noun: introvert; plural noun: introverts
a shy, reticent person.
- PSYCHOLOGY a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.
I am the definition of a fun, loving good timer, however the minute I enter the office abode I adapt my new persona. It’s unavoidable. I mean I have tried to fight against it, but its no use. I can feel my personality shrinking by ten, every minute that goes past until the clock officially strikes 9am and it has all but gone. In its replacement is someone I don’t recognize. My voice is at once 5 octaves higher and suddenly I am struggling to maintain strong eye contact with all but one of my colleagues. Like any infrastructure it really is survival of the fittest and any whiff of weakness is enough for the pack to know that the weakest is in fact you.
And I am the obvious weak link. The newest member there, who still hasn’t grasped the ins and outs of our clients and the designated tea maker and glorified office scanner (otherwise known as ‘office bitch’). I mean the odds were stacked against me before I even arrived and it didn’t help that in the second week I was there I suffered from severe flatulence. Doomed.
Does it help that we are a same sex office? Is this why it feels like such a betrayal? I often have thoughts such as ‘if only they knew what an absolute joy I am to be around’ and become engrossed in a day dream of a happier life in which they would be not only be colleagues but real friends. Oh god this is getting rather tragic.
I reason with myself that this is not possible. They have to be this way with you. After all, there is a pecking order and they cannot be too friendly with you as otherwise who can they order off to scan, print and send on coffee runs. It is frustrating being an introvert at work as suddenly social occasions such as work drinks or office lunches become a real chore. You for that matter, dread them and for the first time ever in your life you realize that it is you who is being avoided to be sat opposite at the table. Seriously, HOW did this happen? And because I am so apparently aware of my new loser status I then inadvertently start offering loser-esque contributions to the table. I begin tales such as ‘this one time I ate a gherkin’ or ‘I bought a really good stapler the other day’ and on realizing the tragedy of my story then begin to launch into huge detail about said gherkin or stapler. Like a pig up for slaughter I am met by deadpan silences or sympathetic smiles. Could I be anywhere BUT HERE!
So whilst I appreciate that I am not the coolest kid at work I have begun to embrace this new Jacklyn Hyde status I’ve got going on. Yes, I have one persona for work and one for outside; I just hope that my work persona can only improve. Here’s to hoping…