"His social skills aren't the greatest, but he's super smart" was the reputation data analyst Matt Wilson had around his office - until his coworkers eventually caught on that shy, quiet Matt actually wasn't actually very smart at all.
"Yeah, he coasted on that awkward genius rep for a long time," said Matt's supervisor, Chip Parker.
And how, exactly, did Matt develop that rep?
According to Chip, it happened gradually, almost without anyone's noticing. As he explained it, Matt was so lacking in etiquette and social graces, that his office colleagues subconsciously assumed that he must be especially gifted in other areas, like intelligence.
"I guess you could say we were giving him the benefit of the doubt," said Chip. "But, over time, we realized that the reason his clothes stink wasn't that he'd been working on some brilliant experiment in his garage and didn't have time to do laundry. He's just not a very hygienic guy. Or very smart."
Chip emphasized, however, that neither he nor the others in the office are holding Matt's underwhelming aptitudes against him.
"We just didn't know," said Chip. "Now that we do, we can adjust our expectations accordingly. Reasonable expectations are what successful work relationships are all about."