone around me seems to be. But how would you respond to comments like this? Just curious.