Oh do I have an awkward story for you. This is one of those stories that isn’t really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, and I definitely made it 800% worse/more awkward than it should have been, but it’s just so strange that I had to share. Hopefully you get a little giggle out of it.
Let’s start with the facts. 1. I’m a very friendly person. I have no problem talking to strangers and asking someone how their day is going. 2. I’m an extra friendly person when I see someone that I actually know, not a stranger. I try my best to strike up some sort of conversation, even if it’s just a short exchange of pleasantries before we both put in our earbuds and go on with our day. 3. I can be INCREDIBLY awkward sometimes in the sense that I try and force people to be friendly back to me. Not in a creepy or rude way, but if I take the time to say hi to you, I feel like you should at least say hi back and not make a stink face while doing it.
A bit of important backstory: I sometimes eat lunch with the recruiting department at work and I met one of the workers, let’s call him Collin, and he was very friendly, said hi very enthusiastically, and even asked a few questions. That whole department then moved down to my floor so I pass all of the recruiters multiple times a day, always with a smile, a wave, and a “hi.”
Another important bit of backstory that is important to know: I am in no way, shape, or form interested in Collin. I also know for a fact that he is not in any way, shape, or form interested in me (his boyfriend might be upset if that were the case.) So this is not a story of awkward flirting gone awry. This is a story of WHY ARE YOU NOT BEING A NICE PERSON RIGHT NOW?
Ok story time.
Act 1: The scene: An incredibly uncomfortable non-conversation between two co-workers. The setting: An express bus heading downtown on a workday.
Kelly walks onto the bus and sits down. She looks over and sees that her co-worker Ryan, a frequent bus buddy, is sitting across the aisle. “Hey Ryan, how are you?” she says. “I’m doing pretty well, how about you?” Ryan responded. “Oh I’m doing well, still a bit sleepy though.” Kelly replied. She then looked behind Ryan and saw that another co-worker, Collin, was sitting directly behind him. Unfortunately, it had been about 2 months since Kelly and Collin were first introduced, and she couldn’t remember his name, only that it started with a ‘C.’ Collin, who wasn’t even looking at his phone or anything, just sitting there, makes eye contact with Kelly. “Good morning! How are you?” she asked, very normally. “…………………………………………….fine.” Collin finally said back after giving a really long and drawn out awkward silence like he was trying to figure out who this girl was even though they see each other multiple times EVERY SINGLE DAY. “Good, and I’m so sorry, what was your name again?” Kelly asked genuinely, because she felt bad that she forgot. (Quick note- I realize that it was probably a huge social faux-pas that I asked his name again after so long and I probably made the situation way worse, but whatever. It happened.) “…………………………………………..Collin.” he finally answered while looking super annoyed that someone would dare to bother him on the bus when he had much better things to do. (Again, he was sitting alone on the bus with no phone/book/newspaper/magazine/ancient scroll/telegram/imaginary friend to get back to. Ok maybe he had an imaginary friend there, there is really no way for me to know that. I could have asked, but I knew better.) And then Collin made a super rude face to show how annoyed he was by this conversation and turned to stare out the window. Rude. Kelly then put in her earbuds, took out her book, and continued with her morning commute.
Act 2: The scene: 20 minutes later; another incredibly uncomfortable non-conversation between two co-workers. The setting: An elevator going to the 12th floor.
Because Kelly and Collin work on the same floor, they went from the bus (separately and without acknowledgement) to the same elevator bank and got on the same elevator. Kelly is pretty sure that Collin was trying to avoid this shared elevator situation because he basically ran toward the building as soon as he got off the bus. His plan was foiled, however, because there are revolving doors that slowed him down, and so his speed didn’t make a difference in the end anyway. The elevator doors close and no eye contact is made. Kelly, even though she knew this would probably make things worse, decided to say “Hey Collin, sorry I had to ask for your name again, it had just been a while.” “…………………………………………………………………….” Collin DIDN’T say back. That’s right, Collin didn’t even say anything. And he wasn’t listening to music or anything, so he couldn’t blame his earbuds and pretend like he didn’t hear her. He slowly looked over after she finished speaking, gave an annoyed glance, and then returned to staring at the elevator doors for the remainder of the ride (so about 6 seconds.) The elevator doors opened, and even though they were supposed to walk the same way because they work in the same corner of the office, Kelly decided to go in the other set of doors and take the long way to her desk.
That is just so bizarre, right?!? I understand that not everyone wants to have a full conversation first thing in the morning on the public transit, but you don’t have to be rude, sir. Since this happened a few weeks ago, I have not tried to make any sort of contact with “Collin” while at work. Even though his department sits right next to mine. And we can physically see each other from our desks without even having to turn our heads. And I say hi and talk to all the other people in his department. And I still eat lunch with them sometimes. He has also chosen to not make contact, even when we are sitting at the same lunch table. It is just so… weird. I was invited to go out with some coworkers this weekend and here’s hoping that he isn’t one of them!