Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Talk About the Weather

I wanted to be with you alone,
And talk about the weather

We have a place at work called "the stockroom". This area contains a supply of commonly used items, things like nuts and bolts, cable ties, batteries, basic tools, electrical and gas connections, etc. Basically in our day-to-day work the need for such items comes up and we get them from the stockroom instead of placing a catalog order and sitting around waiting for the parts to show up. Well, I happened to be working in a mezzanine level above the stockroom. I could walk over to the railing of my work space and look down into the stockroom below. There I would see the service counter where the person who has staffed the area for the past 20 years sits during the day. However, when I sat down in my work area, the folks coming into the stockroom could not see me and had no idea I was up there. As I worked throughout the day I overhead the exchanges that took place.

Essentially every conversation was initiated with a variant of "nice weather we're having today." Then the visitor and the stockroom guy would talk in a jovial and animated fashion about the weather today compared to yesterday and the weather that is expected for tomorrow. There was rarely anything else talked about. After a full day of listening to this, I got to thinking. Do folks ever move beyond talking about the weather to something that actually matters or impacts one's life? I don't know about you, but I have no interest in repeating the same banal observations or volleying the same forgettable platitudes with folks everyday. Shouldn't relationships be cultivated to a point where there is some element that is lasting and meaningful?