November 20, 2007
I am currently taking a conversational Spanish night class once a week at the local community college to improve my Spanish. I am 1 of about 8 other adults in the class looking to improve or learn or hear for the first time Spanish. Let me tell you, there’s something about a night class at a community college that just brings out some of the most interesting people from the woodworks. I mean, the class alone, signing up for a beginning Spanish class at a local community college, is a little weird, so I get it.
I could write an entirely different post on the overall subset of people in my class, or in community college night classes in general, but for this entry, I’m going to constrain it to just the “Over-Sharer.” Do you know who the over-sharer is? I’m sure you do, it’s that person that feels the need to share too much information about themselves or their lives, though never really asked to do so. The information could make you feel uncomfortable, you know, if they share about their “time’s of the month” or how long they were in the bathroom today at work and WHY….it could be that over-sharer, but NO, in my class, I have the over-sharer-of-personal-details-when-asked-a-simple-question-that-can-be-answered-in-one-word person.
For example: Let’s say the teacher is going around the room asking about where we work.
My answer: “Valley View Productions in Grapevine, where I am a graphic designer.” (Good. Concise. Simple. To the point.)
Her answer: “Random Parts Company, it’s around the corner in Hurst. Just about 10 minutes from here I think. (small chuckle, which I assume she makes to show how close she is compared to everyone else) I’ve been there ’bout 10 years, doing the same thing: customer service. You know, I answer the phones when people call in ’bout broken stuff…..but we don’t sell the actual items, you know, just the parts. What was it the other day that guy wanted me to find? Do you remember Sylvia? (another small chuckle to herself, not sure if it was meant to be outloud) Oh well, I can’t remember.” (Long. Scattered. Complex. Where’s the point)
Wow! When working in pairs with her, she’ll make little comments here and there, that I have to turn and look at her and just smile and nod, because I couldn’t and didn’t understand what comment it was, because all I said was that I am tired….and then 5 minutes later, she’s looking at me with this look that says, “Right?! You know? I just shared a lot in reference to you just saying ‘you were tired’ and so I am looking for a facial approval that you heard me wax on for 5 minutes about ‘being tired.’”
What can I do? How do you behave around an over-sharer? Do you over-listen to their over-sharing? Do you over-analyze their over-sharing? Help me!