first impressions…

Yesterday’s Plinky question was “who is the most bizarre person you have ever met?” I think that describing them as bizarre is unfair but there are a couple of people who have made me stop and think about whether it is good to judge a person based on first impressions.

The first person was a customer I met many years ago working as a bank teller in a low socio economic area of the city. One day I was obliged to serve this woman who was a glue sniffer (based on the amount of glue residue on her fingers). She withdrew her weekly benefit payment and left with her partner. Several days later she returned without him and waited until I was available to serve her. As it happened, she was also operating a separate bank account to save a portion of her benefit money. From then on, if she was alone her and I reviewed all her bank balances. However if her partner was with her, I only ever printed out the one “known” bank balance for her. I still wonder how life is treating her now.

The second person is a homeless man who stays at the city shelter. When I come home from the farmers market each Sunday, he is always sitting on the front steps of my apartment building waiting for the church across the road to open. I used to rush past without a glance but one day he caught my eye and smiled. I smiled back and went inside. Since that day we have this little ritual. I say hello, he asks me what time it is, then we discuss what the weather is going to do for the day.

So they are two interesting people I have met. It has shown me that you should never judge a book by its cover.

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