Friday, July 30, 2010

Talking to people

I have a girlfriend who doesn't want people to talk to her. She knows enough people, has enough friends and wants strangers to leave her alone and not engage her in conversation. Ok, that sounds harsh and cold and she really isn't that at all. But this was the gist of a discussion we were having the other day.

She gave a few examples of places she's been sitting and waiting and expecting alone/quiet time and complete strangers just start talking to her sometimes giving her way too much information. We were laughing at some of the "confessions" strangers made to her as she was just appalled.

Some in the group acknowledged that there were days they didn't want to talk to people, that we just wanted to be left alone. I didn't. I could only go as far as saying that there are days (I even think that's stretching it. I should probably say situations not days.) that I maybe won't initiate the conversation but most of the times I'll talk to the wall if no one is around. I said pretty much if you make eye contact with me you are fair game for commentary from me.

Point if fact, this morning was a perfect example.

20 dropped me off at the office (because he keeps the car) and before getting on the elevator I went to the courier drop box to leave a package. A man was heading towards the door I was exiting, I said good morning and he answered "humph". So I held the door for him and said, "Come on, its Friday, its a sunny beautiful day and someone is holding a door open for you. What's not good about it?" He just chuckled, mumbled a thanks and went inside. I dropped off my package and went back inside.

There was a woman waiting for the elevator. I don't know her but I know she works in the building because I have seen her from afar. She looked at me and smiled and I opened with a good morning and started asking her if she has heard anything about new stores coming to fill the empty commercial space that is on the main floor of the building. We chatted about it on the ride up on the elevator. Neither of us really knew anything and that's pretty much what we talked about.

When I got to the office I had to go back down to the coffee shop to buy coffee because we were all out. On my way there I talked to a woman in the mall area complimenting her blouse which was a gorgeous color of purple (my favorite), chatted with the woman in front of me in line who was trying to pick a pastry for breakfast; I talked her into a breakfast sandwich instead. The man behind me in line asked which coffee I was buying and so we talked about the different ones; we both like the bolder coffees. Another man 2 or 3 people in front of me made a comment about how the employees remember how to make all these different drink combinations. This comment tied into the fact that there was a trainee at the coffee bar and so I joined in saying that it got to tough and that drew us into a conversation with the girl training the trainee about the system of 'calling the drinks' in a specific way that tells them what to do. I continued chatting with this man while waiting for my coffee to be ground; he was on his way to the hospital to see a new grandson born last night. Its his 4th grandchild but the others are all girls. He's a widow and lives in his daughter's converted garage so that he can help out with the kids. He drives very little staying in the neighborhood but he loves to cook and so he does that for the family almost every day which he feels is how he helps her the most.

I was back in the office by 9:15 and I started thinking about talking to people. I think I can safely say that I will talk to just about anyone. Granted none of these people are going to be my new best friends, I good there but I can honestly say enjoy engaging with people.

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