Monday, March 06, 2006

touchy touché

I have this colleague at work, let's just call him Uncle.

Uncle is one of those dear, fatherly kinds. Everyone likes him, everyone respects him, everyone enjoys his company.

Everyone, including me.

That is, except for one thing which I feel downright uncomfortable about.

Uncle likes to touch. No, not in an OTG (orang tua gatal) manner, but let's just say that he's overly warm and friendly. You know, whenever he greets you, he'll put his hand on your shoulder or squeeze your upper arm, that kind of stuff.

Thing is, I am one who despises coming in contact with those whom I don't deem close to me. Especially not in an office, where professionalism should be the order of the day.

I know he means no harm, that his touches are clean and innocent. But still. Why must there be any touching at all?

And the thing that bugs me the most is: I am a Muslim.

So is he.

In fact, he's very knowledgable in religious matters. He prays five times a day without fail, performs the Haj yearly, the works. Granted, he's not an extremist, but it doesn't take a radical Muslim (nor a person with Islamic beliefs for that matter) to respect another's personal comfort zone, innit.

I'd hate to offend Uncle, but I know I gotta say something somehow. Any suggestions on how I can tackle this issue gracefully?


Adriene said...

a suggestion that i hope is helpful.

if u can actually see him approaching you to greet you, what if you took a small step back just before you know hes gonna touch u? subtly getting out of his reach. read in a body language book before that when u do that, its a subtle indication of your definition of your own personal space. which u have every right too, definitely. not to be mistaken for fear or submission or anything like that.

he will subtly notice your body language too and recognise your personal body space. should be lah.

also effective against those who on purpose encroach upon your personal space to subtly threaten you. just step back as you look them in the eye. there are those ppl in the opis too! now those are bastards!

all the best!

UrbanProphet said...

Or, you could use a rather large stick...

*CaTWoMaN* said...

adriene: hey thanks for the pointer :) unfortunately, though, Uncle usually creeps up on me, so tis a tad hard for me to dodge away in time :(

urbanprophet: eh? use a rather large stick to do what?

Anonymous said...

Just tell him the truth, uncle please do not me it will him much good as well...honesty is the next best thing after cafe the way nice blog...enjoyable....cheerio!!!

*CaTWoMaN* said...

anonymous: hey thanks, i'm glad my words bring entertainment to your days :)