I try to say hello to everyone I see on my way to work each morning, especially the security guards at my office building.

But for the longest time I’ve been unable to get a response from this one security guard who stands post at the back alley delivery truck entrance. He usually stands in between two yellow painted concrete poles, with each arm propped on top of a pole (about shoulder height). Most of the time, he is standing there leaning on the grey concrete building wall behind him.

I’ve seen him being friendly with other people, calling them buddy and joking around and then he’ll turn back to his spot and erase all signs of a smile from his face as I pass.

I’ve heard that the worst thing for a narcissist is to be ignored. In this case, I must be a narcissist because it was starting to worry me. Yet still I smiled and said hello when I passed.

Well, this morning I was walking in to the office when I saw him stopping some people so a truck could back out. By the time I got there, the truck was out but he looked like he was about to direct another truck out. He was facing the alley with one arm out poised as if about to wave a driver to move.

“Am I clear to cross?” I asked.
No answer.
So I stopped on the other side of the alley, waiting for the truck to pull out.
Then he saw me.
“Oh it’s all clear to cross now,” he said and smiled. “Did you try to ask me just a second ago? I’m sorry, if I didn’t hear you. I’m kinda hard of hearing,” he explained.
“Oh, that’s OK.” I said. “Have a good morning.”
He nodded.
I smiled and continued walking my way to the office. But inside I was a little embarrassed to realize the real reason he never responded. He never heard me.

Again, I was reminded that most things people do have absolutely nothing to do with anyone else (i.e. me). Each of us go along with our own little agenda in this great big world and sometimes we interpret the behavior of others based on our own life story instead of waiting to find out the real deal.

I must remember to stop making assumptions about people and why they behave the way they do. It’s a real weakness of mine that I would love to conquer.

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