Nothing makes my blood run cold faster than one of my coworkers cheerfully asking if I want to ride home on the train with them. I am the most introverty introvert to ever introvert in the history of introversion.
Listen, I like my coworkers. I just switched departments in the summer and all of the people I work with are good, fun, lovely people. I love to go to their cubes and waste time chatting, or sneak out for an early lunch with them and bitch about people. That's fun. It's on company time.
But the SECOND I walk out of the office, I do not want to speak to another human being until I'm walking back INTO the office. Especially on the train. The train ride into the city I work in is about a half hour long. I use this time to read. It's me time. It's quiet time. Just me, the gentle rocking of the train, and a fictional character making increasingly bad decisions. A coworker showing up out of the blue to sit and chat with me makes me want to claw my skull out but I find it impossible to be impolite and go "Oh, I was reading...?"
I get that some people are extroverts and stuff but after nine or ten hours of talking to people, I am DONE. I am exhausted. I want to go home and sit in silence and watch Netflix. I want to read. Why do they insist on wanting to talk? Aren't they tired?!
This is so hard since my coworkers are just great people and I don't have the heart to shut them down even though I desperately want to. I'm slightly at wit's end. One of my coworkers has a boyfriend who lives near my train stop so there have been a few mornings when I'm barely awake and she appears seemingly out of thin air, wanting to have a rousing conversation. Once I even ended up somehow helping her with her hair. My god, it was too early in the day to hold someone's curlers on a packed, bouncing commuter train. A few days ago, on the way home from work, a coworker slid onto the train just before the door closed, spotted me and sat right down besides me and started to chat. I already had my book out and open and everything and I was dragged into a half hour long conversation about work gossip. I wanted to die.
Today, one of my coworkers asked me when I was leaving because they'd ride the train with me. I quickly made up an excuse that I had some extra work to do, even though I had been counting down the minutes and was ready to leave. I waited an extra ten minutes before I left just so I could be sure I would have that quiet reading time on the train. I mean, is that normal? That's not normal, I don't think.
Am I insane? What's wrong with me? Furthermore, what do I do? My coworkers are super nice and clearly just want to be friendly but it makes me fall utterly to pieces. There's just no polite, sane way to say "I know we take the same train home, can you not talk to me on it?", is there?
I am terrible at being a human being.