Archive for July, 2011
Sometimes the simple act of talking to another human being has the most profound…effect and affect..
I am reveling in some much needed time off from work. Since I am unable to afford a trip away from Colorado I am taking some time to just relax in general and spend time with family and friends around town. Today I had big plans to spend the day in Boulder. I wanted to get an earlier start than I did but I figure it’s my time off and I can leave as late as I like! I did make it to Boulder. It’s one of my favorite towns on the front range. Boulder is just such a diverse mix of lives: college students, hippies, yuppies, travelers, health fanatics, artist, just to name a few. I have been enamored with this city since I was in High School and would use it as the place to get away to. It has a way of making you feel a sense of independence; a lovely feeling to a 17 year old.
I took myself to Pearl Street Mall as it is the epicenter of activity and a primo spot for people watching. It was in the mid to upper 90’s and ducking into the little shops for a breath of cool air was welcomed. As I was making my way back to my car I decided that a stop at Old Chicago for a cold beer was mandatory. Beer in hand I settled back to “watch”. There was a man sitting right across from the exit to the restaurant. I heard several passersby call him Bill. He was interesting to watch and I’m not entirely sure he realized I was doing so. He politely asked nearly every person who walked by if they had any spare change. Most simply shook him off and kept walking, a handful stopped and passed him dollars or change, however not a single person stopped to talk to him. He wasn’t unclean, he never stood, didn’t even make much eye contact. I decided that when I left I would stop and chat with him, if he would let me. I asked him if I could sit and he said “Yes, ma’am, of course.” I asked him if his name was really Bill and he said “Yes, Billy Ray Clark…” and her proceeded to tell me about how his step dad adopted him and other tidbits about his lost name and his adopted one.
I asked questions: Are you originally from Colorado, What do you do with the money people give you, How old are you among others. He answered all my questions at length involving much more than my simple questions posed. He’s originally from Texas, he buys things for his apartment to keep pests out (mouse traps and Drano so spiders don’t come up the drain), he’s 55. He told me that at one point in life he wanted to commit suicide. Told me he knew just how he was going to do it; jump off a parking garage. He realized though that he could potentially fall on someone, hurt someone, hurt them by seeing what he had done to himself and that he came to the conclusion that “Life is worth livin’, ya know? So I decided that I wouldn’t do that.” Life is worth livin’ wise words from a man who asks for handouts. I smiled and said “It is indeed Billy.” When I left I shook his hand, told him it was nice to meet him and I wished him the best before heading on my way and take with me an interesting 30 minute conversation with a man that, in my mind, liked it just fine that I sat and listened to him for awhile.
“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.” ~ George Washington
I don’t know that my natural nature is as a courteous person. I try, at times I fail. I was brought up right and try to say please and thank you and I know I take some for granted. That I believe is a bit of human nature. I am thankful I just tend to forget to express that as such.
For those of you that don’t know I’m a receptionist, a glorified one, but still my butt 8 hours a day is tied to a front desk. Based on my position in the office, literally speaking I sit at the front door, I try to say good morning, hello, and goodbye’s to everyone that comes and goes (try is subjective on any given day). I also work in a multinational workplace and it runs a gamut of social norms. I have some very shy people that work with me something; I am only that in certain situations. I have some people that are the life of any party or happy hour situation and I tend to be that sort. I’m loud, try not to be shocked by that statement. I am also overly emotional at times and quick to pass judgement or let some little thing bother me for longer than it need bother me.
Today I’m pondering greetings. When someone greets you genuinely, how do you respond? Do you smile and respond in kind? Are you so engrossed in your own thoughts that outside stimuli bounce off you and don’t sink in? Are you the kind of person who lets situations from outside (i.e. home life, traffic etc.) lay on you so heavy that you can’t leave it at the door when you walk into work and it colors your day and all your interactions? Are you generally a courteous person? Do you let your dislike of someone play factor in your how you talk to them?
Here is why I’m asking, as I said I try and greet everyone, I will admit some greetings are less than enthusiastic but I still try. “Morning whozit-whatser, how are you?” This is my standard greeting. Replies vary, most say “I’m good how are you?” variations on wording, of course. To those that say “I’m fine thanks.” and walk away, I find I almost always in my head say “Gee I’m fine too, thanks for asking!” Am I off to find this rude? I could be over thinking it, but I just find that a little reciprocative courtesy can go a long way.
Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will.
Corollary: It can.
Corollary: It should.
Corollary: At the most inopportune time.
Extension: It will be all your fault, and everyone will know it.
You know a few days’s ago when I said driving woes were a thing of the past. I quantified winter in that statement and it’s true; I can now drive to work with the windows down and the moon roof open. But summer driving poses a whole new set of issues. Mostly that on any given day you are gonna have varying number of people on the road; A-typically summer traffic is lighter cause parents take time off with vacationing children and family vacations and such. This week has been off and on, short holiday week and all.
Today, Murphy rode shotgun with me. I was already running late because…well just because. Then I followed a trash truck out of the canyon. Caught up to a slow moving semi into Golden. Traffic, as always, backed up on 6th at Wadsworth but unlike a normal day it continued to move slow. That was caused by a small fender bender near Federal. Some girl in a tank top and jeans (way too tight) was standing in front of her car, that she has smashed into the back of a water supply truck, surveying the damage while waving an arm complete with a cigarette and talking on the phone. Then I hit every red light on Clarkson, how that happened is beyond me, it’s never happened before. To top it all off someone in my office parked in my parking spot, self appointed spot but still! Grumble, seethe, hiss.
Luckily the weather was pleasant and nothing like my trip home yesterday. Hello deluge! Below is a snap I took while hoping it would let up, it didn’t of course for several hours and also a little video.
It has been a really long time since I have posted any sort of anything. I’ve not felt the urge and with winter car woes a thing of the past I don’t have the regular repartee that those fun stories bring. Not to say I don’t have plenty of other things to say but I’m much better when I’m funny or doling out words of wisdom to my pals.
Today via a blog post (yes, I have a small addiction to other peoples blogs) I found a new site. Brian Ferry’s site, the blue hour, gave me inspiration to pick up and start putting my voice out there again.
Summer is in full swing having just passed independence day. The pollen has finally subsided and I can sleep with the door to the porch open; the deliciously cool night air is amazing. I have found some wonderful people in those I work with and spend quite alot of time enjoying their company in the evenings. So here are just a few pictures of good times spent in the last few months.