working in a restaurant has shown me a lot of things. i hate to admit it because i don't like my job and i have been trying to find something better since i left my job at the church, but it's hard to deny that there's a reason that i'm there. today the reason happens to be to teach me something about how we interact with one another.
there are a lot of interesting and diverse people at the olive garden. yesterday i made an observation about one guy i work with. he isn't very educated (ged, no college), but with the way he can speak and banter with a quick, sharp wit you'd be hard-pressed to believe that. i know it's stereotyping, but it's pretty common that the more educated someone is, the better they are at interpersonal communication. that being said, this guy is an exception to the rule. he is satisfied with his life and therefore has no problem with his schedule and life as a bartender at the olive garden, which i can respect.
when we were talking about golfing the other day i wanted to get his number so we could coordinate some plans. he gave me his home number and told me he doesn't have a cell phone. he doesn't have a computer, either. then i realized that his impecable ability to communicate well person-to-person comes from the fact that he simply does all of his communicating face-to-face. he doesn't get sidetracked by how he talks with people on the phone or via text messaging or emails. his only way of communication, and therefore mastered way of communication, is through real life interaction.
this got me thinking about how we've become so sidetracked by technology. as i talked with co-workers about the fact that this guy doesn't have a cell phone, all i can say is that i wish i could do the same. it'd be nice to live your life on your own without a way of other people contacting you 24/7. sometimes there are more important things than receiving a phone call, like sleeping is for me (i shut my phone off at night).
but for all that we christians want to love one another, we stil get sidetracked. we focus on our computers and cell phones, sending texts to people who aren't with us, while disregarding the people who are with us here and now. i wish i could go without my phone and computer, but i simply can't, not in this day and age. i have developed too much of a reliance on them. but i applaud people like my co-worker who have learned the value of spending real time with people and really valuing that interaction. sometimes the last person you expect to learn from can teach you some of the most valuable lessons.