First conversation with a girl at the office - could have been better

Jun 4, 2014

Last week (I think it was the day after the lunch non-encounter with her) I got a brilliant idea for kicking off my “relationship” (by which I mean that she doesn’t even know I exist) with this cute girl at the office: I would get her to join my hackathon team! Of course, till that point I had been very adamant about not participating in this year’s hackathon (this obstinate attitude stemmed from the general frustration I feel at the office these days) so I had to come up with an idea and form a team first. Both were easier done than said (see what I did there?) since I already had several ideas, and Ashwin was more than willing to participate again this year.

So, I pinged her (let’s call her.. Sandra) on lync to confirm that she was indeed at her desk, then sauntered over and planted myself in the chair next to her.

“Hi! Are you participating in the Hackathon?”, I ask brightly. “Yeah, I’m part of one team of guys from NeApps”, Sandra replies, unsure of who I was and why I was bothering her. “Hmm,” I respond, eloquent as always.

At this point, I remind myself to not do what I always do. You see, what I usually do is skip past the attraction phase and jump right into the building-comfort phase (these technical terms are drawn from a book I vaguely remember reading several years back. It was a book about picking up girls. As you can probably see, the book didn’t do me much good). Since I don’t build up attraction first, I always end up in the dreaded “friend zone”. So, I decided to be very suave and smooth with this girl instead of being warm and friendly.

“Well,” I go, “How would you like to switch to the winning team?”

At this point, I tried to make my face look like this

Flynn Rider's smolder

However, I’m pretty sure that in reality my face looked something like this

Chandler Bing's smile

“But I’ve already registered!” she countered feebly, hoping that logic would dissuade me from the path I had chosen. “That can be changed…” I responded. The ellipses in that phrase could probably be sensed in the air when I said that, floating around my head like sad little bubbles of hope.

She smiled back at me hesitantly, probably trying to figure out a way of saying “Fuck no” that would get rid of me in as little time as possible. Thankfully, I was still in suave-mode, so I threw out a “Well, I won’t try to change your mind. The deadline is today evening, give it some thought” and beat a hasty retreat.

She didn’t respond.

By the time the day ended, I had spent enough time dissecting the entire discourse for my usual self to rise to the surface. I went over to her desk, offered an apology for my headstrong behaviour (she graciously accepted with that heart-breaking smile) and left with a heavy heart.

Could things have turned out differently if I’d openly admitted that I just wanted to get to know her better? Would I have been sitting at a cafe right now, having a pleasant conversation with her over a cup of coffee instead of writing this post?