Just two of you working in the lab. You spin your cells for 5 mins. The other person is working in the laminar flow hood. You really have nothing else to do while waiting for your cells-taking off the labcoat, walking to the office, sit down for 2 mins then it's time, so might as well just wait in the lab. So you look around, and move around. You want to initiate a small talk, but then you hesitate because that other person is really concentrating on his/her experiment, and...the awkward silence fills the lab. 5 mins later, 'Teeeeeeeet', the centrifuge beeps. 'Thank God!'
You are washing your hand in the restroom. Then your supervisor walks out from the toilet stall and start washing her hands as well. You stand beside each other. It gets really awkward, either you make gestures to show that you notice her (smile or say hi or simply nod) or just do nothing because toilet really is an awkward place to be with your supervisor. What more if you know she's sitting in the toilet stall next to you and you start hearing sound..you know..that sound.
Again, two of you are working in the lab, side by side. You rarely talk to this person. You share nothing in common. But then it starts to get really awkward when both of you are doing experiment next to each other for quite sometime, and do not utter a single word to each other. Suddenly comes a third person (Phewwwwww), either to break the silence by talking to either of you, or he/she could just start doing his/her work right away and continues on with the silence. But now the awkwardness is kinda diluted so you don't feel it as much compared to before.
You have to go on a 30-min bus ride with you supervisor to another hospital because the equipment in your lab is broken, and he is the only person who can operate this alternative equipment. The moment you know it's going to happen you starts to feel fidgety. Deep down you wish that the bus is kinda full so there won't be no two side-by-side seats available. As Plan B, you start making scripts in your mind. You want to avoid having that awkward silence so you think of as much topics to talk to your supervisor about as possible. But when you get on the bus, the two-seater are the only available seats and because you are to conscious about your list/script, you forget them altogether. And there is no way out but to face the awkwardness.
And guess what, this whole awkwardness may not be a solitary thing after all. That other person might also feel the awkwardness that you feel. So all iz well. :P