Making the effort can be no effort at all

It doesn’t take much effort at all to show interest and make a friend feel a bit better. All you have to do is drop them an email or make a quick call.  Usually that does the trick unless they are having an especially bad day.  It requires a bit more conscious effort though when the other person is a complete stranger.

I live in downtown Toronto and while it’s fantastic that the city is upgrading its infrastructure (sewers, roads, lighting), the ongoing construction I’m sure is the source of a simmering tension people sense but find difficult to explain. Last weekend I was out walking the dog in the bitter cold in front of our condo building when I noticed a guy adjusting the construction fence that separated the sidewalk from an excavation for a new sewer system.  The fence had been toppled the night before by, presumably, a bunch of guys who’d had their collective spirits and courage raised by alcohol (our street is filled with higher-end bars and restaurants). He was clearly a member of the construction crew there on his day off and he had a big job ahead of him since there must have been about 80 feet of the fence laying on its side. As I walked past him I stopped and remarked that New Year’s Eve isn’t all fun and games. He replied in frustration that he viewed the owners of the establishments as being responsible since they make no effort to stop the vandalism. He wished people would understand that while he understands the frustration that owners have for the mess and noise of the work, ultimately the work is necessary if those owners want their toilets to flush. Good point.

I told him as a resident I appreciated the work and wished him the best for the new year.  He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Hey, thanks man.  That’s good. Same to you.”


About Peter Armaly
I get jazzed by automation, big data, and blockchain tech. Business, technology, and fitness are things I understand. Scotch, wine, food, and fiction are things I appreciate.

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