There is something odd going on at my work place. I will tell you about it.
We all get along very well when we are in the lab. We laugh and joke (well, someone makes a comment once an hour and we chuckle for a min) about all the bad science in movies etc. But when we are not in the lab, as in, we are in the hallway, things get weird.
So, when I go to walk down to the elevators/stairs I can see all the way down the hall. It is a long, long, hallway, devoid of furnishings or feelings. It is rather nice in a twilight zone sort of way. Sometimes you see people in the hall and here is where the problems begin.
First of all, you can see them from way off in the distance, long before you could speak to them. The question is, do you acknowledge them, should you wave and smile, or should you just look around at the ground, ceiling, or anywhere but them? And if you do acknowledge them, then what is left to do when you come even with them in the hall? Say hi again?? It is so hopelessly weird that I have come up with a solution. I sort of tilt my head sideways, paste a dreamy look on my face, direct my eyes to look upward, and float down the hall as if lost in daze. (This works quite nicely unless I am wearing super high heels and the floors have been waxed recently-in which case I fall to the floor) Overall, with this I can avoid the distance problem.
Now when I come even with the person in the hall, me going one way, them the other, what to do again becomes the question. (one clarification on the term person-it is someone who either woks in my lab, another lab on the floor, or a professor, basically, these are people you see on a daily basis and certainly know) Initially, I would say "HI!" then, I noticed that that often made people uncomfortable. They would sort of mumble something, look at the wall, and scoot past me like I was insane. (some people on my floor are not super social) So then I tried saying nothing. This means that we walk past each other slowly, looking at the other person, not knowing what to do, and feeling even stranger! It seems like a no win situation!!!
In the end, I have decided that it is more normal to say hi, even if they don't respond, then to simply walk past and attempt to pretend the other person is not there. Even better, I have come up with a plan to avoid the situation entirely. Before exiting the lab, I will peak up and down the hall. When the way is clear, I will rush our and race to the end. Then I will flatten myself against the wall (which juts our 8 inches by the elevator) and wait for the elevator to come to avoid being detected-and thereby making someone else in the hall feel awkward. (Since the elevator comes once a century I may be there for a while).
We will see how it goes.