I recently just finished working in Fox Glacier for six months. Fox is home to 250 people and the nearest town worth mentioning is 3 hours away. I worked in a holiday park outside of the town with 15 other people. This combination along with the constant raining creates a phenomenon call Fox Fever. I’ve learned that people expresses their fever in different ways, including myself. It is especially hard conditions when you have social anxiety.
Taking the job, I thought it would be similar to working and living in a ski resort. Easy to get close to people and even though the job might suck you’ll still have fun. What I’ve learned is that workplace friendships work better when there is a mutual activity. When you are in the middle of no where, with not much to do, but focus on work it might cause Fox Fever. Different examples of Fox Fever that I have seen include deciding you need to go skydiving that afternoon, scrubbing bath mats for an hour that don’t need to be cleaned and the most toxic case is reverting back to your high school self.
Fox Fever and social anxiety have affected me in a different way. I became obsessed with being friends and included with everyone on the park. If someone didn’t talk to me or smile to me enough that day I assumed they hated me. If I knew people were hanging out in the park without me I became depressed. Why wasn’t I included? What did I do wrong? What I needed to understand was that with only 15 colleagues, groups would form as they do in every workplace, but that it is only more apparent with less people around. You will not be able to get along and hang out with everyone and that’s ok. You can’t expect to get along and hang out with everyone you meet.