Chance Encounters

When I first interviewed for the job that I now hold, I sat in a lobby/reception area waiting to meet with my employer.  The company is in an office building that houses several different businesses. While waiting, I could see out to the hallway where people from other companies would pass by on their way home for the evening.  I hadn't been sitting there long, when a woman passed by, talking on her cell phone.  I saw her; she saw me and stopped. We had worked together years ago at a company that was maybe 3 miles away from where we both now were.  I knew the company that the worked for (not the one that I was interviewing with), but I didn't know they were housed in this building.  

Though on the phone, she mouthed:  "Are you interviewing?"  I nodded and she mouthed back "Good luck" and continued on her way.  I took it as a good sign.  I think it was.  Three weeks later I was offered the job.  

Although she works in one of the suites on my floor, I rarely see her.  So I do think it was a "message" when she just happened to pass as I was sitting there.  It seemed to me more than just a chance meeting.

Earlier this week I was sitting in my cubicle working.  My boss was in this week (he travels extensively and works remotely for the most part).  I didn't know if he was in yet, but I decided to head down the hall and see if his light was on.  As I got closer I could see his door was closed (a sign that he was interviewing a potential new sales person), but it opened as I turned to head back down the aisle.  He was moving the candidate from his office to the HR office and motioned for me to wait. I waited...and with a stunned expression on my face.  The woman in his office was yet another former co-worker!

Although we did not know each other well (we did not directly work with each other), I recognized her as she did me.  We exchanged brief pleasantries and then moved on.  (She to meet with HR and I to speak with my boss.)

Midday, I went out to run some errands.  Coming back in the building, who was stepping off the elevator, but the woman my boss had been interviewing.  I would have sworn she had left an hour or so ago, but it turns out she met with someone else and was just wrapping up.  I don't know if seeing me was a good sign for her or not; they haven't finished interviewing candidates as far as I know, but you have to admit that this was another interesting chance encounter!

But my chance encounters of the week did not end there.  A day later I was heading down the hall to the ladies room (which is shared by all the offices in the floor).  It was closed for cleaning, so I headed for the stairway to try the 2nd floor.  On my way, I saw a young woman heading in the direction of the bathrooms, so I told her that it was closed.  We chatted as we headed down a floor, but it wasn't until we were washing our hands that she mentioned that I looked familiar to her!

No, we hadn't worked together before!  (I'll be honest, I panicked because I didn't recognize her face at all.)  But it turns out we did attend the same church at one point.  (I am still active; she is not.  Since she lives in the general area I tried to persuade her to come visit some time.)  When her dad was alive we sang in choir together and her aunt is a friend of mine as well.  She works at the same company as my former co-worker (my "good luck" charm) and has for a while, but this was the first time we spoke.  

What do these chance encounters mean?  Perhaps nothing, but it does remind me how even in a big world, lives can be easily intertwined.  The person that you meet today, could be your boss in the future.  It never hurts to smile and be friendly...who knows where it might lead!

UPDATE:  The chance encounters continue!  Was in the parking lot of one of the shopping centers a mile or so away from where I work.  I hear someone calling my name, it is ANOTHER former co-worker who just happened to be shopping on her lunch hour at the same place.  Now, my old job and current job are only about 5 miles apart, but this was the first time we bumped into each other in the year since I started here.  And the first time we've seen each other since 2012!

Again, it goes to show you never know who you might bump into as you're walking down the street!


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