I’m in a restaurant talking with an associate, business stuff. My phone rings, it’s an executive at the company that whacked me. I saw the guy about a year ago at a dinner party, where he made ‘nice’ for 2 minutes and then, drink in hand, wandered away. Otherwise, we haven’t spoken in well over 2 years though he’s well aware of my situation. Maybe this is something interesting.
Well, he’s at a store buying his daughter a laptop computer and wanted to get my opinion on what he should get. ??? Southern charm kicks in, it’s automatic reflex, my first inclination was to simply say “get real” and hang up. But I was polite, informed I was in a meeting and gave him handful of tips and said good-bye. The last real conversation we had was one rainy night, 3 years ago, when he invited me out for drinks to tell me his wife and him were getting divorced.
TC has now moved for the month of August in with his childhood friend and his boyfriend (the Latin guy) at their 2 bed/2 bath condo. His friend was insistent Chris come stay with them and Chris insisted on paying a token amount in rent. Chris asked whether the Latin boyfriend would mind. “He doesn’t pay rent and it’s not his place so who cares”. The first night Chris’s friend gets mad at TC for leaving a single light on in bedroom while he showering (“got to save energy“). TC wanted me to come stay at this condo for 1 or 2 nights to save $$$. He asked his friend if it were OK . “I’ll have to ask my (Latin boyfriend) if it’s OK“, was the reply.
Both of these little stories typify human nature at it’s best. My former colleague, self-centered, lives in a “it’s all about me” world. TC’s friend/roommate can’t answer a question directly. He’d like to think he did TC a favor, but he’s clearly not comfortable with TC in the house and likely second guessing his decision. Too late. We all have perfect clarity about how others are wrongly doing things. But intelligent as we are, we often fail to apply that brilliance to our own lives. We all want to do great things and be great people but we miss small opportunities while waiting for the “I’ll save someone from a burning building” moment.
Years ago I got into Dale Carneige (some ideas) I was such a nut job on this course, one of the instructors wanted me to become an instructor as well. I carried each day a 3 x 5 notecard in my shirt pocket with a ‘thought for the day’ and had plastered in big print the word “LISTEN” on the back wall of my office as reminder to STFU.
I recognize I have wandered from the principles that got me to where I am today. It’s easy for things to be about “me”. It is much harder for me to be all about you. But I won’t progress unless I can make it all about you. I will work on that.
I’m off to Toronto, my brown purring tiger awaits. I’ll likely have to pry him off the ceiling a few times in the next week, high strung as he is. Yes and I know they’re not tigers, they’re leopards.