Thursday, August 14, 2008

Countdown and awkward recognition...

Just a few more hours before I fly to Delhi :) And have I mentioned how much I love looking at Delhi at night from an aircraft? A splattering of jewels mysteriously arranged in concentric circles.

Awkward recognition:
I am at an office of my company where I don't have access to the doors (Standard security procedure of autolocking doors which open only with proximity cards granting access). So if you have to be in this office for a meeting or something you have to wait for someone to have pity on your plight and let you in. Similar thing happened to me today. I was waiting next to the glass door with a pitiful I-so-want-to-get-inside-and-start-working face (This, the i-am-so-interested-in-what-you're-saying face and the you're-right-I'll-start-working-on-this-immediately face form the triad of faces which are absolutely essential in working life) when I saw a figure approach. Instantly I increased the pleading look manifold and implored him to open the door with my eyes. The guy stopped, turned towards the door and opened it.

Till now everything was perfect. I was about to drop the pleading face, thank him and be on my way. But now comes the twist. He beamed at me and gave me a huge smile and a "Hello, Swapnil". And I stared back- absolutely no clue who this person was and why he was treating me like a long lost brother.

Stuck in a situation like this there are two ways to get out. One, be honest and stick out your hand and say "Hi, I'm really sorry but I can't seem to place you". Awkward and a bit embarrassing, but ok. Second is to beam back, say "Hi" and walk on. No one has a clue that the guy is totally unknown. The guy is happy you recognize him and he WILL open the door for you again.

But what approach did I take? I committed THE cardinal sin of door-opener-recognition-no-quid-pro-quo-recognition syndrome.

I squeaked out a Hi and then very VERY ostentatiously tried to read his name from his ID card. Terrible. There was no way I could have made it clearer that I didn't recognize him. And there was certainly no way I could have made the situation more awkward.

Sigh. Thats one person less who'd ever open the door for me here.

I better go practice my pleading face some more...

No comments: