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I joined a company last week, and one of my co-workers (not on my specific team, but still part of our overarching team) has a pretty unique/interesting name. I Googled it out of curiosity and learned that he was formerly part of a band in a genre of music that I happen to really enjoy. It sounds like a great opportunity to break the ice and get to know another member of the company and to chat about common interests, but I'm worried that I'll come across as a creep if I just mention it without context, since it'll be obvious that I googled this person. I also haven't actually spoken to them/gotten to know them (because again, we're on different teams). What would be the most sensitive course of action?

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    If you do that "coming across as a creep" will be exactly what you will be doing. – solarflare Jul 18 at 2:27
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    So what ... ignore that fact until that person brings it up. You've acted like a stalker without realizing it. Don't ... ever.... say anything about it... accept it as a mistake and let it be dead. – Randy Zeitman Jul 18 at 4:47
  • @Randy Zeitman I'd say chances are that OP has realized that they have acted like a creep/stalker, and that that's the reason they're asking this question here. – Niko1978 Jul 18 at 5:26
  • @Niko1978 Well if that's the case then this person also knows that no help is available. – Randy Zeitman Jul 18 at 19:07
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Don't. Just don't. Ever mention google. If you find yourself in a social situation with this person, just say "that's an unusual name! the drummer in one of my favorite bands had the same, did you ever hear of them?". And let the conversation flow naturally from there. Since you're a real fan, you won't come across as a creep, like you would otherwise.

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    The general advice of don't mention google holds... the social situation will leave you in a terribly awkward position unless your favorite band does happen to have a drummer with the same name. – Shadowzee Jul 18 at 1:06
  • "the drummer in one of my favorite bands had the same" - don't people generally know what members of their favourite bands look like (at least when they know their names)? – Dukeling Jul 18 at 17:33
  • Not necessarily no, not always. Some may be dead, some may be in foreign countries whose social media you don't have much access to.. – George M Jul 18 at 19:10
  • There are lots of ways you could bring it up naturally, even a little white lie like "someone said you were in a band". – Stuart F Jul 19 at 13:06
  • There are lots of ways to bring it up without mentioning google. That was only an example. Let's assume the OP has a brain and a modicum of imagination.. – George M Jul 19 at 18:31
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I've been in exactly the same position before. Ended up on a Facebook profile of a colleague that had shared interests wich I did not know of. Never, ever mention you googled his name. It would creep most people out.

A clever way to mention your shared interests what you found is turning the tables. In one of your next conversations, you could let him find out that you like that specific music genre. Try to lead the conversation towards "what's your favourite music genre." or something like that. It's a common topic at the coffee machine or during lunch break.

  • Absolutely do not do that. Do not lead the conversation. There's absolutely no good reason. It's not a clever way, it's an ignorant want and if that's ever worked for you I want to hear the details. I wouldn't even think that would work on TV. Guest says "pretty unique/interesting name" ... so there's no attraction, just over-curious ... so what possible reason is there to interrupt the natural course of conversation? ANYTHING that comes off as strange is going to alienate the OP to ALL other co-workers and that person may get the cold shoulder for a long time until they quit. – Randy Zeitman Jul 18 at 19:09
  • @RandyZeitman How it worked. Imagine during lunch, one on one conversation; Me: "So how was your weekend?" Person: "Great! I did x and y. How about yours" Me: "I went training for my next big endeavor, Marathon des Sables." Eh voila, I mentioned I trained for a niche event in running whilst knowing he also is into ultra endurance sports. Not awkward or intrusive at all. Exactly what happened after seeing a FB post from a colleague on a random page. – Odyssee Jul 22 at 10:55
  • I'm confused. Is that the same situation as the OP described? ... a first conversation?... an ice breaker with someone you don't know ... you've worked at the company for a week so few others know you as well and could tell others you're ok? – Randy Zeitman Jul 22 at 15:44

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