Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Secret Spot

I snuck into the resource room at work yesterday on my lunch break to catch a few moments of silence. This is my secret spot. The resource room is a library and presentation room, but behind the wall of bookcases is a balcony that overlooks the auditorium and cafeteria. The only thing behind the bookcases is one square table and two or three office chairs. Hardly glamourous. The beauty of this place is that no one knows you're there. Fantastic people-watching would be available from that spot, but it feels too creepy to watch people from above when they really have no idea you're there. That's not fair. And I always ask myself what I would do if someone really did look up at the same moment I looked at them. I would die. And maybe get fired.

I wheeled a chair to the table and sat down. I looked up and jumped. There was Jim. He'd followed me in and told me that I was in his secret spot. Everyone understands that you don't join someone when they're in their secret spot unless invited, so we exchanged a few words and he left. I got settled into my book and a few minutes later, a woman I'd never met poked her head around the corner and jumped. I was in her secret spot, and she said so.

The only reason I know about this spot is because my friend invited me once to have lunch with her in her secret spot. That day, we were the only ones there for the entire hour, so I adopted it as my secret spot too. Either this building does not have many private areas, or we humans are far less original than I hoped.

This aspect of life humors me. Most of our originality has many similarities. During my brief retail stint last year, I saw that everyone had a different style or way of expressing the same thing. For example, you do not come between customers and their coupons. Some would present their coupons organized in a file folder. Others would shuffle through their purse and give me coupons from all types of stores, leaving it to me to sort. Some would leave everything at the register and go to the car to fetch that one coupon. One customer brought in a stack of soggy coupons in a Ziploc. She saw my puzzled look and explained how she dug them out of her trash can. Okay, that was original. But it was still going to dramatic lengths to save money. I respect that.

It's amazing to me how we are all so remarkably different, with different reasons for doing things but with the same desires. It's the differences that bind us. That's how we learn. Something Obama said that I actually liked was, "We find unity in our incredible diversity." I think even in that diversity, we are the same. We will always be human. You might be surprised at who you find in your secret spot.


  1. and now we all know about your secret spot :)

  2. some might say enjoying people watching makes you a creeper but personally I love it, so rock on in your secret spot!

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