What fresh hell is this? My main thought whilst sitting in a new Zoom situation that started predictably but escalated into something tortuous requiring a speedy introvert escape. Alternate thought: How to Scare Off Introverts, in Five Parts
- Introduce yourself, which I hate, but I do because I’m an introvert in an extrovert world and I go along to get along, though this part does make me somewhat uncomfortable. It usually doesn’t last long so… What? There’s more?
- Say why you’re here. OK, we did this in email already, and I don’t remember what I said, so I have to open my email and check while you keep talking, then you introduce yourself, even though we know who are you.
- Tell something about you that’s a fun fact, and that’s when literally every fact, fun or otherwise, about me flies out of my head and all I can think of is I’m an introvert and hate things like this, which doesn’t seem like the best thing to share with new potential friends. AND THEN:
- Repeat the fun fact about every person that goes before you, so the last person will have to list the fun facts for the 9 people who came before, “but it’ll be fun.” And I think YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS and WHY DO YOU HATE ME THIS MUCH?
- “I’ll pick people at random.” … … …
Seconds later, as the first person chosen was on step 4, my “power” “went out” “unexpectedly” due to the “snowstorm” (oh, wait, the storm really happened…). No time to explain in the chat or out loud that I was uncomfortable with this exercise and wanted to pass all together or to say anything else — all I could hear was my thoughts spinning as I tried to figure out a way to get through something that became increasingly uncomfortable as every step was revealed.
Relief arrived in the form of clicking Leave Meeting with no regret. Getting older is awesome — you just don’t do what you don’t want to do anymore.
I felt my heartbeat return to normal as I praised all things holy that this was not an in person meeting because trying to get out of a room IRL is a lot harder than escaping a zoom with a left click. I spent the rest of the night listening to my favorite tunes, singing and dancing with Baby Yoda, because I can and — FUN FACT — he never puts me on the spot by asking me to think of something interesting about myself at a second’s notice or to engage in some kind of memory test in public.
Hey, um, I think my power’s going to be out for a while, or my zoom’s broken or something. Unless the next thing I think about joining delineates what’s expected so I can prepare, i.e., gear myself up for super-sized extroverting-as-an-introvert, which I can do if I know it’s coming, or so I can Leave Meeting before I ever enter. That’s a fact, and it sounds like fun to me.