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Monday, 7 April 2014

The Social Awkwardness Has To Stop

Modern city life is a hotbed of social awkwardness around every corner. Not a day goes by where I, or one of my equally socially inept friends, don’t experience something of at least a moderate level of social discomfort. Day-to-day, this can range from the casual ‘awkward door-run’ (when someone holds the door open for you and you’re then forced to run to said door to avoid the person having to wait too long for you) to the full-blown ‘work colleague starts crying and you’re morally obliged to express concern’ catastrophe. It is from this minefield of social awkwardness that we got to thinking that it would be good if there was some sort of training course that one could go on, where one is taught how to deal with a plethora of socially awkward situations. We took the liberty of making a mock-up course syllabus for the reference of anyone who might be interested in running such a course, in the interest of the good of the people.  The course would be divided up into handy modules in commuter, socialising, etiquette and office awks, tailored for the awkwardness level of the individual.

The course would be as follows:

Commuter Awkwardness

·         How to ensure fellow passenger is pregnant before offering them your seat. Pointers include: female, baby on board badge, huge bump, hand on back, evil glares

·        How to determine whether fellow passenger is elderly enough to offer seat. Pointers include: walking stick, Gandalf beard, complaints about hip, chatter about the olden days, evil glares

·       How to handle accidental hand-touch as a result of holding the same pole

·        How to elegantly barge on to train and subtly crush any commuters in front.

Socialising Awkwardness

·         How to navigate conversation after forgetting fellow person’s name/history/job/life/existence

·         How to fake reaction to ‘new’ information and disguise previous Facebook stalk

  •  Techniques for handling a situation in which one finds themselves to be disproportionately drunk for the amount of alcohol consumed 

·         How to recover from loudly insulting a fellow partygoer who appears to be standing within earshot

Etiquette Awkwardness

·         Correctly determining whether a person is going to go for the handshake, hug, cheek-kiss or fist pump upon being introduced to them and responding accordingly. Alternative options include: fist kiss, hand hug or pump shake

·         The correct point at which to laugh at a joke that one does not understand

·         Pretending to have in-depth knowledge and opinions on current affairs/politics/history/basic maths/trending things

Office Awkwardness

·          Small Talk: A Beginners’ Guide – for use in lifts, corridors, bathrooms and more

·         How to carefully inform fellow office inhabitants that the milk in the fridge is indeed not ‘there for everyone’

·          How to ditch colleague to avoid tube/bus stop/two hour walk home awks

Bonus Module (for the particularly posh socially inept)

Yacht Club Awkwardness

·         How to handle the sheer embarrassment of finding out one’s boat buddy owns a three-berth when one only owns a two-berth

      Disclaimer- I cannot in any way take full credit for this, my much more hilarious friend Selina did most of the funnies, I just happen to be the one who has a blog. We wrote this for a work project which never ran in the end, but we thought that the world needed to see it anyway.