I’m a friendly guy.
Seriously, I try to be nice to everyone I meet. And I speak to people I pass everyday.
It’s a part of me, and it’s a part of our culture at “the place where I work”. We kinda have a five foot rule. If you come within five feet of someone, then you speak, say hello, and ask if they need help.
I’ve had that as a part of my persona all my life.
I was brought UP in a friendly household, and my dad never met a stranger.
Neither have I.
So, when I’m walking, because, as you know, I’m a Mall Walker, I nod and speak to most every one that passes me.
Don’t get all twitchy, I walk early in the AM before the mall stores are open, so it’s not like I’m running from shopper to shopper and saying hello. And quite frankly, I’m not looking to start UP a conversation, I’m just acknowledging their presence.
Because it’s polite.
It’s the civil thing to do.
But, alas, many of them I find are DNA people.
DNA – do not acknowledge.
Seriously, they’ll look right at you and Walk On By.
Not say a word.
Not a smile.
Not a grut.
Of course, when the don’t respond, I cuss a little under my breath!
And, it’s not just the mall.
It’s every where. I’ve noticed that older people are more likely to speak. Women who are walking alone are hit or miss, about 50/50. Some do, some don’t. And maybe I can’t fault them…it’s a crazy world.
But, I’m not.
Kids, unless they know me from school, rarely say a word.
It makes me wonder, “Do I look that creepy?”
Back when I was at Brookwood, one of my “fellow educators” and I would discuss this issue. We found it mostly among the younger teachers. One in particular…ok B-Wood folks, don’t try to figure it out, ’cause he isn’t there any longer. Every day, I’d arrive about the same time – you may remember I’m a creature of habit – he must have been as well, because we passed each other everyday, really, everyday.
I’d speak, he’d Walk On By.
One day after having had enough, I stopped and said, “You could at least grunt!”.
And he did.
Maybe in some cases, it’s better to Walk On By!
But, I hope not. I’d rather live in a civil society where people acknowledge one another’s presence, speak, act friendly, you know, be polite.
So, don’t put me on your DNA list, at least smile. Don’t just Walk On By!
Ok, so I love stealing song titles. Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Dionne Warwick…great song.