The Truth About Hallways

“Guess what? I have flaws. What are they? Oh I donno, I sing in the shower? Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I’ll hit somebody with my car. So sue me– no, don’t sue me. That is opposite the point I’m trying to make.” ~ Michael Scott, The Office

One of my very few flaws involves long hallways.  Corridors, if you will.  I round a corner, only to look up from the carpet squares and see another person walking towards me.  The problem?  They are still far, far away, like a small ant, only bigger and with less legs.

There is no background music playing.  There are white walls and few doorways to glance in.  It is just me and the small ant-like-human approaching.  You can’t say “hi” because you are too far away.  You would have to shout, only making the next 7 seconds of silence that much more awkward.  You cannot make eye contact for the entirety of the long walk.  If he’s male, you just look desperate.  If she’s female, you look like you’re going to jump her.  Neither is advisable.

So you both keep walking, showing interest in the white walls, glancing up at the ceiling tiles, and excitedly anticipate the ONE doorway coming up that you can look into as if you have someone important to be looking for.  Whether you see a person in that doorway or not, it’s a good idea just to give a smile and nod, so that when you turn back to the situation at hand, you have a pleasant look on your face.

Then comes the Moment of Truth:  the “pass.”  Do you smile?  Say “hello?”  Keep your eyes straight ahead?  Or at the last minute do you raise your hand to your mouth for a fake cough?  This is where I struggle.  It seems that after the dreaded corridor walk of silence, my vocal chords become disgruntled and my “hi” comes out either as a quiet squeak or a low-manly bark.  It’s very unnerving.

So what are my options in conquering this Fatal Flaw in my life?  Quitting my job so that I can find a company with shorter hallways is one option.  I’ve considered wearing a paper bag on my head as I walk, only to rip it off and shout “BOO!!!” at the moment of passing.  Perhaps holding my hand up for a high-five as we pass, or even giving the old “wink and butt-slap” would add some variety to my hallway greetings.

I have yet to discover the answer to lengthy corridors and mile-long-hallways, but I believe that someday, somehow, I will conquer this flaw.  And when that day comes, you’ll be the first to know my secret.

*P.S.  My comment moderator is disabled, so you should be able to comment again.  I’m testing out a new moderation-thing for spam – I’ll keep ya “posted!”

9 comments On The Truth About Hallways

  • HA! I’m totally the SAME way! The third floor at Bethel is one gigantic hallway (the floor my office is on) … I completely understand.

  • That’s funny because you are so right about the awkward hallway silence. It’s just weird. Next you should talk about elevator silence. Spooky!

  • It must have been a long time since I was in a long hallway because I can’t picture this problem……more than likely I turn the corner, make a meek, but friendly smile and then dig for something in my purse, papers in hand, or brush something off my sleeve if necessary. Then, in the moment of passing, I nervously wonder if they want a real hello or if my meek smile was confrontational/friendly enough.

    Are there windows in said hallway?

  • I always go for the butt slap

    if nothing else it gives me something to laugh about!

  • it worked it worked!!!! woo hoo!

    but, why does my profile pic look like a scary purple lice?

  • I have this same struggle in the hallways! And, a belated congrats on the graduation!

  • my suggestion is to always have a pair of hilbilly teeth on hand so that when this happens you can give the moment a little extra flair…

    Christy, I have found this works great in elevators too!

  • OK, here’s what I’ve always done…it might take a little bit of explaining.

    There’s actually a psychological principle that you can use for a good laugh… You know how when you’re walking directly towards someone and you both do that little dance to decide which one is going to move so that you don’t run into each other? Well….it happens to work, that if you avert your eyes and glance away from the person, or act like you don’t see them, or look down at the folder in your hand even for a moment, they will automatically and subconsciously maneuver themselves out of the way so that you can keep going straight.

    What I used to love to do to my coworkers in those long hallways (no long hallways where I work anymore…hey there’s all of 2 employees) was I would walk towards them while purposely looking away. As I saw them shift to the other side of the hallway, I would also, still looking away, shift to that same side. Most people will actually then shift to the other side and I would do the same, and this could go on for 3-4 times before they realize I’m planning on walking right into them. It sounds ridiculous but it’s actually a fun little experiment. And you, Jenny, are just the perfect person to do this sort of thing!! If you try this, and then you and I one day find ourselves walking down the hallway towards each other, one of us will eventually have to give in….and it ain’t gonna be me… 🙂

  • We used to call that “chicken”

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