Hi. Hello. What’s Up? Hey. Looking good! Howdy. G’day. Hola! Good Morning. [Finger pistols] Good Afternoon …
For the record, I am a nice person, at least I think so. I have been in my new office for a month now and things are slowly coming together. There were certain growing pains that I expected to occur as I transitioned from an 11-person office to an 80-person office. Things like figuring out how to find files on the server (work in progress), do I need to get permission to talk about whatever I want on this site (so far the answer is “I haven’t asked”), and how do I turn on the air-conditioning after 6:00 pm when I want to work late. I expected these sorts of things to pop up and I am prepared to deal with solving them. It’s the little things that I couldn’t predict that are causing me consternation – maybe someone out there can give me some advice …
How many times do I have to say hello to the same person in a single day?
Saying hello is a friendly thing to do and for what it’s worth, I say hello, or some variation of hello, to just about everyone almost every time I see them … but it’s starting to feel weird. Nobody wants someone else to say hello to them 5 times and if I’m being honest, I don’t want to say hello 5 times either. But what do you do other than to relegate yourself to head nods, finger pistols, or diverting your eyes from one another acknowledging a person’s existence?
Where I sit, at least in this very specific regard, isn’t helping matters as I have to traverse the main hallway (what I am now referring to as “Murderer’s Row”) every time I have to get from point A to point B. I know that one way that I could limit the number of people I bump into is to limit the numbers of trips I currently make through this hallway. For starter’s, I still walk over to people’s desk when I want to talk to them rather than buzz them on the phone. I favor conversation made face-to-face over using the phone (and even worse, I received my first email from someone who was sitting about 15 feet away) and since I am still building relationships with the people I work with, I want to talk to them in person.
I could also lower my opportunities for random interactions by avoiding certain “Hot Zones” as much as possible. For one, I would probably benefit from making fewer trips to the break room, I know my waist will certainly reap those rewards, but how to avoid all the treats that end up there is a daunting idea at the moment.
So. Much. Cake!!
The other “Hot Zone” is pretty much unavoidable. This is the area right outside the elevator bank, it’s on the way to the conference rooms, and more importantly, you have to pass through this zone to use the restroom. While I thought I had a strict “no talking while at the urinal” policy, I suppose I am still new enough that other people will initiate conversations with me while in this area – but this will stop soon enough because people will eventually stop inquiring as to how I am settling in.
The images above are looking down the main hallway – the image on the left being relatively early in the morning before everyone arrived and the image on the right being towards the end of a day and a better example of typical conditions. There’s almost always someone going to or fro along this corridor and as of this writing, I still say hello to pretty much everyone who doesn’t divert their eyes.
But how much longer can I hold out?!?