Working in Corporate America is weird - Especially when you're an Old Stuffed Bull, like me. Thank God that I only moonlight here and spend the majority of my time trying to sell myself at the Garage Sale, hanging out in beautiful verdant grassy fields, chasing butterflies and crickets and trying to mount happy Californian Cows.
But I digress... So, I occasionally work in this great big office. During the regular work day your average employee is going to get up from their desk for any number of reasons: to use the restroom, to get food from the cafeteria (affectionately nicknamed the Crap-a-teria at my particular place of employment), go to the printer, walk to someone else’s desk, to escape from work before it drives them batty or any number of other reasons. During my jaunts around the office building (I generally take a walk at least every 30 minutes to avoid having to put a hoof through my monitor), I often have a hard time figuring the perfect timing for acknowledging people as we pass each other in these hallowed corporate halls. This has really become an issue for me, so I’m hoping that some of you wonderful GSBN readers can help a bull out.
So lets run through a couple of scenarios, one of them easy, one more challenging:
Scenario 1: Easy:
This is an easy scenario, but I figured it’d be a good warm up for the more challenging one that I intend to bring up later in this post, and in later posts. Check out Figure 1. You round a corner and there’s a person coming in the opposite direction and you just have enough time to say “Hi” as you pass (indicated by the yellow star), no need for any extra shenanigans. Basic, right? Other times, however, it’s not so easy.
Scenario 2: More Challenging
Now let’s say that you and your acknowledgee are at opposite ends of a long hallway walking towards each other. When do you time your “Hi” so that the interaction seems normal?
If you wave to indicate hello when you are at opposite ends of the hallway then the entire rest of the time you’re walking towards each other you really don’t know what to do. Furthermore, you probably just locked eyes with the acknowledgee, so now you’re in a weird corporate kamikaze staring contest dogfight!! What do you do? Do you look away? Sure, I guess you could try to look away, but let us not forget our environment. You’re in a cube hallway!! There is absolutely NOTHING ELSE TO LOOK AT!
If you stare them down the entire length of the hallway, then you’re probably going to make them uncomfortable – be prepared for office rumors about you having a staring problem, or even worse, that you’re some kind of creepy office perv!!
If you brake the stare and find something too look at – for example your watch, the ceiling tiles or a clock on the wall (if you should be so lucky) – then you’re going to look like you’re trying to avoid them and that will make them uncomfortable – be prepared to have your email mysteriously dropped from the happy hour email list, and for rumors about you being unsocial.
If you break the stare and instead focus on your original destination, which lies somewhere behind the acknowledgee, then they think you snubbed them and you can expect a little something extra in your coffee cup as soon as you stop paying attention.
So I ask you, dear reader, what am I supposed to do?
My most recent solution is to immediately turn around and moonwalk in the direction of travel. In general, people think that I’m still pretty weird, but honestly, who can resist a sweet MJ move from back when it was still ok to be an MJ fan. Plus you have your back to them as you walk to them so you can just say hi as you pass, never having to look at them at all. But you can only realistically moonwalk for a very short amount of time, and it may not be enough to get to where you’re going. Also you can only really do this once or twice before people in the office try to sit you down for a MJ intervention.
Recently, I have, via undisclosed methods, come in possession of some ninja smoke bombs if I release a bomb at the right time, I will have plenty of time to make my getaway before the unsuspecting acknowledgee even knows what the hell is going on. Unfortunately management tends to frown on smoke bomb deployment on company premises – something about it being a safety hazard…blah blah blah… performing ninjutsu is against the standards of business conduct… blah blah blah.
I really need some help here people, I’m running out of smoke bombs and my moonwalking in rubber soled shoes is damn near impossible (not to mention that I’ve already exceeded the number of moonwalks a Bull can do… Oh crap I just got a meeting invite from my manager to talk about my “moonwalking problem”...