Disappearing Act

Lobby liftsI saw her waiting from a distance and I secretly hoped the elevator would arrive before I joined her. Trying to slow the pace of my walk as much as humanly possible, I realised that my encounter was unavoidable.

Given that I found myself at the end of the business day, the elevator was simply going to take a long time to arrive.

Walking through the glass exit doors I prepared myself to engage in at least a little menial conversation. As she was looking me up and down I thought it time to say hello, to which she responded, ‘Are you new or something?’

…This struck me as being rather disturbing as I’d been working in her Division for almost four years. I’m pretty sure we’d even had a couple of conversations in the past…‘Um no…I sit around the other side of the floor, we’re a bit hidden away. I guess you see some people more than you see others…’

‘Mmmm, yeah I suppose.’ She looked uncomfortably at her watch.

While she seemed kind of reluctant to chat further, I felt like I needed to offer further explanation and justify my existence.

‘I guess we don’t really walk around the rest of the floor all that much, so that’s probably why you don’t see me all that often. Most times we seem to only see the other sections on the floor on the odd occasion at the bathroom or like now at the elevators.’

After explaining all this I looked up to see what she thought, but of course I’d missed the arrival of the elevator and she was already gone…perhaps we’ll meet for the first time again another day.


  1. jan

    Next time you could initiate the “Are you new” gambit.

  2. Tracey

    Hi Jan – Yes you’re so right. 8)
    That would most definitely be the best next step if I ever have another one of these encounters.

  3. Ricardo

    I’ve encountered these types before. Pay no mind to them. They are legends in thier own mind and have a knack for putting people off.

  4. John

    It’s amazing sometimes, just how strategic and complex even the simplest conversation can be – so you find yourself in the middle of a military campaign when all you really want to do is say hi.
    I guess it’s because suddenly we have all these possibilities hanging there in the air – which should be a good thing.
    If only there was a codeword we could start with, that basically meant: “Let’s just chat, shoot the breeze, enjoy the moment without any BS and agendas and stuff…”
    “Hello” ought to do that. But, as it doesn’t, how about we invent a word? Splunge? “Hi there, let’s splunge…”

  5. The Artist

    When people hurt it because they have hurt in themselves. Your friendly initiation of a conversation may have been a healing act for this person even though you took on a little of their world in the process.

  6. John

    Actually, re: The Artist’s comment, that’s probably true about it being a healing act. It’s amazing how much the smallest things can do for people sometimes – isn’t that what small things are for?

  7. Tracey

    Hi Ricardo – Thanks for the thoughtful words. I wish people didn’t have such a tendency to unsettle me. But you’re right, I should just ignore them.

    Hi John – I know what you mean. Sometimes human interactions which should be so simple are often the most complex. Sometimes I find it all too hard which is why I will do my best to avoid the battle. I like the idea of splunge as a codeword for just a quick hello and chat…perhaps it will take off around the globe?? 😉

    Hi The Artist – I love your outlook on life, it is all positivity and light. I’ll have to do my best to channel some of that when I deal with people like this…

    Hi John (again) – That’s true…perhaps everything is just caught up in a karmic circle, some people need to give and others need to take…but eventually the circle comes back the other way again another day. In each and every day it is those little things that get us all through.

Comments are closed.