“What is it with you?”
I had to think hard about this one and finally came up with this because the remark was not meant to be positive.
They were the words of a former colleague George*. I didn’t really care for him and I knew that the feeling was mutual. For what reason, I don’t know. There was just something about him that struck me as false, superficial and untrustworthy.
Picture this scenario:
I’m on a business trip and unfortunately, I bump into George in my hotel lobby, which means that we’re both staying at the same place. Because we are headed to the same meeting, for politeness sake, we have no choice but to walk together, right?
As we leave the lobby, the ladies at the front desk call out to me by name and tell me to have a great day. George snorts and says something like “Why didn’t they tell me to have a nice day?”
I explain that whenever I am in town, I stay at that same hotel and often chat with the staff. He gives me a look and shrugs.
As we walk to the Tim Horton’s across from where the meeting is being held (oh how I hate fake small talk), a few passerbys smile and say hello to me and I respond in kind.
George asks me if I know them from the local office and I say no and that I don’t know them. He can’t help himself and asks, “That’s weird. Why are they saying hello?”
My response is “I don’t know,” and for whatever reason, my answer seems to annoy him.
Before we enter the coffee shop, a random girl stops me to say how cute my hair looks. I catch George giving me the side eye.
But this is what got George…
We are waiting to order and when George asks what I’m going to get, I tell him that being a boring creature of habit, I always order the #1 combo. The woman ahead of us gets her order, turns to me (not George) and says,”I’m only in the mood for a coffee this morning. Would you like the rest of my #1?”
Of course, I refuse. But when she insists, I accept her offer because, you know, it’s fresh from the counter, not crawling with her germs or anything and I’m horribly
I don’t know why but free always makes things taste better to me. 🙂
When the woman disappears, this is when George gives me a nasty look and says, “What is it with you?”
Believe me, it wasn’t meant as a compliment, that’s for sure. I said nothing and shrugged but I knew his problem right away.
He was jealous. Jealous people get along with me and that I get along with most people.
George had a lousy vibe and that day the universe wanted to point it out to him because, you know…
I’m not saying all of this to boast or anything.
It was only somewhere in my thirties when I discarded a bunch of negative people and situations around me that these kinds of “nice” things started happening to me on a regular basis.
But believe me, I’m not always good. On some days, I’ll take out my broom AND put on my hat. 🙂
To finish this already-too-long anecdote with the part that still makes me laugh today…
During our team meeting, someone had the *brilliant* idea that the team have dinner together at a popular local Italian spot – the last thing an introvert wants to do when a comfy hotel bed and some take-out are the only things on her mind. I arrived early, sat at the bar and perused the menu while waiting for the others, only to realize that I would be stuck eating a salad because there was nothing on the menu that I really liked.
The bartender struck up a conversation and I told him why I was there. He asked if I wanted some suggestions on what was popular on the menu and I told the truth – that I would only order a salad because nothing seemed appetizing.
The bartender raised an eyebrow and before I knew what was happening, he called out to someone in the kitchen. Out came the chef and the bartender told him what I had said…
I. Was. Mortified.
But man, the chef was so cute that I momentarily forgot how to speak…
The place wasn’t busy so the chef chatted me up, asking questions about what kind of spices I liked, if I had food allergies and the like. The conversation veered off into other things and let’s just say that there was lot of smiling going on. 🙂
The rest of my colleagues arrived and somehow George ended up sitting across from me. The same waiter took our orders and I went ahead and ordered the salad. But when all of our food arrived, a heaping dish that was not a salad was placed in front of me. Pasta, seafood, veggies and some kind of spicy curry was thrown into the dish.
“Compliments of the chef,” the waiter said and grinned.
Whatever the chef had concocted, it was delicious.
When my curious colleagues inquired about what I had ordered, all I could say was “I don’t know” and it was the truth. And when someone asked me why I had gotten a “special” meal, before I could even open my mouth, George answered for me – ” Because she’s special.”
You can just imagine George’s tone. I’m sure he thought that I was a practicing voodoo or casting spells because…you know… [fill in the blank] 🙂
Has someone ever told you something you will never forget? Share with me in the comment box.
See you tomorrow!
* of course George is not his real name!