Ships Passing

October 22nd, 2010

Earlier this week I stepped on an empty express elevator in a downtown high-rise occupied by a single large company, and behind me came an employee pushing a mail cart. Even though this is a tall building – and I’m only there about five days each month – our paths have crossed several times. He said hello and offered a smile.

After pushing the button to take us down to the ground floor, I asked, “How long have you worked here?” He answered, “A long time.” I said, “How long?” He looked up at the lighted numbers counting down from 46, paused, turned back to me, grinned, and said, “This week is 30 years.”

The elevator stopped, the door opened and he exited while offering a nod, focused on delivering letters and packages to their recipients. I headed to the parking garage, thinking, “There’s someone who seems at peace.” Then it occurred to me that I didn’t ask the gentleman’s name and know nothing else about him. I didn’t even think to wish him a happy anniversary.

Chalk this up as a missed opportunity… another lesson learned. Next time we ride the elevator together, I’ll be sure to ask him to share a story. I’m guessing his perspective would be quite enlightening about my client.

So, here’s the question for you: Who’s the person in your building who might brighten your day with a story? Perhaps it’s time for a visit.

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