This is awkard. You leave your desk, you walk to the lift, you push the button and then some time later the lift arrives. You get in and just as the doors begin to shut, that wanker from the desk opposite joins you in this tiny, confined space.
You do a fake smile and raise your eyebrows in acknowledgement. You feel obliged to say something.
“Yeah, pretty good. You?”
You answer politely.
“Not too bad.”
And then the lift doors open and you exit the building. Phew. You’re heading left towards the tube. Surely they’re going the other way, right? NO. They’re going to the tube too, aren’t they? You have to talk to them for another ten minutes, all the while trying to disguise the fact that you think they’re a wanker. And then you find out they live in the same bit of town as you. And you’re now going to have to travel for 45 minutes with them, making up pointless bullshit in an effort to appear amiable. Maybe you can lose them when you change from the Central to the District line? Hide in a sea of people at Holborn? Afraid not.
You want to say ‘I don’t really want to spend time with you now. I’ve spent the last eight hours sitting opposite your face and that’s quite enough’. But you can’t, can you? You’re stuck with the wanker, and there’s no escape.