Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Power of "Hi"

Today one of my co-workers saw me eating pita chips at my desk and wondered how fattening they were. I declared that I can eat the whole bag while sitting inertly at my desk, and not gain a pound. He doubts me. However, I am determined to prove him wrong, so I will eat an entire bag of pita chips in a selfless quest for truth.

Speaking of talking, I don't really. Seriously. Up until the last month or so, I really didn't talk to anyone at work outside of the occasional "hi" in the kitchen or report in the weekly staff meeting. I'm coming out of my shell now, and it's kind of nice to have more to my day than just getting things done.

Talking in the office is always weird though. I think we all feel as though it's just a giant elevator, so nothing can get too specific or meaningful - but that's not really the point. The point is that it's nice to be noticed, even if it's just a "hi".

When we were in New Orleans, our team said hi to EVERYBODY. Even introverts like yours truly were breaking out of our shells and chattin' it up to the best of our limited small-talk knowledge. Granted, people in the South are easier to talk to. I was much more likely to ask the sweet-faced check-out girl in Abilene about her day than I am to strike up a conversation with the high-maintenance, skimpily-clad diva in front of me in line, buying something non-fat and playing languidly with her cell phone. BUT, stereotypes aside, I do believe that people often live up to our expectations. This week, I did brave the "OC girl" fear by saying something friendly while in line, and was surprised to be greeted with a smile and some chatty conversation in return.

I'm the worst offender, but it bothers me that we so often walk right by our fellow travelers as though they were a tree or a bush or... nothing at all. When did it become OK to just not see people - to the point where if, on a rare occasion, someone holds the door or an elevator or makes eye contact I suddenly feel so valued?

This is my new resolve: to brave the SoCal masks and try to see people. It's a silly thing, but it might make someone feel better - I know it does for me. "Hi" is a powerful little word.


D & C said...

You'll just be miss friendly if you keep this up! We could learn from you.

Adam said...

Just so you know, I stopped by to say "Hi"....