The Hallway

June 24, 2010

Before I start this post, I’d like to point out how much I like my job. I like what I do, who I work with, and my schedule.

But I do have one problem.

The hallway.

I swear, my office building has one of the longest hallways in the world.

It spans the entire length of my floor, with no twists, turns, or places to hide if you see someone coming that you don’t want to talk to.

And I always, always, see someone at the complete opposite end walking towards me. To make matters worse, I usually know them.

So here’s the dilemma…when is the right time to say hi? And what do you do with yourself until that time is upon you?

I, personally, stare awkwardly down at my shoes as if I’ve just discovered I’m a biped and my feet are the most fascinating things in the world, until my co-worker is only a few feet away. I then “just happen” to look up and feign a startled look, as if to say “Oh, geez! You scared me! I totally didn’t see you walking straight towards me for the last 5 minutes. Hi!”

Or, if I’m lucky enough to be carrying something, my backup tactic is to become engrossed with whatever is in my hands. Bowl of oatmeal? Intriguing. Piece of paper from the printer? I must read you NOW. Glass of water? I’m parched!

As this issue has persisted, I’ve started to notice other tactics as well. The following is a list of what other people do, and nicknames to aptly describe their behavior.

The Sprinter: Apparently, one co-worker wants to make the trek down the hallway as fast a possible and has taken to literally sprinting the entire length, usually yelling out a breathy “Hi!” to whomever he passes.

The Screamer: Another just finds it easiest to scream “HELLO!” as soon as he sees someone, no matter how far away.

The Snoots: These people ignore anyone and everyone they pass. They do not look at you. They do not say hi. And they do not discriminate. All are invisible to them.

The Gopher: I’ve seen a few people do this. They’ll poke their head out of their door, and, upon seeing the coast is clear, jet out of their cube and down the hall as fast as they can before anyone comes into view.

The Reversers: These people just decide that the approach is too much for them, and simply turn around and go back to where they came from.

The Nocturnals:
This breed amazes me the most. They just don’t leave their cubes all day, and only come out when it’s time to go home. I mean, really, don’t they eat?

I’m not quite sure yet which tactic is best. So, to all of you who also work in an office with a Really Long Hallway- what do you do in this situation? I’m hoping if I get enough responses, it can be turned into a manual titled “Unforeseen Awkward Work Place Situations and How to Handle to Them.”

God, how I wish they had one of those when I started working.

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2 Responses to “The Hallway”


  1. […] have been trending more towards humorous things that happen to me on any given day – i.e. awkward work encounters and painful physical […]


  2. […] 22, 2011 Much like walking down a long hallway, holding a door for someone can be an uncomfortable […]


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