A new employee at the office sitting right next to me has me questioning office etiquette.
What makes others most comfortable?
Why am I so uncomfortable?
How can I be myself in the midst of constantly meeting someone new in the workplace?
I know I’m a social creature stuck in a clerical job lacking real social interaction but I can’t help wondering what others view as acceptable office etiquette. Questions rattling my head - do you greet your co workers? Saying, Goodbye? Hello? How are you? Ask questions like: How are you doing? How was your lunch? In your office environment, do you make friends?
I spent most of my time in my 20s on a mission at my job - to get paid. I worked technical support for 8 years at one company in my 20s. I’d adapted the mentality that I was at my job to work, not make friends. Somewhere along the way I’d still managed to make friends even wearing a rock hard RBF, after 8 years, people start to stick. However changing jobs I became an outsider. The girls who’d known each other for years where a clique. I was new. I tried my old routine - here to make money, not friends. But after finding lifelong friends in several of my previous coworkers I felt empty at that lack of a consistent daily support system.
Change jobs and the mindset carried over. It took me months to open up. Why? What was I so scared of? Even a year and a half later I still obsess over whether or not I say hi. Ask them about their lives or if I continue to rock the stone cold bitch face, headphones in and loathe this experience. Am I missing out on potential friends and relationships because I’m waiting for someone else to break the ice? I feel like an extrovert stuck in an introverts obsessive anxiety.
If you see me at the office, don’t let my face be the reason you don’t talk to me (or anyone for that matter). I could be in pain, I could be in my own head, or I could be waiting for a reason to smile. Maybe all it takes is that hello from you to change my expression.