I was in the elevator this afternoon and a guy I didn't know started talking to me about cycling. I went through my checklist: Did I know this guy? Had I met him during a late happy hour and forgotten our conversation about biking? Then he veered into talking about TV and I understood he was insane and not someone I knew. Ten minutes later I got onto a treadmill next to someone in a hoody, and when that person started yelling at the commercials on the TV I recognized the voice, it was as my new friend from the elevator. I'd forgotten my headphones so I listened to his ranting. I reflected for a few moments on how it freaked me out more that a stranger talked to me in an elevator than that a stranger standing a foot away was yelling incoherent things at the TV, and I wondered if that marked me as anti-social. Perhaps, but at least I'm comfortable around crazy people. Both are important skills in navigating modern work environments.
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