A colleague said good morning to me the other day … and then asked if they’d done that already. They couldn’t remember. It had been a long morning.
The answer was that they had, but I really didn’t mind that they were greeting me again, or that they had articulated their concern that they might be repeating their salutation. It seems that they’d worked in another country years ago where they’d been picked up for making the mistake of saying a polite bonjour to the same person twice in one day. Their colleague’s effrontery at this social faux pas had been based on some cultural and social rules (previously unstated to him) that it was a tad insulting to forget you’d already had an interaction with someone.
I sort of get it.
It’s nice to think that our conversations and connections with others are meaningful, even if they’re brief and part of a very familiar social norm that takes place most days.
But I also kind of got the other side to the story … it might be a tad disappointing that our communication with someone was so insignificant they didn’t remember it, or … maybe they were just plain busy and had a lot on their mind, and they were having one of those déjà vu twinklings that makes you question whether it is déjà vu or the real thing, happening in the moment, now.
Either way, I wasn’t in the slightest bit perturbed by my lovely colleague’s chutzpah (or perhaps lack of it?) … I’d much sooner someone had a personal, human interaction with me than feeling prevented from doing so just because they weren’t sure we’d already talked. And the bonus of this particular interaction was that I then learnt a little about my colleague’s work experience in another country … which I hadn’t known before.
I rest my case.