A couple years ago I was introduced to a strapping young military man. We chatted for a bit, I liked his humor, he liked my smile, he asked for my phone number, I gave it to him. The next week we talked for hours on the phone. We did end up going out on a date. It was a good time. He fell asleep during the movie. He didn't call me. And I decided that I was ok with it. I mean, if he wasn't in to me enough to stay awake on the couch, then this really wasn't going to work for very long.
One of the things we talked about on the phone the first time was the lack of exit interviews when someone doesn't call you back. I mean, is it too much to want to know what went wrong? Does he dislike the snort that escapes when you laugh? Were you boing? Or was it simply the lack of the intangibles? Picturing the awkwardness gave us both a good laugh.
Well, with this particular strapping young military man, I had the opportunity about 6 months later to exchange a few emails. We took the opportunity to clear the air on why he didn't call me back. And why I didn't call him. And it was really nice. Not that there was any closure to be had, it was only one date. But it is nice to hear from someone you were interested in (even for a minute) that you aren't a complete dork on a first date. There was a feeble attempt to keep in contact, he was on the east coast for the summer for training. For the record, I would have given him a second chance but he's the one who didn't write back.
No love lost.
I believe the corporate world has come across an ingenious little idea in the exit interview. Being able to ask a few pointed questions to those who are exiting your life might do us all a bit of good. Can you handle it if someone took the opportunity to look you straight in the face and say “Y'know, you're totally crazy”? I just might break down in hysterical laughter.
Because I told you so.