I, The Admiral of Awkward.

When it comes to awkward situations, I excel at them. I am the self-appointed Admiral of Awkward. The Archduke, the Acme, the Apex. Being an introvert means, I’m innately unskilled at small talk, even if the talk is as small as saying “hi” to someone I know or have seen before.

Let me set the situation: I work in a large building. This building was constructed long before I was born, and it shows. There are lots of long, narrow corridors, no windows, and a seemingly countless number of blind corners. It’s not at all like modern office environs, where there are either no hallways or corners, or the walls are glass so you can see and be seen. Nope, not here.

Walking down the long, long hallways isn’t too bad, unless there are one or more people walking towards me. Then comes the “who’s gonna say ‘hi’ first, and if so, where and when” game of chicken. Whether I know them or not, it’s always awkward. Worse still, when I approach one of these blind corners, I’m rolling the dice that there isn’t someone coming from the opposite direction, and we’re destined to meet right there at the corner. And then we both try to step aside, and we end up stepping to the same aside, and the blind corner do-si-do begins. “Excuse me’s” are exchanged, and we both hope we’ve met our quota of awkwardness for the week. Too bad it’s only Monday. 10 a.m., Monday, even.

Then there’s the many instances of the stairway doors flinging open, and since the door is as wide as the stairway landing, it’s possible to execute a clean sweep, or to smush someone Flintstones-style against the wall. Thankfully, neither has happened yet, but the close calls have been too numerous to count. This old building also has a multitude of fire doors, some of which are even located at blind corners. Double the awkward means double the fun! Kudos to the architects!

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