Having worked at various locations and incidents around the country over the past few years, it is inevitable that I run into people I’ve worked with before. Sometimes those little reunions are joyful and sometimes you want to run the other direction when you see them coming (which was how I felt earlier yesterday upon recognizing a fellow who could not cut the mustard in Louisiana last year yet somehow still works for us).
Regardless, I am horrible with remembering names (just ask my friend Denise, who I’m always asking, “What was their name?”), but I usually remember a face, even if I can’t place where I have seen it.
What always surprises me though are the number of people who remember me or know my name that I have no recollection of meeting or interacting with previously. My wife says it’s because I naturally make an impression upon people, even though I prefer to be quietly in the background (I suppose that’s why her descriptive of “naturally” may apply).
Yesterday afternoon I saw a young woman and an older woman standing off several feet from me and as I glanced at the younger woman she smiled (with that kind of “Do you remember me?” look) but my eyes slid on past her and back to the person to whom I was giving some direction. Still, I heard her quietly say to her companion, “Oh, he doesn’t remember me, come on.” and they walked a little farther away and had a happy reunion with someone here that I DO know from Florida, so I’m assuming I knew her there and just don’t recall her.
I felt bad, because most people don’t want to feel that they are not memorable, especially to someone THEY remember, but I’m an old man and just can’t recognize or even recall everyone I work with, much as I might want to or try to. Either that or my brain is too small to hold all the memories and some fall out along the way.
I hope they understand and forgive me my shortcomings.
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