I am not a Team Player. Never have been, never will be. It's never been one of my strengths. I've never learned how to play well with others. I've never grasped the fine art of social interaction. I'm not leadership material, for all of these reasons. And I'm fine with that.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake recently of taking a new job at a small company. When you're working for a small company, you need to be a Team Player. It's expected of you, because there are fewer people needing to fill more roles. In a corporation, you can hire people to do nothing other than, say, administer a database or sell projects to clients. In a small company those roles are all part-time jobs, so each employee has to do more than one of them.

I don't know if I can work that way.

I mean, it's not like I can't do it. I just don't have it in me to do it on a daily basis. I am not a people person. Everyone says that I'm a great programmer and that I do the work that's asked of me very, very fast. There's a reason for this: my brain is hardwired that way. I'm a fast developer because I think in the same logical, organized methods as a computer program. Unfortunately, this sort of thought process is not at all conducive to interacting with my fellow human beings.

Computers are logical, structured, organized. Do this job fast so that you can be ready for the next one. Do one thing at a time, and do it very well. Garbage in, garbage out. People, on the other hand, are impulsive, reactive, unstructured. Communication is a matter of perception, not data. They're almost never straightforward about anything. I wish they would be, but they're not.

So let's just let it be. Don't treat me like an employee anymore, please. Don't treat me like a member of the team. It just slows things down. I want to be a cog in the machine. Give me a job, boiled down to the raw facts of the thing. Write it out so that we're clear. Drop it off at my desk; I'll drop it back at yours as soon as I'm done.

Rain Man had it easy. No one ever asked him to be a team player.

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