One of my coworkers suggested I wear compression socks to a conference on human genomics I went to earlier this month. He said they’d help mitigate the pain of standing at our booth all day which was a lie because they only prevented blood from pooling into my lower legs but did nothing to stop hordes of chatty extroverts from assailing me with completely nonsensical technical questions for four days which was way worse than getting varicose veins.
In case this isn’t relatable, imagine you helped create a new type of electronic ice-cream spoon that prevents brain freezes. To promote it, your company inexplicable decides to send you along with a bunch of illustrative marketing materials to a worldwide frozen-desserts conference even though they know you’re a software engineer and have explicitly told them you don’t like people.
Conversations, then, go like this:
Extrovert: Wow! This spoon looks amazing! Can you tell me how it works?
You: Have you read the illustrative marketing materials?
You: I’ll wait.
Extrovert: [Immediately picks up one of the demo spoons and starts waving it through the air like a sword] Is this thing wireless or does it have to be plugged directly into a dairy cow?
Extrovert: [Rubbing his right eye after somehow managing to jab it with the spoon] Seems pretty complicated to use. Have you considered simplifying the design or repurposing it for something else entirely, like a mustache comb or a fly zapper?
You: [To yourself, while trying to adjust the fit of the compression socks] Maybe I’m just wearing these wrong?
Extrovert: I’m free for the next several hours so let me fill this awkward silence with more great ideas . . .
Thankfully the socks came with a generous return policy.