Hello Fellow Contemplators – I hope you’re all well. Sorry it’s been a little while since our last Contemplation. It’s Sunday here in Melbourne and I’m sitting down to prepare a few blog posts for the next few weeks and I hope to get a few contemplations done while I’m here.
Flipping through my A Sentence A Day, trying to figure out which prompt to use for today, I’m struck by how much I’ve missed the simple process of sitting at my computer and choosing photos for a post and then writing about them. It’s such a calming and soothing experience for me and I’ve missed it so much.
I’m so glad to be back.
Today’s Prompt: When was the last time you spoke to a stranger?
When I visited my family in Mackay recently, my mum and I both noticed at the same time that I tend to strike up conversations with almost anyone. Shop assistants, people in queues, people in elevators, people stopping to pat Gidget, pretty much anyone.
So when this prompt came up, it seemed like a good one for me and I’m interested to read your responses.
Are you someone who talks to anyone? Or do you need some warm up to get going?
I remember a few years ago, a new colleague and I were meeting for breakfast at the hotel we were staying at. It was an open cafe in the hotel lobby, with long wooden tables and bench seats – no individual tables. As usual, I was desperately craving coffee, so I was early. I ordered a coffee to drink while I waited and had a chat to the guy next to me in the queue. I was buying a juice as well and he asked me if I liked it. The juice is bottled in these strange triangular-shaped bottles and I had only recently seen them at the supermarket, so was intrigued by them. I told him as much and it turned out that he was the guy selling the juices to the cafe. We had a chat about marketing and how different retail is from the work that I do, and yet how many similarities there are, simply because it’s just people buying stuff – no matter what stuff, you buy based on the same thoughts.
After grabbing a newspaper and taking a seat at the table, I settled in to wait. Shortly after, two people sat next to me and started discussing their plans for the day. The guy leaned over and asked me something, I have no idea now what it was, and we all started chatting about travel and hotels and life in general.
During all this, my colleague finally came down from his room. He ordered a coffee, smiled weirdly and then sat at the end of the bench with his back to us. I finished up the conversation and moved over to join him and he asked me who those people were. I said I had no idea, I just met them and had a chat while waiting.
He was horrified. He told me that he could never do that. Had no interest in talking to someone he didn’t know. I smiled and jokingly said – well, you’re in sales now, you’d better get used to it.
It was only a few months later at a large sales meeting when I suggested that he have a chat with one of the seasoned specialists and he refused, stating that he had no intention of speaking with anyone who wasn’t above him since there was no obvious payoff for himself.
I was shocked. I couldn’t understand. I like to talk to everyone. I like hearing people’s ideas and thoughts and tales. I guess I’m generally quite a friendly person. I’m very open. And I certainly don’t analyse a situation to determine how I’m going to benefit from it.
So, when was the last time I spoke to a stranger? Today at Kikki.K – another customer and I had a little chat about the new (fabulously) pink range. And then in the elevator on my way up to my apartment – I commented on what a glorious day it is today and she agreed and asked me about my plans for the afternoon.
How about you? When was the last time you spoke to a stranger? Is it just an everyday thing for you? Or are you a little shy?