Relativity of perception

In my line of work, purveyors of insurance are given ALL kinds of opportunities to hawk their wares on the company dime. This afternoon one such huckster was in the office… with a sweetened pot: free gifts in return for “a moment of your time.” It was like I had been transported to Daytona Beach and someone was trying to sell me a timeshare condo, only instead of a free day at Disney World she was offering… a coffee mug. Hoo-we that’s tempting… but even though seminars on merits of supplemental insurance interest me as much as the next guy… I decided to pass.

This afternoon I had the occasion to pass one more time. As I was passing in the hallway, our supplemental insurance representative called out to my rapidly departing backside, “are you looking for me?”

I had an out of body experience. That’s the only way to describe the flood of potential responses that came to mind (usually I’m rather slow of wit, under these circumstances… no matter how much coffee I’ve had). “I’m sorry, do I know you?” “Is there some reason, of which I’m not aware, that I should be looking for you?” “In order to have found what I’ve lost, mustn’t I have lost in the first place?” All these responses and more came flooding into my mind. In the end, I decided to go with short and sweet, “no.”

Despite willing every ounce of sincerity, good will, and all round niceness into my demeanor when I said, “no,” she gave me a look of 100% pure contempt. I’m no expert on reading people, but it sure looked like contempt anyway. It was like the guy driving the turnip truck wouldn’t even stoop to giving me a ride, let alone give me the opportunity to fall off. It was like she was so far above me I’d need a high powered telescope just to see the bottom of the stairs leading to the base of the tower used to launch the rocket she was riding in… yeah, I was that low. It was like she was reading my mind. I was scared.

Then I got back to my office and noticed my zipper had flown south for the season.

Give the gift of words.