Questions for Strangers
If you are like me, you hate to wait in line. It seems that if you pray for patience, God will put people in front of you at Wal-Mart who will test your patience.
You know the ones. The ones who check out a buggy and a half full of groceries and then, when given the total, begin to hurriedly look for their wallet. They have been there killing time watching things go down the little conveyor belt, but they seem almost surprised that mean lady at Wal-Mart actually wants them to pay for all the stuff. And then we have to endure her sorting out stuff through her purse as she pulls out things like extension ladders, air compressors and other giant things until she finally locates a debit card. Then, of course, the bank won’t take the code and we have to wait for that to be resolved.
If you’re like me, you tend to strike up conversations with people when you’re waiting in this purgatory of the modern retail establishment.
A lot of those conversations between guys especially, seem to revolve around jobs. “What do you do?”
While this question may generate some discussions, I stumbled across a much better question. I consider it possibly the very best question ever for situations like this.
It is this: “What would surprise me about your job?”
As a result of people thoughtfully answering this question, I have seen many benefits. Firstly, I’ve understood a lot more about what someone’s job actually entails. It’s usually much deeper than just the title that they are given. Secondly, I have gotten insights into other industries and how they operate. And thirdly, and maybe the one I’m most appreciative of, I have gotten all kinds of wonderful tips.
One of my favorites was a large gentleman who was an executive chef that had been displaced by Katrina. He gave me some recipe hints for my spicy chili. This chili has won best of show many times in chili cook-offs.
So maybe if the answers we’re getting are just not well thought out enough, maybe it’s because we’re not asking the best questions. Try this week. Ask people to tell you something that might surprise you. You will see they give a lot more thought. And you might just find some common ground. Or even a great recipe.
Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in motorcycle, truck and car accidents, disability and medical malpractice. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.