While I will never reveal the source of my employment within the pages of this blog, I will tell you all this right now – I do not work at the Brisbane Myer Centre. The events of today, however, make me wonder whether I should rethink that fact.
I’d arranged to have lunch with two friends today in the aforementioned Myer Centre. This central location is a blessing for us all and because we all have different tastes, the variety of the food court is also a boon. Coming from three different offices, we naturally all arrive at different times. Today I was the first to reach our meeting point and as I stood patiently, it happened. Not just once either. Twice – within five minutes. And today’s experiences took the tally to three.
I might understand if I had been wearing something that resembled a uniform. As it was, I was wearing a simple ensemble of black business pants, a tan shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a black tie. I looked like many of the hundreds of other people making their way through the mall. I might have accepted it if I had been standing at or near an information booth, but I wasn’t. I was waiting near the top of an escalator and I was intently minding my own business.
I was doing a spot of people-watching while keeping my eyes peeled for my two friends when I was approached by an absolute stranger. He stopped before me and started speaking.
Man Seeking Information: “Excuse me, can you tell me where I might find an internet cafe around here?”
Luckily, I have some awareness of my fair city and I’m not one to turn down someone in need of assistance. Giving him the location of two nearby internet cafes, I figured I had chalked up my good deed of the day. It seems that one wasn’t enough. Shortly after the man departed, but not soon enough that they would have seen me giving him directions, a couple approached me as I leaned casually against the rail.
Couple Seeking Information: “Excuse me, could you tell me if there’s a Sizzler here in the centre?”
What else could I do? I smiled and advised the couple that unfortunately, there was no longer a Sizzler in the Myer Centre. It had closed down a number of years ago. They inquired as to whether there was a Sizzler nearby and again I had to break their hungry hearts. With the sad news that there was no all-you-can-eat pasta and salad bar to be found, they hung their heads, slumped their shoulders and walked away.
It occurs to me that I may be some kind of “lost person” magnet. Not that I really mind. Standing in the same spot I had been the recipient of a request for aid only a few weeks earlier. A couple of backpackers were looking for one of the bus stops and of all the people hanging around the area, I seemed to be the one that appeared most likely to help. On other occasions too, people have singled me out from the crowd to ask me for directions or information.
What about you? Is there something that happens to you a lot that makes you wonder whether it’s related to your “purpose”?