So there I was.
Walking down the office corridor to the restroom.
When suddenly, a co-worker rounds the corner and is unexpectedly 1 foot in front of me with inertia powering him forward.
Do I go right?
Duck under his legs?
Inevitably, we start a round of "the office shuffle."
This is probably the 4th or 5th time I have done this in the past 3 days. And that doesn't even include the awkward situations where you are opening a door to go in when someone else is going out and you have the equally awkward "excuse me." Now, this can be said in a few different ways. If I'm really caught off guard it's like an exclamated question: "oh! excuse me?!"
Is this my fault or yours? Do I need to say excuse me? Why am I blushing?
Then there is the singy voice "Excuuuuuse me."
Usually I find that the other person repeats this in the same voice, "No. Excuuuse Meeeeee." I like that one.
Then there are the downward head walkers. Marching on a mission very quickly to some unknown destination. They usually round the corner and almost ram you in the chest. In this case, I find myself almost yelling "Excuse me!" In a stern voice but ina tone that says 'this is my fault.'
Even though your head almost rammed my boob. I mean, that's precious cargo. But whatever, I guess you have important places to be.
Excuse me's are fine and dandy, but when you have a little more time to dawdle, the office shuffle is where it's at. Sometimes I think I make people really uncomfortable. I am one of those annoying people who chats up the person behind me in the grocery line, butts into random conversations to answer questions about directions, where to eat, movie synopses etc., and makes corny jokes to strangers. So of course, when I have the opportunity to do the office shuffle, I want to take full advantage.
Sometimes you can see it coming. This is the really fun one because you can plot your footwork but still make it look like an accident. Sometimes, once I have my prey trapped in an uncomfortable left, right left, I like to throw in a couple of "up, up, oh, haha, man sorry bout that"s then I walk away snickering.
It's even better when the other person has no choice but to create a buffer in between the two of you to avoid chest bumping, so they reach out and touch your arm or shoulder to guide you a particular direction as they go the other. You can feel the nervous tension, like they are thinking, "Shit. Is it awkward that I'm touching her arm? Is this sexual harassment? Wait, that is an arm and not her breast, right? I'm so uncomfortable. Is it over yet? Oh thank God, she's walking and I made it to the coffee make. Whew. Close call."
Then the person turns around from the coffee maker and BAM! I'm on my way back from the printer. Should I go for round two or let the poor sap go? Obviously the latter. Hook, line, and sinker. Joe Employee returns to his desk, red-faced, wondering if I feel as violated as him.
No, Joe, I don't. Because I enjoy the most awkward occasions with the shamelessness of a small child. So I'm going to go celebrate my shuffle victory at my desk with a pack of dunkaroos. The kind with the vanilla frosting and sprinkles, of course. Everything is better with frosting and multi-colored sprinkles: strawberry pop-tarts, funfetti cupcakes, circus animal cookies. Am I right or am I right?
Maybe if I covered myself in vanilla frosting and sprinkles, people would have more incentive to play the office two step with me.
This is so lame. I'm fully aware. But it's just a lot of fun.
The fun folk do occasionally play along. At this point, I really wish that some sort of music would come on and we could have our very own version of Glee in the office. There are really a lot of options.
We could do country: I'm thinking maybe "Cotton Eye Joe" with some left, right action then doing the dosey-doe a few times before breaking off and walking our separate ways.
Or maybe some "Ice Cream Paint Job" and bust a little C walk out in front of the coffee maker.
Of course my first choice would be Whitney's "I wanna Dance with Somebody" and would be a full blown musical with co-workers popping over their cubicles and creating a mass pop-tacular dance party in which my office shuffle partner and I are lifted up on a platform while a halo of light shines down on us.
I know this is asking too much. My office doesn't even have a floor-wide broadcast option for the music, and I doubt anyone is as enthusiastic as I am about awkwardly bumping into other people, but this sounds like fun right?
Guess that's why it's fun for me and not the other person.
I shouldn't admit that I do these things. In the event that co-workers get word of this post, they will probably begin to carry scissors or hot coffee with them at all times.
The tango really isn't as fun if I could get stabbed or badly burned.
Not saying I wouldn't still do it, but I'm not particularly fond of physical pain.
It's why I don't do sit ups.
I'm going to find my friend, Melissa.
I bet she is really good at the shuffle.
Most Asians are.
And she's a good sport.
She'll play with me.