Well, I need her advice. It’s about hallways and doors and distance.
Hallways: This morning, as I was walking through our building, I turned a corner to the end of a long (for our building) hallway. At the far end a woman was entering and as she turned to open her own office door I could see that she saw me and hear her call out “good morning” in my direction.
Horns of a dilemma, eh? If I call “good morning” out to her, I commit the rudeness of shouting indoors, disturbing the people in the offices between us. If I don’t return her greeting, then I’m being rude to her, and if I wait until I get to her office then I’d have to poke my head in and say “good morning” even though I only know her very slightly, and get drawn into a whole ‘thing’ “how are you today” “gosh, yes the weather’s nice” blah blah blah and I’m really just trying to get to my desk.
Sometimes, a ‘cheery’ “good morning” is obligating, you know? What would you have done? (I pretended I hadn’t heard her, steeled myself for a possible resentful “okay, don’t say anything then” as I passed her open office door, and carried on my way.)
Doors: I never know how not to resent it when I’m say a few yards or more behind somebody coming up to a building and they hold the door open for me. I walk at a certain pace, slower than the average person, and don’t feel I should speed up just because they’re holding the door open, but then I’m ‘making’ them stand there, on their way to their business, holding the door for me as I make my way to it.
Again, courtesy can obligate, it seems. If it does, is it still courtesy?
Distance: These two points are both examples of distance in the context of social interaction. At what point is somebody far enough away to the point where we can politely ignore them? Does that vary if they are inside or outside? If they are ‘doing’ something for us? If to acknowledge them, we risk offending others? Distance seems to grant privacy but visibility/audibility seems to take it away. What do you think?
Wow. Where’s the jock you promised us?
Today’s first jock is a sexy soccer player called Carlos Bocanegra. He plays for Rennes, but since he was born in California he plays on (captains, in fact) the US national team, leading it to victory over Spain (number one ranked) in the recent 2009 FIFA Federations Cup game. Please excuse the second picture but I really liked it – it is a screen cap, but it shows off his bright smile (and great chest).
(Wouldn’t mind playing with a ball in the grass with him, would you?)