Tonight I got home a little later from work than normal, which means that I saw a different crop of people waiting for the elevators than I typically do (funny how when you travel along well-rutted time paths, how you always encounter the same faces). There were two people talking about last night’s Phillies game as they waited for the car to arrive. I smiled and nodded as they turned their conversation in my direction, but didn’t engage in it (despite the fact that I do truly want the Phillies to win, I don’t have a whole lot to add to a discussion between deeply committed fans). Just as the doors were closing, an older man in a dark suit slipped on.
The sports fan kept their conversation going, but got off the elevator on floors nine and twelve. Once it was just the two of us, the suited man turned to me and said, “Are you a Phillies fan?”
“I follow the series for work, but…” I shrugged.
With a knowing nod, he said, “Let me give you some advice. Pick a sports columnist and follow him. Just choose one and keep reading, it’ll give you something to talk about. I’ve been doing it for years.”
The elevator reached my floor as soon as he finished giving me this advice. I thanked him for his suggestion and headed home.
At any point in time, there will always be someone in this building who’s willing to pass along advice.