First of all, I know this isn’t Wednesday, but I am still going to count this as a post in the current week. I should have planned better, knowing that I would be out of town and busy this past week, but I didn’t.
I attended a conference this past week, from Sunday to Wednesday, a whirlwind of sessions, networking and socializing. And, for the first time that I’ve attended, for a brief time, I had a hope of spending the conference with my very own room.
It is the policy of my workplace, or rather, the particular section of my workplace in which I work, that rooms are shared for travel. And so, the previous years that I have attended, I have shared a room with my boss.
We both find this situation to border on the unprofessional, but we have managed to share a room with minimal discomfort. But this year, she planned on bringing her family to the conference, and so work was going to have to pay for me to have my very own room.
But that plan was foiled by another department having an odd number of female employees going to the conference. While apologetic, my new roommate let me know that she was told in no uncertain terms by her bosses that she had better find someone to share the cost of the room.
And so, the room of my own became the room to be shared with – not a stranger, but someone that I worked only tangentially with, someone I had before felt socially awkward around, socially awkward being a default state for me. In previous years, such a situation might have been a great cause for anxiety for me before the conference, but this year I was presenting one mini session and co-presenting another one. My nerves were focused on those.
And it was a good thing that I didn’t spend time on worrying about sharing the room. It was, in my opinion, the least awkward that it could have been. I got to know a co-worker a little better. I had a workout buddy for Monday morning. There had been nothing to worry about.
And, for once, I hadn’t worried about it.