On “Natural”

When asked – and I’m being asked often – I always say I’m a natural information professional. Finding and arranging information is a second nature to me. Queries and data sets others find uneasy to terrifying are a constant source of joy and wonder for me.

A recent conversation with my mother might have shed some light on this “natural” assumption.

My parents, bless their souls, often speak with minimal to no context. My father will often start talking on one of the numerous subjects that were mentioned in the past two weeks without a warning or context as if we just talked about that subject a minute ago; My mother mixes tenses and uses lots of fragmented sentences, that may include up to five different topics in just two or three fragments. “Print”, “Scan”, “Type” and “Copy” are interchangeable to them, though they know these are different functions (they just know I’ll figure out what they mean). These aren’t cognitive conditions; it’s just how they talk, just as I will sometime struggle to finish sentences when I talk.

Given my parents’ style of speech, I think that from a very young age I was “trained” to find context and information and respond quickly, regardless of structure or context of the sentence presented. I’m better than most people in deducting/guessing and amending information queries, which makes me good in my job (the whole “you asked X. You meant Y, right?”). And it’s a great skill to have in times of context collapse.

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