I have been dreading the next work week for awhile. It's our semi-annual sales conference at work.
We have them twice a year. One in the beginning of January, and one at the end of July. It's a time for all our sales managers from across North America to convene at the office and present their work to the other sales managers, and most of all, the big executives from headquarters in Taiwan. They're all here for almost a week, and we always have a company dinner in there somewhere.
Before I can leave my job (willingly), I have to leave knowing that I conquered it. Not that it conquered me. And I don't feel like I have fully conquered it yet.
I'm not saying that I have to enjoy these sales conference weeks or even be okay with them. Honestly, I don't know anyone who really does (or would). But right now, I feel like a little mouse cowering in dread. I know me. That's not normal. I could and should be better than this.
In the past, for various reasons, I used to feel intimidated during these weeks.
I'm going to turn a new leaf now.
The sales managers are almost all the same. Big, burly men. A whole gang of them, and they walk around in groups. They talk about work and industry things I don't understand (to each other, not me, but I'm always in their vicinity).
And I'm not going to be intimidated.
The big guys from headquarters are even more intimidating. They don't talk to anyone, even the sales managers. They only talk to each other, and management. They wear suits and don't have many facial expressions. They look kind of stern. (I don't know if that's an Asian businessman thing?). Oh, and did I mention...they're the big guys from headquarters. Everyone is on their best behavior around them.
I see them a lot. Other people may not see them much for most of the week, but not me.
And I'm not going to be intimidated. They're people. They're decent people (I assume).
I feel very uptight during the company dinners. They're really not my thing (though I think I can fake it okay). This time, I want to do more than just passably faking it. I want to actually feel comfortable, to a degree.
They're just loud, very social. Lots of people, chatting, mingling, being social. Very large group events/parties have never been my thing.
Especially when it's among people I don't like (certain coworkers). Especially when it's among people I'm already intimidated by (see above paragraphs).
And furthermore, I don't have one of those jobs where I can get away with being antisocial at a company party.
But maybe it's time for me to start feeling comfortable in my own skin. A company dinner is like what, 2 hours? Not more than 3. I should be able to enjoy it (somewhat) for that long. It's not long.
And now I'm going to stop thinking about this.