For the last few weeks I have been temping at the same location. It is quite nice to have long-term temp assignments as it makes figuring out commutes and planning routes much easier. You also start to notice the same people on the bus every morning.
My favorite commuting buddy is the fellow who walks past me every morning trying to look important carrying his laptop bag. He nods Hello and the following conversation ensues:
Him: “Has the bus been by yet?” –this would be a silly question under different circumstances, but between 8 and 9 am the 86 busses from Harvard to Sullivan leave at 8:04, 8:10, 8:19, 8:29, 8:39, 8:40 and 8:49, so the chances of getting one are decent if you wait, and the chances of missing one are even greater.
Me: “One went past about five minutes ago, I just missed it” –a common occurrence, no matter how early I manage to leave an 86 manages to whiz past me when I’m about 100 yards away.
Him, nodding: “Ok, I’ll see you later then,” he says as he turns to walk to Harvard square.
Me: “Ok have a good day.”
Him: “Thanks you too.”
Inevitably when the 86 shows up, he’s sitting on it reading the latest NYTimes Best Seller. We exchange smiles, he hurries off at Sullivan and that’s the last I see of him until our next morning rendezvous.
The people at the office where I work are equally unique. I am frequently called upon to cover reception so I see a lot of people coming in and out of the elevators.
There are two people I particularly love to see –I don’t know their names, but I have nick-named them Iced-Coffee-Guy and The Bag Lady.
Iced Coffee Guy dresses trendily, stylishly and rather well. Every day –without fail– he comes in with a gigantic thing of Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. It does not matter if it is snowing out, he always has his iced coffee. Sometimes he goes out for seconds.
The Bag Lady always has a different purse with her –a new one almost every day. They range insize from clutch to a carry all that is large enough to qualify as “checked luggage.” The bags come in a plethora of sizes and colors –all trendy, all coordinating with the outfit of the day. (The Bag Lady is also a trendy dresser.)
Iced Coffee Guy and The Bag Lady are Coffee Break Buddies.
There is also the little man who works on the fourth floor. He is small in stature, and 3 out of the 4 times a day I am on the elevator, he magically appears as well. He is quite pleasant, smiles a lot, and seems to be on great terms with his fellow travelers to the fourth floor.
The UPS, FedEx, DSL and USPS men are also all very friendly –if not somewhat loaded down with mail and packages (both incoming and out going). They frequently ask questions I don’t know the answers to (will the company be open April 16th for Patriots Day?) but that’s OK, we’re both equally in the dark.