Personal bubble

In my previous job, there was a habit to shake very colleague’s hand in the morning.

While this might seem like a nice gesture at first, you might change your mind if you start thinking about it.

Some of my colleagues’ hygiene was questionable , at best.

So I started avoiding his routine.

Arriving just a minute late. Hide in the toilet. Pretending I had a cold.

Something I could get away with for a while, but at some point, it was noticed and whispered about it behind my back.

To the point where I actually had to explain myself to my manager.

 For that, and other reasons, it didn’t take me long to quit the job.

Funny how I was the non social one, while them forcing them unhygienic selves into someone personal bubble was not frowned up.

This was two years ago, so I am over it.

 I think that COVID also has made us think about these things a bit more.

But I think we should always be reminded that some people are just not keen of other’s coming too close into their personal bubble.

15 Comments

  1. Adorable illustration, as always. I’m very protective of my personal bubble and the thought of having to shake my co-workers hands every morning makes me cringe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. True that. I’ve been in restrooms where I’ve witnessed a coworker not bother to wash their hands before leaving. Drove home the point that I should consider any common area touched by others as contaminated and to wash/sanitize my hands after any encounter/use of those areas like door handles/stair rails, etc.
    The age of Covid has certainly redefined personal greetings- hand shake is out, elbow or fist bump is in.

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  3. I used to like handshakes but mostly used them when meeting someone for the first time. COVID did a trick on that – some people are not comfortable shaking your hand, and they prefer to just nod, fits or elbow bump (that’s just weird…). The main one I notice is in church. In the past, when we were to offer one another peace, people would shake everyone’s hand around them. Now, they all just nod, wave, or make the peace sign with their fingers (very popular but just doesn’t work for me in church).

    So, to sum up – I don’t mind the handshakes, but I do like my personal space and while some people respect it to a degree, I find that most of those that did not in the past still do not.

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  4. I wrote a similar blog post some years ago about how I had to do cheek kisses when I was an intern in Paris. People thought I hated them! But I just really didn’t understand what a big deal it was for them.

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  5. Ah yes! I have heard this about the French. I worked in Belgium for a while, with some colleagues being from the French speaking part and they were the same.

    I think the more North you go, the more people are not keen on such greetings, but of course it also depends on the person itself.

    I also started feeling anxiety in case I forgot to shake someone’s hand .
    All in all, this routine just made my stress levels higher and I wouldn’t like to work in an office who does this ever again! 😰

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think a technical environment is a bit different. Electronics are fairly clean, but colleagues who worked with mechanical and hydraulic parts often had greasy hands. Lord knows if they washed their hands properly.
    (Actually I know, they didn’t).

    Of course, when meeting a new person or a business meeting, I’d shake their hands. But the every morning routine just made everything extremely stressful for me.
    If others want to doit, they can go ahead. But I did not appreciate the gossip about me not wanting to do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I understand! As for me, just working in an office – period – is going to be hard again. My current employer has had us working at home for the past two years and I love the freedom of it. I don’t think I can ever go back to the office again. It’s a deal breaker!

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  8. Shaking hands, I was told once, served to show you aren’t carrying arms. Tell that to someone with phocomelia. :-{

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