02 December 2008


This evening I went out to dinner with a coworker. When we arrived at the restaurant I stepped up to the glass doors and waited for them to open. They didn't. I looked to the side of the door for a button to push. There wasn't one. I waved my hand back and forth in front of the picture of the hand on the door. Nothing happened. My coworker reached forward, grabbed the door handle, and pulled it toward her. Like magic, the door swung open.

After dinner we were walking home and a young man jogged past us in the opposite direction. I heard a clatter and looked to see that his cell phone had fallen out of his pocket. I picked it up and shouted, "Hey!" as he caught the tail end of a walk signal on a busy street. He stopped at the corner, waiting to cross in the opposite direction. My friend and I yelled, but he didn't notice us. We waved our hands manically in the air, but he didn't so much as glance our direction. If I'd spoken Korean I could have tried, "You in the black hat! You dropped your phone!" Instead I just waved. His signal came up and he started crossing the next street. We couldn't run after him until we got another signal ourselves and we started wondering what we should do next. Luckily, halfway across the street he put his hands in his pockets and started to grope around for the missing phone. He paused for a moment, then turned around. I held the phone over my head and started waving and pointing at it. He spotted us and all was well.

Moral of the story: Waving - Doesn't always open doors. Doesn't always get people's attention, but sometimes it does.

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