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Just Look 'em In The Eye

Story ID:2609
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Dublin Ohio USA
Year:2001
Person:Me
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Just Look 'em In the Eye

My boss and I walked down the hallway. "Hi, John." I said to
a passing co-worker.

"Hey, Susan!" I called to a woman headed to the water cooler.

"Jeff! What's shaken?" I asked another.

My boss looked at me, "I've been here longer than you. You
know everyone. How do you do that?"

I didn't answer. We continued to walk in silence.

He made me realize, I knew everyone who worked on the four
floors our company occupied.

It's the same wherever I work. At the building my boss and
I worked, I knew the security guards who monitored our safety.
I knew the cleaners, the maintenance workers, the bosses, and
the workers. I knew them all - hundreds of people I could call
"My Friends."

Wherever I've lived, I knew all the neighbors. I knew the
grocery clerks and the people who gathered the carts from the
parking lot. I knew the postman and the guy behind the counter
at the corner store.

"It's simple." I finally answered my boss. "I look them
in the eye and say, 'Hi!' That's all it takes. I see them in
the hall and I say, 'Hi! How are you?' Soon they recognize
me and say 'Hi!' or 'Good Morning!' to me first.

"After three or four greetings, I'll stop and stick out
my hand. Hi! My name is Mike. I work in the project management
group.'

"They take my hand, tell me their name, and their position
in the company.

"It's that easy. Just look 'em in the eye and say 'Hi!'

My boss nodded.

I continued, "I do it on the street, in the elevator,
and everywhere I meet people. I look in eye and say 'Hi!'
I'll start a conversation and be amazed at what I learn about
their lives.

"All around me, people live their lives, plod along,
look straight ahead, and don't see the people around them.
They're distrustful of people or are lost in their own thoughts.

"Imagine what it would be like if everyone took a few
minutes to look 'em in the eye and said 'Hi!'

"If everyone on a busy street said, 'Hi!' to each other,
it'd be pointless, but imagine what a difference we could
make, if we took a few minutes to select one person a
day, looked them in the eye and said, 'HI!'"

Michael T. Smith


Michael T. Smith