Those awkward 5pm moments and how you wish they would fly away


Those awkward 5pm moments and how you wish they would fly away

It’s 5pm and you want to head out quickly, catch the elevator and run out to catch the train home so that you can veg in front of the television for a few minutes. By 2pm, most people I work with know that I am tired and words become a chore to utter. I’m up at 5am usually and start answering emails by 6am and editing documents by 7am. The day thus becomes long, tiresome and busy. By no means am I a “9am to 5pm” employee.   Up at the crack of dawn and still answer emails late into the night. However, by 5pm I am done with the office life.   And by done, I really mean done.

I head out to the elevator having an endured a day-long series of meetings and instances where I had to scream up a storm or where I had to bit my tongue for the greater good. By 4pm, I start thinking of better days.

When I head to the elevator, I stand there tapping my foot. Yes, I am anxious to get home. I am even more anxious, however, to get out of there without having to say a word to anyone. Yes, that does sound like I am a bit of a curmudgeon. I very well may be. Although, many think of me as a “hugger.” I put on a great game face.   As I tap my foot, I hope and I pray that one decides to leave for home at that time as well. There have been some instances when I see that someone is heading to the elevator as I am about to head that way as well and instead I make a bee-line for the restroom and wait it out. I know many have of you have done it as well.

Then there are those moments that you cannot avoid and end up side by side with a colleague that you barely know waiting for the elevator. Just your luck that day the elevator is really slow and down to just one elevator car that is working.  You stand there and you have to make small talk. Moments like these index cards or Palin-like palm notes would be helpful.  As you enter the elevator you hope that either it gets really full or goes by without stopping at any other floor.

You reach the lobby level and you have one more awkward hurdle to get through. Which way will they be heading? You hope that they will not be heading towards the same subway stop as you are. It is moments like these where I have said “well gotta run” and then proceeded to run like a mad woman never looking back.


6 replies »

  1. Oh, we’ve all had those awkward 5pm moments. My solution? Biking. In the rare event that the person you’re stuck walking out of the office with is also biking, chances are his/her bike will be at a different rack. And even if it isn’t, when you get on your respective bikes, you’ll probably be headed in different directions. The subway and bus on the other hand are deadly.


  2. Being new to the area and in a really big company that was spread out over all the floors in the building, I tried to take these situations as an opportunity to meet new people and find out new things. Most of the time I succeeded, even on the bad days when I left close to tears. Maybe it’s a Southern thing, but mostly everybody I ran across on my elevator trips was nice and usually said only nice things to me. That may be one of the few aspects of that job that I miss. Of course, all the trips were short because the tallest building only had 3 or 4 floors!


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