Hugging cat

© Marcus in NY

As the final day with my employer approaches, there has been a lot of reminiscing at work.  I’ve been with the same group of people for more than 10 years.  Today, we got into a discussion about hugging and business and why I think the two don’t mix.

I know, you’re saying, “Well, it seems kind of obvious why the two shouldn’t go together.  Don’t they teach you that in workplace harrassment classes?

Yes, but I work in an unusual, tightly knit industry.  Sometimes too tightly knit.  When the group of us involved in this particular business congregate at a conference, there’s an awful lot of hugging – as if it’s a family reunion.

When I attended my first conference, I noticed it right off the bat.  Why are all of these people hugging each other?  This is supposed to be a professional atmosphere.  Not being the huggy type, it really struck me as a bit bizarre.

And then, I saw one coming my way.  A business acquaintance I’d met maybe once or twice before.  He had the look of a hugger and he was walking towards me.  His arms started to outstretch.  I’m sure my eyes were the size of saucers and I did the only thing I could think of to escape the oncoming squeeze.  I stuck my hand straight out in front of me in traditional hand shake position.  He faltered for a moment, recovered, grinned and shook my hand.  “Not a hugger, huh?”, he asked.  I smiled back and shook my head.

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