I Want To Be Alone – But I Need This Job

Greta Garbo_02Did you hear the great news? Some companies now love introverts!

Organizations are working night and day to create solitude-friendly open work spaces. They are encouraging employees to only high-five for important occasions, like when a toner cartridge has been replaced. A Fortune 500 company has even eliminated 300-person group hugs from its team-building exercises.

Unfortunately, most companies have not reached this level of enlightenment – especially the ones that don’t allow employees to work from home or under their desk.

So what can a solitary-seeking introvert who is forced to work in an extrovert-oriented environment do?

The answer is simple: Creatively seek new and innovative quiet spaces. Here are some examples:

  • Sitting alone in the company cafeteria, while wondering why you gave up on your dream of being a jazz bassoonist, can be emotionally restorative – until co-workers stop by to say hello or ask about the Shapiro account. Stop them in their tracks by saying, “I want to talk to you about Scientology.” After they turn and run, you can return to your self-absorption.
  • Restrooms are great places for quality alone time. Tape an “Out of Order” sign to an empty stall and you’ve created your private reading room.
  • Following an emotionally-exhausting three-hour status meeting, consider fleeing to the tranquil settings of your parked car. If co-workers eventually discover your little Shangri-La, simply hide in the trunk, which can also function as an inexpensive isolation tank.
  • Stand on a step ladder while pretending to check the overhead wiring. Close your eyes and let your troubles drift away. Commune with nature as tiny rodents scurry past your head.
  • Fill your cubicle with bottles of pills while wearing a surgical mask. Continually reassure your co-workers, “My doctor says it’s probably not contagious.” Then sit back and listen to the silent sounds of an empty office wing.

If you’re an introvert, working for a company that rewards extrovert behavior is no day at the beach – okay, maybe a crowded beach. Just remember, the world is your oyster if you can find a way to relax alone inside your oyster.

Walmart Hires Its First Introverted Greeter

Walmart_greeterWalmart has hired its first self-described introvert as a greeter. Walter Ronko, a 68-year-old retired filing clerk began work recently at a store in Tranquilo, Arizona.

Ronko, who hasn’t smiled voluntarily since 1963, said he has always avoided occupations that require social interaction. “When I saw the want ad for Walmart greeter, I thought, ‘Why would I want a job where I have to be friendly to strangers all day?’ Then I remembered something that happened years ago. I briefly dated a dominatrix named Janice. Our relationship didn’t last long. We attended different churches and had dissimilar tastes in spiked collars. But I fondly recall our candlelit dinners, walks on the beach, and being handcuffed to a radiator while being ordered to bark like a dog. Deep down I still feel like I’ve been a very bad boy and I need to be punished. That’s why I’m working at Walmart.”

Torture is one thing, but an extremely-introverted person cheerfully subjecting himself to babbling strangers eight hours a day is beyond agony. “Welcoming folks with a smile is particularly tough,” he says. “Lately I’ve started wearing a set of grinning wax lips. It scares the hell out of some kids but so do most Walmart shoppers.”

Walter doesn’t know how long he’ll last as a greeter, but whenever he feels he can’t endure another shopper asking for directions to Guns and Ammunition, he closes his eyes, relaxes, and imagines he’s on a tropical island tied naked to a coconut tree while Janice flogs him with an Australian stock whip. Imagination is always an introvert’s best friend.