Father's Day is Sunday. My dad passed away in 2005, but every now and then I get a reminder of how solid of a guy he was.
One thing about Kent Dunn - like a lot of guys born in the 30s/40s/50s, he wasn't much of a hugger. Could you hug him? Absolutely. Would he squeeze you hard back? Highly debatable.
I'm reminded of Kent Dunn and others of his ilk by this great piece in the Onion called Dad Hands Phone Off To Mom Immediately After Being Wished Happy Father’s Day. Here's a taste:
"Allowing no window whatsoever for additional conversation to take place, the father of local man Luke Asbury reportedly handed off the phone to Luke’s mother on Sunday immediately after his son wished him a happy Father’s Day. “Wow, he didn’t waste any time—he just said thanks, told me Mom was there if I wanted to speak to her, and then got off the line before I could really answer,” said Asbury, 32, who told reporters that while he in no way expected to chat at length, he did anticipate at least having one or two minutes of small talk about whether his father planned to watch any golf that afternoon."
Hilarious, but also true of guys from this generation. Not everyone is built for long missives, showing emotion or even carrying out small talk. Remember that as you deal with folks both old and young at your company as an HR pro. Sometimes when someone's short with you it doesn't mean anything towards you, the situation you're talking about or anything else.
Sometimes they're just not down with the small talk. Or your bull###t. It's not you. It's wired in their DNA.
RIP Kent Dunn. Still hear your boots in the hallway.