There are quite a few people from my workplace that catch my train. I’m not overly close with them. I’ll speak to them about trivial things such as work, the weather, the weekend, upcoming events but nothing that deep. And not that often.
So it’s awkward when it happens that we leave the office at the same time, knowing that we’re going to the same place, catching the same train but each knowing that you don’t want to spend the entire ride together. What do you do?
I’ll admit that there are times when i’ve left the building and purposely gone a different way to not have to spend the entire journey with them. I’ve also pretended that i need to catch an earlier/later/different train so i can walk faster/slower/go a different way than they are.
I’ve thought about why i do this and and why i feel so guilty afterwards. The feeling isn’t new. I hate having to talk to people that i don’t really know about things i don’t really care about. But i think the main reason is that my train ride to and from work is the time where i can zone out and ignore everything and everyone around me. I like to read my book with my iPod in. I like to close my eyes and just think. I like to do the sudoku puzzle in the MX.
However the zoning out has backfired. There have also been times when I’ve accidentally sat next to someone that i’ve known and boy is that awkward. Noramlly it’s fine as i have sunnies on and reading a book but it’s still awkward when they notice you and don’t ignore you like most do.
I would always say hello but is it required to make small talk? And what happens when the small talk runs out? Is it rude to say a quick “hello, how are you?” and then turn back to your book?
Train etiquette has always been a hard one and i find situations where you are with acquaintances hard to handle in trying to decipher what is ok and what is not. I personally wouldn’t care if someone i knew sat next to me, said “hello” and did whatever they were planning to do before they saw me. But i know for some it’s offensive to them.
Now i’m going to have to work on deciphering body language and visual cues to avoid the awkwardness. Or maybe just exclaim “well this is awkward but i don’t want to talk to you so i’m going to pretend i don’t know you!”
yup. totally think that’s the best plan of action!