You’ll Never Guess Who I Met Today!

Sure, it’s incredible seeing factories and natural wonders. Even more fun: finding out about the jobs that exist that we don’t think of and the paths people take to find their ways to them. Here are the folks I met just today, plus one from yesterday.

At the Kazoo Factory in Eden, NY I met an Israeli couple and we spoke in Hebrew together. Theirs was better than mine.

Having Buffalo Wings at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY I sat next to a man who has worked in the safety gear industry for 30 years. Translation: he sells hard hats, goggles, and such to manufacturers and anyone who needs them. His territory: North America. Seriously.

Sitting on my other side at the bar was a man who trains dogs to work with the Marines and scout for explosives. He got into this because his family had dogs for duck hunting, and he sought a job that let him continue to work with dogs.

Yesterday I met a man staying at the same inn who calls strategy for Grand Prix drivers, which had a race in the Finger Lakes over the weekend. What does strategy entail? Deciding when to trade out drivers on the 24-hour run based on the road and weather conditions and their respective skills; when to call a pit stop^; how to maneuver the track.

^Remember when I visited the Charlotte Motor Speedway? Even if you don’t, I learned about the importance of pit stops and managing tire pressure.

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Who did you meet today?

5 Responses

08.12.12

From the title of today’s entry, I thought that you might have met someone famous, but I like the people that you did meet even better. Similarly, we always take pictures of “things,” but the ones we treasure are the photos of people who use or enjoy those things.

Your post reminds me of a book I just read: “Is This Seat Taken?” by Kristen Kaufman. http://www.amazon.com/Is-This-Seat-Taken-Encounters/dp/1612540201

When I was growing up, I used to cringe when my father spoke to almost everyone with whom we crossed paths, but now that I travel quite a bit, I find that one of the best parts of travel is actually conversing with all sorts of people along the way. If you allow links, an example of this pops up in my blog post about our first day in Dublin when cab driver from the airport bowled us over with his excellent attitude about his life. If we had just given into our exhaustion and stared out the window instead of engaging, we would have missed hearing his story. http://www.boomeresque.com/eire-no-not-pennsylvania-ireland-the-emerald-isle/

Thanks for the book recommendation!

08.12.12

Although it is mostly over the phone, my work as an Information and Referral Specialist for older adults and their families allows me to meet many people each day. Because of the nature of what I do, most of them share very intimate details of their lives and struggles so that I can suggest referrals from my agency or in the community that can help.

Just today, I had the honor of helping a woman in her 70’s who is working full time and also caring for her older sister. I held it together as she cried about her situation, which was truly dismal. I did not have many referrals, but I gave her what I had, offered my ear and shared the importance of taking care of herself and putting her needs along side her sister’s. She said she needed that reminder and I can only hope she can do this from time to time. I hung up the phone, teared up, and went to speak to my colleague who reminded me that even though I could not fix anything I did help her.
I needed that reminder, desperately. It helped me to take the next call with renewed hope.
So it goes- sometimes from strangers and sometimes from friends- if we are open to it we make connections and get the interest and support we need.
Thanks for sparking this with your question of who we met today.

Cori – let there be no doubt in your mind that every day people talk about meeting you; even if it’s “just” on the phone. Your work is incredible.

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