Thursday, June 30, 2011

Get Busy!

Recently, I was standing on line at an outdoor ATM when a gentleman, also on line, asked me whether the bank itself was still open. I suggested he go to the door itself and see. (He find the bank had just closed.)

So often, total strangers have pegged me as a knowledgeable, go-to person that I set up this label here on Building Common Ground to describe these experiences. One common factor: I have most often not been in a mood to talk when people appproached me. Yet I've been out there and accessible.

To get people to come to you, it sometimes helps not to show how much you want them. It sounds like a paradox, but it's true: people often are much more interested in you when they're not sure whether you're interested in them. If you seem really eager for them, they wonder if you're desperate.

And being desperate drives people away, because - fairly or unfairly - they wonder what you may know about yourself...and what other people may know about you...that they don't know (and would rather not find out the hard way). Is there a reason why people don't see value in you?

Basically, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Get (looking) busy if you want to get busy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Land of Pork and Honey

Emily and I recently visited Annie's again - we both like the food and the surroundings, albeit in different ways...she enjoys the crabs and the view of the water (let's just say the fish are as fresh as fish can be), whereas I dig the pork and the decor (especially the pink).

The waitress kept calling me "hon". A bit irritating, but I understand where waitresses are coming from. Especially since this area (Maryland's Eastern Shore) is semi-rural like Ocean City even if Annie's is higher-class than many Ocean City places.

So when I paid the check (with a 20+% tip), I told her "It's nice of you to call me hon. Please, just call me Jeff. I appreciate your efforts to make everyone here feel welcome."

And she smiled.