Life’s Big Questions
My internship came to an end this weekend and I’m genuinely sad to go. It was incredible for so many reasons, it gave me such a boost of confidence and experience and taught me a lot, but it’s also left me with a few questions. I don’t mean questions like ‘what shall I do with my life?’ or ‘what if I never get a job?’ or ‘what if I die alone?’ or even ‘what if I die alone and nobody notices until two weeks later and then they can’t get in the door because of all the junk mail piled in front of it?’ No. I mean the really, really important questions, like
‘How do I end this conversation?’
How? HOW? Will it ever end? Is it too soon for me to just turn and leave? Shall I make up an excuse to run off? If I don’t think of a good reason to leave soon then I’m just going to have to stand here until we both die. It won’t be that bad. We’re stood quite near the bowl of complimentary chocolates so that’s nice. How much longer can this go on? HOW MUCH LONGER?
Honestly I think the main problem here is not that I don’t enjoy chatting to my colleagues (I really do) but more that there is a certain kind of meeting-in-the-corridor small-talk-conversation which I am just too socially awkward to properly deal with. How does one end this kind of conversation? Mostly, I try and judge when an appropriate end-point has come, and then I just laugh nervously, turn around, and walk away. This method, although ambitious, is deeply flawed – especially if the other person continues talking – because then I have to turn right back around and pretend that I didn’t just try to leave. I’ve tried saying ‘well, I better get back to it!’ but when I’m standing in the kitchen clutching two spoons of different sizes and a carton of soy milk, it probably seems unlikely that I have anything particularly important to rush back and do.
This leads me to the even more difficult question – ‘How do I end this email?’
Emails are less awkward, granted, but as somebody who relies on tone of voice, facial expression and awkward laughter to properly convey my meaning, I sometimes struggle. Should I sign off with a simple thanks? Should I google whether ‘yours sincerely’ or ‘yours faithfully’ is most appropriate in this situation? Should I tell an amusing anecdote about my weekend in order to establish some common ground? Go old school with the classic ‘Laterz’? I pretty much do the same in this situation as I do in real life conversations. I type out a quick sign off and then hit ‘send’ before I can over think it. (Which can end in embarrassing spelling mistakes – just call me Georig…)
If you have any tips on how to end conversations, sign off emails, or generally get a hold of my life, please send them on over, I could do with the help.