It’s a lot of work trying to make people not realize they are slightly inconveniencing me.
And even though they likely do not care if they are or not, I continue on making different plans in my head just so that no one will think I am going out of my way for them.
Take the other day, for example. I was at work and happened to be looking out the window. In case any of my bosses are reading this, it was the only time all day I looked up from my work glanced outside. I was probably trying to find more work to do!
Anyway, I saw a woman walking toward the door with her hands full. I sit near the door and knew that if I didn’t open the door I would feel a little guilty, so I walked out of my office and down the hall quickly to open the door just before the woman went to open it.
“Well that was lucky timing,” she said, as I opened the door and stepped out.
“Oh yeah, it looks like it was,” I said as I pretended I was going outside and not opening the door for her. So she walked inside, and I kept going outside with no idea what to do next.
In my mind, I didn’t want her to know that I had opened the door for her, so I just walked out on the sidewalk and looked up at the trees.
“No, that’s no good,” I thought to myself. “That will look silly. I should instead pretend like I’m waiting for someone. That makes more sense.”
So, I looked to the right and the left, glanced down at the pretend watch on my wrist as if I was checking the time, and just stood there for a few minutes pretending that I was a responsible person waiting for someone. I even checked my phone while acting like I was looking for a message from the non-existent person I was pretending to wait for.
After a few minutes of looking back and forth, I walked back inside to my office quickly hoping that the person would not see me. I needed to get back to work, after all, so that I could continue pretending to be a responsible person for my job.
On another day, I went to lunch at the food court at work and decided to try the hot food bar. I had been studying the hot food bar for a few weeks, but usually just order the exact same thing at lunch. On this day, the food looked delicious so I decided I would finally try it.
When I went to wait in line, though, the woman in front of me spilled a whole bunch of sauce all over her tray and part of the food bar. It wasn’t her fault, it just happens. I saw it right after the spill, so I got some napkins to help her clean it up and tried to get the attention of someone working there. As she was cleaning everything up, I waited for a few minutes, but then realized I didn’t want her to know I was waiting for her.
So I went to another area and pretended to look at the food as if I was interested in buying it. While I pretended to check prices and nutrition contents on food items I would never buy, though, two other people got in line behind the original woman. So now the line was long and I decided that I couldn’t get back in it, so I gave up and went back to what I usually buy for lunch.
I’ve found that I do the same thing in the grocery store. If someone is taking a long time in front of an area where I want to buy something, I pretend to look at something else so they won’t know I am waiting for them. I will pick up items that I have no idea how you eat them or even if you eat them, just so I can pretend to be a responsible shopper, and not someone who is waiting to buy Oreos.
It’s hard work making sure people don’t know I am being inconvenienced, but I will keep doing it as much as I can. It may not matter to the other people, but it is fun to pretend to be a responsible person.