The office I work in has three different organizations/businesses functioning completely separate of each other within it. Yet, we share the same space. The same copier, the same walk ways, the same lunch room.
One of the businesses has something to do with computer programming. As such, the scale is tipped in favor of the male gender. As I walk to the break room (which I do quite often) they sit, slouched in their chairs, eyes glued to the screen. There is usually an open bag of chips accompanied by a soda can to the left of the monitor.
I work really hard to keep my head up when I walk and say hello to those I make eye contact with. Yet, these men always divert their eyes. I assume my feminine nature must make them all kinds of nervous. Which, in turn, makes me nervous. Have I done something wrong? Is there a reason you cannot return my hello? Isn’t the office supposed to be a somewhat social place?
I know they can talk. I hear them. Especially on days like today, when their boss’s office remains vacant. Once, I even made a joke as I passed by a few of them–at which they laughed–but it obviously didn’t break the ice.
Not that I want anything more than a hello. I mean, we don’t even have to be friends. But their social awkwardness makes me increasingly awkward.