One thing that alternately gratifies and bugs me is how often strangers look at me and think I'm their go-to person.
For example, I used to work as a computer lab consultant in graduate school. Lab consultants are basically face-to-face help desk people, so if you go to a computer lab to use a PC there and run into trouble you can ask for help. (Also, they enforce lab rules such as no food or drinks in the labs.)
People used to actually approach me when I was off-duty, and not all of them seemed to even understand the concept of "off-duty". Some of them became visibly and audibly unhappy when I told them that I was off the clock and therefore not available to help them. The kicker: A couple of times they even approached me in totally different places, such as a cafeteria, or another office where I also worked.
Once in a while, when I'm walking in a store, someone will ask me where such-and-such is located or something like that. If I know, I say "I think it's over there, but just to be sure you should ask someone who works here - try the customer service desk over yonder." If I don't know - or don't feel like being bothered - I would say "I don't know - you need to ask someone who works here" (plus point the way if I know it).
A few nights ago, I waited for Emily at a Metrorail station. A gentleman came up to me and wondered if the area was the only place at the station where passengers got off the escalators from the train. I responded that as far as I knew it was, but to be sure he should talk to someone who worked for Metro, and pointed to the station manager's booth.
He opted to stand there and wait in the same general area I was in. A few minutes later, a uniformed Metro station manager saw us - and came up to him, asking if he needed help. He asked her his question, and she confirmed that yes, all the passengers getting off the train at this station came through this area. She did not give me a second glance.
Life is interesting sometimes.
Hour 4: What do you want? Look at your goals.
8 years ago