So Nice of You

It’s Thursday afternoon in MSD Prague Riverview office.

On the day before, I met my colleague Sabir after more than six months. We chatted for about two minutes. I finished the conversation with: “It was good to see you again, let’s go for a lunch sometime!” “Great idea Lukas!” he replied and went on with his business.

Now I’m sending him a lunch invite for tomorrow. In a minute, there is a message on my instant messenger. “I can’t do the lunch tomorrow Lukas. How about March 29th?” That does not work for me. “I’m not in Prague. How about the week after?”

It takes us about 2 minutes to find a date that works for both of us. It’s in May. When we finally agree, I joke: “That was easy. Usually it takes me longer to convince people to go for a lunch with me.” “No, it was so nice of you…” he replied. “We had a chat yesterday and you remembered.” I am not quite sure what he means. “Remembered what?” “About the lunch. We spoke about it yesterday and you sent the invite today.” I want to respond: “Of course. That’s what normal people do.”

But I stop typing in mid sentence. I remember quite a few similar conversations. With colleagues, friends or with members of my family. In those conversations, I enthusiastically proposed: “Let’s go for a coffee sometime soon!” And then… Nothing. I also remember a long line of friends who said something similar to me – and I have not heard from them since. Sabir’s reaction does not seem so puzzling after all.

“I know what you mean,” I write. “Sometimes people just say ‘let’s go for a lunch sometime’ as a matter of conversation.” “Yeah.” “We live in a busy world.”

It looks like in this moment, I am a hero. Even though I’m aware that the bar had been set a bit too low.

Maybe you can be a hero too. If you find five minutes today – try this: Call or text an old friend. Tell them that it’s been a long time and that you should meet for a coffee or a lunch. And tomorrow, do something unusual: First, open your Outlook, Google Calendar or that funny little notebook where you mark your appointments with a pen. Second: Do something unusual. Call your friend again and suggest them time and place to meet. This may feel uncomfortable to you – and could be shocking to them. But keep your cool. Schedule the meeting. Finally: Go to the meeting. You may be surprised where it will take you.

Photo by Eric Rothermel on Unsplash

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