When Men Want to Talk Shop
Anon XX

Hi Anon XX,

Just curious about the background here. Had this person been aware of your intention for the meeting, and vice-versa? I assume that this was well-communicated, and that this was an example of social incompetence, taken past the point of reasonable legitimate boundaries. I ask as I have had a variety of informal meetings with females and males in a less formal situation, with no ill (or romantic) intent. Certainly a “cold-call” meeting of this sort raises flags, and it would have been highly appropriate for you to call it out, at the time. If the intentions were misunderstood, or inappropriate, then that would have straightened this out, quickly, and if not, then you may have had some beneficial mentoring and a more sympathetic person. If this were an older female manager or seasoned professional, and I found myself in similar circumstances, I may have done so, if the conversation got weird. As a senior professional, I have become more sensitized to this, but it also helps to have 3 daughters in their 20s to help coach me on perception versus reality. As a technical guy, sometimes I don’t pick up clues quite as fast as I should. But, if you are ever uncomfortable in such a situation again, I can assure you that it is very appropriate to make this clear to the person you are meeting with. Very appropriate. If they don’t like it, then that tells you quite a lot.

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