Ever thought what would happen if you had to catch a lift with your boss to a work function? You may only be able to think of a few other situations more awkward than spending a few hours in a car with someone you don’t know on a personal level. In this case, you’re right, but it doesn’t always have to be this way.
Once you have the ride, how do you navigate the long road with the long silences? Small talk? Nervous laughter? Earphones? Here are some things to keep in mind in order to make a carpool bearable and enjoyable.
Music is your friend
At one point or another they will ask if it’s okay to play some music, or even if you would like to play some music. If you do get handed the aux cord – handle this responsibly. Also, ask the other person what type of music they like, don’t just play your type of music. More than this, music is a great conversation starter and can help reveal a lot about a person.
Silence is okay
Once you’ve eventually ran out of small talk, and finding out about each other’s life histories, there will be a long silence. That is okay – look out the window and enjoy the scenery – they will probably do the same.
Bring food along
In many cases, the food might not even be eaten, but bringing a bag of chips or a lunch box for two, is a simple way to show your gratitude to them.
Embrace the awkwardness
At the end of the day, you both know where you guys are heading. Make some jokes about the situation, and help lighten the mood a little.
Say thank you
It goes without saying, but don’t forget to thank them or send a thank you message after your ride. It will help start things off on the right foot for the journey back home.
Learn for next time
Take a mental note of the vibe for the first ride and make adjustments where needed. Also, if you find the ride with your boss awkward and unpleasant, maybe it’s time for you to get your own car? There are a variety of cars out there. Whether you’re looking at brand new Polo’s or used BMW’s for sale, you’ll find something that suits your style and is in your price range.
You’ll always find out things about a person during a long car ride, which you would never normally take the time to find out about in real life. In the age of social media and texting it can be nice to be forced to actually have a real conversation.