Why don't people believe me?

A couple of months ago I moved across to the other building (our company owns two, next door to each other), into a room with 4 other desks that were unoccupied.


My colleagues kept popping over to say hi, which was nice, but mostly I was splendidly isolated – which is precisely how I like it.

Today, however, there are two other proper designers and one trainee-designer in here. They’re all jolly nice and none of them are big chatterers but (and you could hear that ‘but’ coming, couldn’t you?) I preferred it when I was alone in here. Not that anyone believes that.

People keep coming in and saying “It must be nice to have some company in here now, isn’t it?” or “Oh, its good to see you have some company finally.”

Er, no, not really. Except that I can’t actually say that, can I? I’m supposed to lie so that we all feel reassured that we’re social animals.

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17 Responses to Why don't people believe me?

  1. piereth says:

    No-one likes to believe their friend and colleague would rather they were not present. We’re all social in some way, but like me, you do best when you’re totally autonomous. Not to worry – you’re hearing the by-product of their own discomfort with the idea of being alone, not a reflection on your desires. Aren’t humans interesting? xxx

  2. Fifty five days to retirement – then I can become a hermit! And get my life back.

  3. modestypress says:

    Do you have any friends who are sculptors? They could model replicas of you (with mp3 players inserted) to converse with your neighbors, while you inflate an airlock to do your work in. Then, of course, you new neighbors would add android models to talk with your androids. Soon they androids would weary of talking out loud and they would run cords to each other to direct link. Except some of the androids, being more stuck up than the others, would communicate by wifi, and the other androids would sulk. Meanwhile the humans would become tangled in the cables and ambulances (or whatever they are called in Oz) would have to be called. Then you would blog about all of it.

  4. modestypress says:

    Oh, dear, so many incoherent errors in my typing.

  5. azahar says:

    I totally get it. As I mostly work at home I find I can concentrate best when flatmate Nog is out of the house. When home he is banished from the livingroom (which is my “office” during the day, his bedroom at night) during working hours because I just can’t get things done with him in here, even if he’s just reading or on the computer. Anyhow, he has a nice bright room with a balcony for his daytime office. It’s small, but has a desk, his laptop, tv & dvd player, bookcase … he also teaches his English classes in there. This works well for both of us.

    What a shame that you are no longer “splendidly isolated”.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Yes, and don’t even start me on colleagues who carry on talking to you when you’ve clearly put your headphones in…

  6. sledpress says:

    I can’t write properly when other people are even in the house. The damned human race is top heavy with people who want your attention as long as they know you are in a position to deliver it.

  7. Even their silent need can be distracting. You sound like the perfect candidate for a solitude retreat.

    • Norwichrocks says:

      Yes, and in fact I have a holiday booked next month – just me and the ocean and the rainforest for 10 days. Bliss.

  8. I vote that you *do* say it. You never know … at some point there may be an opportunity for an isolated space which nobody will know you want, unless you’re honest about having preferred your solitude.

  9. doctordi says:

    Gosh, I think Piereth’s nailed the psychology driving the commentary, don’t you, and I think David’s right too – if you can do it diplomatically, I agree admitting you prefer working alone may result in an isolation windfall down the track, which you’re unlikely to get if everyone thinks you love sharing.

  10. I’m so anti-social at work, I really love eating lunch at my desk. I know that’s a horrible faux-pas, but small talk gives me a headache, and I love the peace.

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