Who agrees that one of the most painful (and frustrating) situations, in this entire world, is when you see someone you know but you:
a) Don’t have the slightest clue where you’ve met before
b) Very annoyingly can’t remember their name, not even the first letter!
c) …can’t bring yourself to ask the very important but really awkward question which will give you the answers to a) and b)
This was my life last week. I arrived at the MentorMatcHER brunch, a little later than everyone else, and sat where my name card had been placed – in between 2 women, one I knew quite well and another I had never met.
But the girl sitting opposite was the problem (sorry to call you a problem Chloe, but you were REALLY bothering me). “Where do I remember this girls face from?”. I just couldn’t put my finger on it. We spoke for some time, and I don’t know if anyone else does this, but I asked some questions, hoping to provoke an insight into who the hell this girl was…
Until, I mentioned that I used to work at Burberry and then “Oh my gosh’’ she said, “I interned with the VIP team. I knew I remembered you from somewhere”. BOOM, we’d cracked the days biggest mystery.
Chloe and I had literally seen each other every.single.day for weeks yet outside of that context, we were strangers with very little recollection of each other. Chloe, a recent Central Saint Martins graduate, had decided against working for a brand. And instead, decided to go full-time on her own dream – building a fashion brand from scratch.
Sidenote: Remember in the first ever article on this site, where I said my mind processes things a little differently. This story is a perfect example of that. Okay, let’s continue…
Initially, my biggest frustration was sitting at a table, opposite a girl who’s face was incredibly familiar. But now, I realise that the real issue is how easy it is to forget someone when the environment, that initially brought you together, limits how much of your ‘full self’ you actually get to display. I’ll explain…
During our time at Burberry, Chloe was an intern on a short stay in the office and I was a full-time member of staff for over 2 years. But none of that actually matters because, looking back and then fast forward to that day at brunch, we were and are completely equal, in so many ways. She knew me as the girl downstairs and I knew her as the girl with VIP – 2 facts, true to who we were in the office environment.
Very little of ourselves were brought to the table in the day-to-day activities of our 9 – 5. No matter how much we threw ourselves (and threw out our social lives) into the jobs that we do, we were utilising the most mundane parts of ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, our previous jobs taught us a lot about the fashion business, corporate culture and looks killer on our CV.
But the fact of the matter is, the real qualities, skills and God given talents we possess were never showcased. Had I never bumped into Chloe again at brunch, I would never have known that she was set to birth a business, Marlow London, and she would have never known I was a new Mum to Pepper.
So I’ll rephrase my first sentence and start this all over again – Who agrees that one of the most painful situations, in this entire world, is when someone you know sees you but doesn’t see through to your ‘true potential’. I guess there are many possible solutions to this. For me, If could go back, I would certainly give more thought to ‘Who I wanted to be’ in the office space and figure out the most appropriate ways to execute being my fullest self whilst doing my job. I would be more me and not just a part of the environment.
What will you do differently?