If people watching was a competitive sport then I might have a new calling in life. I possess a quality that you can either see as special or irritating depending on how you look at it. Over the years I learned that I have a knack of remembering people and how our paths crossed, but nine times out of ten people don’t remember me. However, I think it has added to my fascination with people watching.
In October I returned to a past employer and accepted a job in a field that supports the area I previously worked in for almost six years. Every day I see the faces and hear the voices of people I recognize. Some I have fond memories of working with and others I remember for less than savory reasons, but the bottom line is that I recognize them either way. I’ve been back in what used to be my old stomping ground for almost two months now and just a handful have realized it is me.
Recently I was totally caught by surprise when I heard a familiar nickname from my past called out in my direction. At first I figured it must have been directed to someone else, then I realized that couldn’t be possible as it was much to specific of a nickname. A gentleman who only used to see me maybe an hour at most each day, and hasn’t seen me since I left almost three years ago, pin pointed exactly who I was and it totally took me by surprise. He was someone I worked with weekly for a few years and to be honest I don’t think we ever knew each others real names. He gave me a nickname almost immediately when we first met and I later followed suit and did the same for him.
The funny part was when he came into the room I recognized his face right away and figured that of all people there was no way he would remember me. After all, people I worked side-by-side with for 10 or more hours a day hadn’t recognized me yet. Nevertheless, this guy gets bonus points for being able to recognize me against all the odds. I think it’s because he’s a fellow people watcher. He sits back and observes just like I always have and I think that might be why he recognized me. More than just knowing my name or face, he knew my mannerisms and personality. While my name might be forgotten and my face will change with age, my mannerisms and personality will probably change the least over time as I like to think they are quite nice just the way they are.
I think you can learn more than you think about people by just sitting back and people watching. Plus you hear a plethora of one liners that will make you chuckle to yourself. Here a just a few that I’ve overheard as people walked passed me in the last few days:
“So what you’re telling me is that you’re just going to sit there waiting for her until she suddenly decides she made a mistake and comes back to you?”
“I’m a girl…I always judge.”
“I’m channeling my happy place so I don’t slap a β!Ϯ©h.”
Are you an expert people watcher too? What’s your favorite venue for sitting back and observing others?