Wednesday, May 04, 2005

fire alarms

We just had a fire alarm at work - not so exciting (we had helicopters last time), but nice to get out in the cool and wake up a bit. That said, there's one aspect of fire drills I really hate, which is the hanging around (in my case, in the space specified for surnames beginning with letters S - Z) waiting to be identified, and waiting for the ringing to stop. Does anyone else feel suddenly very lonely at this point?

It's another thing analogous to the office party or the station platform on the way home - I stand and shift my weight from one foot to another, and scan the crowd for people to go and talk to. But all my friends are in A-E! Everyone else quickly finds a colleague or a stranger that they can comfortably talk to, and I stand just a bit aside, trying to look a bit distracted and thoughtful because I feel embarrassed that there isn't an easy conversational routine I can fall into to look more at ease. I end up standing on the periphery of two people I know vaguely who allow me to join their discussion. I feel better.

But how is it that everyone else seems to know each other? Obviously I know lots of people at work but suddenly I can't see any of them. My fault, I suppose, for preferring people with an A-E surname. As I walk back upstairs I remember my friend, who has an S surname too? Where was he!?? Off at the back laughing with someone else, I suppose. Pah.

When we have office parties here at work, which we unavoidably do every few months, myself and a fellow colleague have identified each other as social shirkers. When festivities begin we seek each other out, and grimace, and feel better.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Yeah, I feel a bit like this sometimes too. Any work-sponsored work event is very unpleasent in my book. If you try to take part you feel really awkward and if you don't try then you look aloof.

It's a no-win situation.