For the most part and against my instincts, I do my best to keep a low profile at work, but recently I’ve come across a coworker that has seemed to latch onto me and it’s starting to stress me out. When I first started this new transfer, I was probably too open and kind or something, and now I just want to be left alone. Every day this person walks in my cube to ask how I am doing, is everything ok, etc…and I say fine and go back to work. She kinda stands there like I am rejecting conversation or something and it’s not personal I just want to be left alone.
Then last week I was waiting for the elevator to go home and heard her coming down the hallway. I persistently pressed the button multiple times but wasn’t sure how long it would take for the elevator to arrive so quickly figured out a plan. In a panic, I took out my phone and pretended to be on a call with someone. When she got to the elevators the doors opened and I made sure to wait to see what floor she selected so I can make sure I picked another level. As I continued to have a make believe phone conversation she stood there smiling at me, and listening to my fake conversation and I could feel my anxiety rise. Then when I got to my fake floor exit she followed after me which really drove me nuts. She had pressed a different floor when she initially entered the elevator so I was peeved and confused. I continued to make fake conversation which wasn’t easy cause I didn’t want to talk about anything personal and it’s hard to make up stuff and be believable when there is no one on the other end of the line. I got on a new elevator to get to the garage and she stepped on with me. Then, to make matters worse, I found myself apologizing for being on a call and said, “Sorry it’s a family matter.” She just smiled like oh no worries that’s ok when really it was intrusive to follow me and watch me continually while I was on a fake call.
Why did I find the need to make up some story? I shouldn’t have to pretend to be on a call to avoid a conversation and I most definitely shouldn’t have to make an excuse for it or apologize but the whole thing was so uncomfortable I didn’t know what else to do. When I finally got to the garage I waved good bye and raced to my Vespa. When I drove off I thought about my behavior and got really mad at myself. I felt guilty for faking a call, and for avoiding her cause she obviously likes me for whatever reason but for someone that struggle with boundaries, this is just another thorn in my back and challenge that led to a personal disappointment.
I felt angry that I couldn’t just take a darn elevator and stand in silence but instead felt the need to fake a phone call. I was more mad at myself if anything yet decided so what:
I’d rather fake a phone call then fake a conversation.