A woman reflects on a meeting at work, vaguely uncomfortable because she senses she has alienated her colleagues. It started off as an amiable meeting, with ideas generated by the newer members as well as those who, like my patient, have a great deal of professional experience. The conversation turns to the use of new equipment the group recently acquired. Its allocation has not yet been determined. With what sounds to me like a jovial tone, people suggest ways the equipment could be distributed. In what I hear as a jarringly contentious rejoinder, my patient comments on how little experience seems to count in this world. What was lively repartee becomes awkward silence. The group soon disbands to go back to their duties.