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The time came four months ago for JR to get off the unemployment line and return as a fully grown, half-functioning member to society. My new job is at a large tech company with an office in downtown San Francisco. I have a view of the Bay Bridge from my window, I sit on one of those inflatable discs to alleviate my low back pain and once a week I get a free lunch. It’s nice.
However, I made the egregious error of forgetting to introduce myself to somebody my first week in the office. I made sure to get a few minutes of face time with everybody in his row, but somehow I must have missed him. I think he was on PTO that week or something, but needless to say I find myself in somewhat of a predicament. Because now the window has closed. Now we’re stuck in this awkward limbo that when we walk past each other, whether it’s to the kitchen, men’s room or conference rooms, we stare right through each other like we’re ghosts.
I’m terrified to even give him the obligatory male “head nod” as my fear of being outed paralyzes me. What if I give him the head nod and he screams “Hey don’t nod your head at me, you don’t KNOW me!” and marches straight to HR with a harassment complaint? I can’t lose this job; I have a wedding coming up. My boss sits directly next to him too, so I’ve stood within six inches of this guy on multiple occasions and I still have to pretend he’s as real to me as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
The worst part is that we know each other’s names. The company has a large international presence, so to help out of town visitors the office assistant hung name tags over our desks. So not only have I never said a word to this guy, I had to Google his name to find out what I could about him. He seems like a decent person judging by his Facebook profile. Got a wife and kid and lives out in the suburbs.
I think the best course of action would be to stage an accidental “run-in” outside of work. Doesn’t “Hey, don’t we work together?” in say, a grocery store sound less awkward than introducing myself to someone I’ve shared an office space with in that office space? Truthfully, I’m not afraid of his reaction – I’m afraid of the second hand embarrassment my coworkers will feel on my behalf.
There is one problem. I’m not sure what his schedule is. That’s why I’m following him home right now in the hopes that he stops somewhere I can casually make a guest appearance. I really just want to put all this awkwardness behind us in hopes of kicking off a successful office friendship. I hope he doesn’t have any issues recognizing me in the dark – it is getting colder this time of year in the Bay, and I have on a heavier jacket.
He doesn’t seem to be making any stop offs before home. I’ll just wait outside his house for when he takes out his trash later. This is one of those things we’ll both laugh about in a few weeks at the next office happy hour. Oh good, he takes the cans to the curb right when he gets home. This shouldn’t take too long. I’ll just walk up behind him and tap him casually on the shoulder…man it’s icy out…
Oh my God…
Guys it happened again..
This week on Don’t Take It From Us, Jenna Crowley and I get deep in the DTIFU Confessional. We discuss inviting kids to your holiday party or wedding and go IN on a woman who makes money improving dating profiles – something we do every Wednesday for free! Make sure you follow our Spotify playlist here and leave us a 5-Star Review on iTunes! The funniest 5-Star reviews get read on the pod and the winner gets to be a guest on a future episode!
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