I could see them and they knew it but they were looking at their screens, preparing for their presentation; they were only listening to me and they forgot about their camera.
I’m a few days shy of my two months anniversary working for my beloved capital city. I have only started meeting people in the flesh a month ago, when we went back to the office one day a week – or just went to the office in my case, as I had never been. I was hired through Skype. I am a virtual hire. I obviously love that, not only because I was the first ever (I mean… I’ve made History and I am not exaggerating) but because it is an awesome anecdote. I am a storyteller, this is gold.
Let me tell you something about that funny anecdote two months in: I was hired in “virtuality” but the reality of it can be daunting. I have no frame of reference, not to mention that the lines of said frame can be blurred by well-meaning people trying to voice a logic that would be so much easier to draw. There are no more boundaries between private and professional life; everything blends together and, when spiralling down, sucks the entire backdrop into the black hole.
So, that’s more or less where I was when I joined the online training yesterday, down the hole. Of the 10 people on the call, I only knew the two consultants I had been working with since almost day one. They suggested a tour de table (which is always funny as we’re all sitting at a different table but that’s just my perfectionist logical visual mind speaking) and soon, it was my turn to speak. My two colleagues were the only ones with their camera on and were not facing it. I started talking and something beautiful happened. I saw both faces change; a little smile started taking shape, a twinkle appeared in their eye… They were both preparing to laugh. They were anticipating the joke, they knew because it was me, because I was already smiling while talking. I had no idea what stupidity I’d come up with this time but to see that they had had that reflex reaction was adorable. I felt the warmth of the glow, I felt the pull; it took me back to the light.
I was the tree in the forest with no one to hear it fall. Until they showed me I made a sound. That’s what it took to lift me and hadn’t I been watching, I would have missed it. I could have fallen into silence in the blink of an eye.
They hear me.
They hear you.
Look for the sign of them hearing your sound.