Circle 1: Ice Breakers
Ice breakers tend to happen whenever you start a new job, your boss is new, or a new co-worker joins the team. So, they can happen often. Ice breakers are all about shoving people into a small room and having them join forces to solve a problem, or talk about their problems, or share their feelings about the problem. Basically, everything an introvert hates crammed into one day-long social activity.
Circle 2: Birthday Parties
Why does the secretary, Susan, love birthdays so much? Sure, your boss told her to track everyone’s’ birthdays, but she relishes the excuse to throw continuous parties (especially on corporate’s dime). If you could steal her calendar after work and bury it in your yard, you would. The only problem is that you know she has a copy on her desktop, tablet and phone.
Circle 3: Organizational Days
You know that your boss loves to toss around a football, but doesn’t he know there’s work to be done? And that you already didn’t have enough time to finish it all? Truth be told, even if you didn’t have work to do, you would still rather be sitting in front of a computer than sweating outside with your coworkers in the sun.
Circle 4: Presentations
Your boss is a visual learner. Great. He also says that he loves getting feedback and input from the staff (even though most of the time he shoots it down). Awesome. So, now you’re standing in front of your peers, stuttering through a presentation, only to be ignored and interrupted by co-workers who want to share their “good ideas”. Now, the good idea fairy is running rampant in the room and there’s no getting her back into the damn jar.
Circle 5: Office Lunches
Can’t you just eat lunch at your desk, alone, like you always do? What if you fake a cold, maybe then no one will want you to eat by their food? Nope, didn’t work. Your boss just designated you a driver for the weekly staff lunch, and you will not be reimbursed.
Circle 6: Corporate “Family” Functions
Your boss made sure that you know that this corporation cares about your family. Unfortunately, unless your job sponsors a Walk Your Cat Day you’re not really interested in mixing your work life with your home life. Unfortunately, that hasn’t stop your boss from mandating that you attend every monthly family picnic.
Circle 7: Mandatory Drinking with the Boss
“It’ll be fun”, your boss said. “It’s also mandatory”, your boss also said. Drinking with your boss after work with your fellow co-workers in your stiff business clothes isn’t your idea of “fun”. It sounds more like a trick to get you to loosen up enough to say all those things that you’ve been keeping locked up deep down inside, so, you know, you won’t get fired.
Circle 8: Holiday Parties
Secretary Susan is now going around asking people to volunteer to be an elf for the Christmas party. Your boss is Santa and he needs three happy helpers to help hand out gifts to kids. You hid in the bathroom the majority of the day just to avoid this duty, only to find out you were “voluntold” to be an elf by your boss.
Circle 9: Business Trips
The last and worst circle of introvert hell, the business trip. This is where there is no escape for a week from your co-workers because they have to ride along in your rental car, eat every meal at the same restaurant and return every night to adjoining rooms. Even worse is that your boss seems to gain energy every night with every drink that he has, and you’re not going anywhere because you’re the DD.