• James Hewlett

Talking To Strangers

I’ve been doing my job for a bit over four years now and there are a fair few customers I’ve had almost that entire time. I’ll see them almost every week, sometimes a couple of time a week!

Me being me, I’m very friendly with them and they’ve got to know me a little bit over the years. Through that they knew of Sara and what she did and stuff, hell, a couple of my customers even gave us vouchers as a wedding present.

Now and then I’d get questions like, “How’s the pub doing?” Or “How’s the missus?”

General, friendly chatter.

I haven’t had any of those questions for a little while, and I’ve been quite grateful to be honest. I didn’t really want to get into everything with people who I only see for five minutes tops at a time.

I’ve always maintained the ability to keep work and life separate; I don’t bring any work stresses home with me and I don’t let my real life effect how I do my job.

One of my customers a few months ago was having a bad day and was stressed out, she commented that I’m always so cheery and happy. I smiled and said something along the lines of, “Yeah, I generally am most of the time.”

Inside I was feeling like utter shit, that my life was going down the toilet and couldn’t wait to finish work so I could have a drink or five and fall asleep on the sofa. They had no idea.

So yesterday was a new thing for me, I had not one, but three separate customers just happen to ask how the pub/Sara/married life was. So I told them, I’m extremely brief terms of course as I still had a busy day to be getting on with, and they were all shocked. I assured them that I was good now, in a good place and happy but a few months ago I definitely wasn’t. When the rough timing of stuff came up they were amazed as apparently they had had no idea.

I don’t know if it was healthy for me to deal with things that way or not, but I don’t think it was a particularly bad thing. I wanted to deal with things on my own terms without much unsolicited help/advice/questions/prodding. I sought out what I wanted, and that was essential, but work wise I just kind of got on with it.

It was super sweet how kind and caring the customers who had asked were though. I like to think I’m good at what I do and at being a personable and friendly guy. When I see that kindness repaid like that it reassures me that that’s the case and makes me feel good.

It’s also quite nice knowing that if it comes up I can comfortably talk about it, even with people I only have a passing connection to.

This one was a little deeper and personal, but I’ve got some fun fluffier stuff planned for the weekend. I don’t know what tomorrow’s post will be yet, so you’ll just have to come back and see for yourself.

#work #talking #friendly #professional #problems #divorce


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