In a world where social media is noisy and where we can easily detach from our surroundings by falling into the vortex it creates, have we lost the ability to be present and listen?
It's the era where anyone can make a motza selling 'quick success' to anyone willing to hand over money in the hope of their goal being achieved quicker.
You know the kinds of people I'm talking about......they ask you a question as if they are interested in you and the answer, and then proceed to interrupt and spend the next how ever many minutes talking all about themselves.
Or the kind of people who ask and then blatantly go about doing whatever they were doing, showing no interest in you or your response at all.
Well I had one of those situations the other day.
I was at the shopping mall looking around for a new handbag. Someone in my house mentioned I don't carry handbags anymore and he thought that was a bit odd.
In actual fact when I became a PT I decided to throw out almost anything that existed relating to my past corporate life - who needs 55 different versions of a hand bag anyway - I barely ever swapped to use any others than my favourite and most practical bag.
So I'm wandering around from shop to shop with an idea in mind of the bag I wanted to find. I was manifesting it as hard as I could but I just couldn't find what I was looking for.
There was one shop left to look at - Strandbags. I thought at least I had a slight chance they'd have something - heck they are a BAG shop after all.
I proceeded slowly.......I hate shops now - I'm all over their marketing and "feel good-ness" that I just go in, get what I need and get the heck out. No more lazy Saturdays wandering aimlessly around shopping malls to spend the last of my hard earnt cash on something I actually don't need.
There they were.
Two shop assistants chatting together, amusing each other. (Imagine Prue and Trude from Kath and Kim!) Now was my time to pounce. If I could just get in and have a look around without them noticing and wanting to engage with me and suggest every bag that didn't meet my criteria, then I would be fine.
As I slyly entered and browsed I could feel one of them proceeding my way, but still chatty as anything with her counterpart. Hopefully her chattyness would override her need to assist me....
I could feel her getting closer, my mind racing with excuses why I didn't need her help or how the weather was outside.
And then I could see her to my right when she pounced!
"How are you today?" she asked.
In a millisecond I took a breath, opened my mouth, proceeded to answer - AND THEN MY HEART SANK!
Yep, just like that!
Before I even answered....
SHE TURNED HER BACK AND WALKED AWAY!
First there was shock!
Then the realisation that she had just followed her job manual ON POINT (acknowledge the customer as quickly as possible and then get back to working).
And then I LAUGHED OUT LOUD! (how could you not - it was like it all went in slow motion!)
I WAS THE ONLY ONE IN THE SHOP - HOW COULD SHE NOT WANT TO TALK TO ME?!
And then a sigh of relief - I didn't want to chat anyway so I had been blessed from the God's above (yep, I have a funny way of looking at life sometimes)
....next time you ask someone "how are you?" be aware of your own behaviour and LISTEN if you are genuinely asking them - everyone wants to feel that someone cares and is interested in HOW they are and WHO they are.
But if you're not interested, save your time and DON'T ASK.
(asking and not actively listening to the response is like dangling a nutella donut in front of someone and then yanking it away).
BE a good human.
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