Sometimes being a normal, functioning human person at work can be, well, hard. You have to show up and talk to other humans and answer e-mails and do whatever it is you have to do to get that paycheck. You have to walk up to the water cooler and make small talk with Julie from Accounting and make sure you don’t drip water everywhere like last time. You have to go to meetings. You have to answer multiple phone calls at the same time. You have to go to the bathroom. And no matter how much your co-workers love you (and I’m sure they do!) and how positive of an environment in which you work (I’m sure it is!), things can get awkward.
And that’s totally OK. Because ALL of us have experienced a couple of these super awkward situations in the work place, particularly offices. Such as:
Wanting to talk to your boss and they’re on the phone but YOU CAN’T TELL
You just wanna pop in and ask about that one sales pitch, or that day you need off, and they’re staring at their computer and sounds are coming from that computer, but you’re not sure what is going on, exactly. Are they on Skype? Are they watching a YouTube video? What. Is. Happening.
When you’re the only person in the office who doesn’t know it’s someone’s birthday
Great. Now you look like a jerk.
Not plugging in your headphones into your laptop, accidentally blasting your Spotify work mix to the entire office
So THAT’S why the music seemed so quiet. GOT IT.
OK, maybe just wearing headphones in general
All those times when your co-worker is trying to get your attention but you have your earphones in. Or you start talking to someone and they don’t respond even though you’re very clearly talking to them and you realize they’re not being cruel and ignoring you, they’re just jamming out to music.
Eating during a meeting
Maybe you can pull off talking with your mouth full? Maybe your manager didn’t see that glob of mayo that just fell into your lap and all over the desk? Suddenly, you forget HOW to eat because it feels like everyone is watching you inhale your lunch and it all becomes too much.
E-mailing a coworker and then bringing up the same e-mail when you see them in person
“Heeeeeey, did you get that e-mail I sent you?” is something you never really want to say or hear.
Going to the bathroom at the same time as your co-worker and being hyper-casual about it because, hey, we all pee
But still feeling a little strange that they can hear you pee and you can hear them pee and you wonder if they also heard that tiny fart because your body decided now is the right time to betray you. You legitimately wonder if anything ever be the same after this (it will).
For some jobs, your performance is evaluated at the end of the fiscal year, or your work anniversary, or however it is that your company decides. And it’s terrifying and super weird to talk about yourself with your superior, and no one really wants to do it.
Weird, or very personal deliveries
Yep, that Victoria’s Secret package is totally mine. (I mean, how else would it get delivered? I’m never at home.)
When it’s actually appropriate to hug your co-workers and boss
Unless you’re super tight with your co-workers, it’s sometimes hard to gauge when to hug the people you work with. Does a birthday or promotion warrant that? A bad day? Communicating with other humans can be so weird sometimes.
Being the first one to get hungry for lunch
And your stomach is making really, really loud gurgling noises and it’s like it’s on speakerphone.
Following up e-mails you don’t want to follow up on
Just no thanks.
Whether you have feelings for a person and they don’t know that, or whether you two have already gone on a few dates, the tension at work is REAL. You’re not sure whether it’s OK to talk to this person during the day, in front of other employees (will everyone read your brains and just know?), or if dating them is even a good idea because if you break up then it gets painful AND awkward, or if your co-workers will resent you.
Dealing with multiple lines and learning how to use “mute”
Talking on the phone is hard ENOUGH. Now, throw a few more lines in the mix and juggling multiple conversations and telling people to “hold.” And using the mute button so you can converse with your co-workers about something so that the person on the phone doesn’t hear and wondering if you REALLY pressed “mute” and whether that person has heard everything you’ve just said.
Can we just go back to bed already?
(Image via NBC.)