Working in an office forces you to interact with people you would normally cross the street to avoid in real life. As such, there are social niceties that one is forced to abide by so as to not be fired. Below are the top five offenders and what to do when you find yourself in these super scary situations.
1-Elevators. I will walk up 6 flights of stairs to avoid riding in an elevator with a stranger. The more strangers, the more shift-eyed I become, but sometimes you think you’re in the clear and suddenly you sense someone trying to catch the same elevator you’re already in. How do you avoid taking an elevator with someone you work with? First of all: breathe. You’ll get through this. If you sense them coming, hit the “close door” button repeatedly. Hopefully they’re a fatty (likely) and will slowly shuffle up just as the elevator doors close in their face.
2-Break room. This is a top offender, especially early in the AM. You need coffee but the last think you want to do is talk about your coworker’s child’s soccer game. (PSA to all parents: Trust me when I say no one cares. No One.) Anywhoos, the best way to avoid engaging in mindless chatter is to put on your “busy” face. When they attempt to talk, simply nod and say you would love to hear all about it, but you must get those TPS reports out before your boss gets in.
3-Before meeting chatter. Besides meetings being the biggest time waster on the planet, they are also ripe with opportunities to have to talk to people you hate. The best way to avoid discussing American Idol is to arrive 5-10 minutes late. If your tardiness for the party is questioned, blame your Outlook calendar. Or Tsaur. Works every time.
4-The pop-by. Sometimes you can’t control who stops by your desk to chat with you about their mile long runs (TSaur, I’m looking at you here), their granddaughter’s birthday party (Hulking Secretary FTW) or their millionth weekend getaway to the Homestead (Manager). The best way to avoid these unwelcomed intrusions to your internetting is to make sure you constantly have your headphones on (it makes you appear engrossed) and piles of work scattered about your desk. They’ll take one look at you and just keep on walking lest you ask them to assist.
5. Copy room and/or fax machine. If you feel like partying like it’s 1999, you’ll take your bad self to the copy room and make yourself some copies or you could hot tub time machine back to 1984 and fax yourself some papers! In these situations you’re trapped and there’s little you can do to avoid being bothered you when you’re busy daydreaming about unicorns. (!!) To extricate yourself from this situation, you’ll need strategery. A good offense is required in this case so make sure you thwart any attempts by saying you think you had some bad mayonnaise at lunch and your stomach is acting up something fierce! They’ll want to leave worse than Whitney Houston needs a new hit. Trust.