A Reader Writes:
I like eating at my desk, my boss insists that I use that time to network and get to know people from other departments. I find it an intrusion given that I deal with people all day and this is my down time where I can re-energize.
On the surface this sounds like a boundary violation where your boss does not respect your preferences of how and where to eat lunch. It would have been helpful to know the big picture here such as the responsibilities of your role and your ability to build relationships. It could be that your boss wants you to reach out more to others to gain their cooperation in projects, or to advance the reputation of your department. If that is the case, a conversation with your boss about the best way to go about this is warranted. There may be less scrutiny by your boss about your lunch habits if you demonstrate collaboration in meetings and solicit input from employees in different departments when working on projects. These are just two examples.
It could also be that you and your boss have very different styles and your habits just annoy them. If you are a self-described introvert there are two notable books that can help you thrive in a world that is entirely too bombastic and noisy. Check out Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and most recently, Hiding in the bathroom : an introvert’s roadmap to getting out there : (when you’d rather stay home), by Morra Aarons-Mele.