Thursday, August 9, 2012

Aaron Meets an Eight Year Old

If there's one thing I love about being a blogger it's that I honestly have no idea what life is going to throw my way in terms of giving me writing material. If I am awake I am working on my next blog; sometimes it's easy and sometimes I have to struggle to find something, but yesterday was one of those days where a door was opened, literally, and the subject of my blog was obvious.

Yesterday I traveled to Cape Girardeau to give a four, yes, four hour presentation. It was the first time since November 2010 that I gave my police and parent presentation together to make a super presentation. Despite my fears that it would be a train wreck the size of which the world has never seen it went much better than I expected. However, that is not my story as today's blog takes place at the hotel afterwards.

I arrived at my hotel rather tired for it just being 5:30PM and I checked in and went to my room on the third floor and when I entered my room I realized I left my computer in my car. I didn't want to go back down but I did, got to my car and retrieved my computer, and walked back into the lobby. As I walked back in I noticed that I was walking with a stronger, more confident stride which I attributed to the presentation and I turned briskly towards the elevator and I waited, almost standing at attention.

The elevator took a long time to arrive and my patience was running thin as I wanted nothing more than to enter the hotel room and crash upon the bed. I waited, and waited, and waited some more when finally the elevator arrived.

An arrival of an elevator car is always a high stress situation for me; not because I have a fear of the elevator but because there could be someone in it exiting it and then the protocol for letting them out and waiting to get on always seems to be different and often times, like the first time I went up yesterday, people have an odd obsession with saying, "hello" or some other non-relevant non-binding greeting.

The door opened and I nervously awaited to see if anyone would be coming out. I saw no one, but then there was movement and a baggage cart began to lurch out. I waited, still standing with a posture that was a little too good and was far out of place and the cart kept on moving but I didn't see the person pushing it. Well, they were there but it wasn't a man or a woman pushing it but rather a kid of about 8 years old.

The kid was trying to get the cart out and as he got it out he finally saw me and did a stutter step and he said, "Whoa, sir! You scared me standing all strong like that." and as he walked past me he turned back and said, "Carry on and have a good day!" As the door of the elevator shut I couldn't believe what I just witnessed; normality.

What that young child did was something I have never and could never do. When I startled him he instantly said it, without any processing delay and then he used humor (his tone was perfect for it) and after all that he made sure to tell me to have a good day.

My elevator ride felt like five years as I thought of just how neat it was to see someone so capable like that because I am not. And on top of all that he made sure to say goodbye; something which I hardly do. Honestly, I end phone calls often by saying a elongated, "okay." It's just something I don't fully know how to do, and they're always awkward, so I prefer not to say it and yet this eight year old from yesterday sad it as if it were nothing.

It's an odd feeling that of knowing someone much younger is better than you at something. I didn't know whether to feel bad about myself or to think just how amazing to see such a polite and vocal child. I'm sure I will be thinking about that chance meeting for some time to come. As for today it's another dose of a four hour presentation.


  1. Wow, the sudden meetings life gives us... on the phone I never know how to end the conversation either. After having worked in administration, I usually end with "have a good day", even with family... This is either very awkward or has people laughing, but I don't know a better way to say goodbye on the phone. Before my administration job I simply said: "So... I guess this is the end of the conversation, so... bye?" Which people always took as me wanting to get rid of them...

    By the way, congratulations on your succes with your presentation and good luck with your second one! :)

  2. I feel like that a lot with my daughter. She doesn't know a stranger, and can talk your ear off. I'm the opposite.

  3. I would feel the latter... but that said, social skills are unlike physical skills. You just got to motivate yourself to do it... and sometimes that may make somebody's life better.