This was the question put to me by a customer recently. He had a “watch this kids” smile on his face while his wife and two children looked on. This was a “see, dad’s hip. He can talk shop to this valet” moment for his kids amusement.
I’m not sure what he was expecting from me, but there was a look of excitement and expectation on his and his families faces. A funny anecdote about a drunk man, a pigeon shitting on someone, a slip and fall? Nope, I hit him with he ugly truth.
“I watched a woman get hit by a car and die right on that corner.” I pointed across the street with a blank face. ” So there’s that.”
The smile on his face melted away. His wife and children were suddenly uncomfortable. Wait this wasn’t a funny story. It was the gross reality of standing on a street corner downtown for years and seeing things I wish I hadn’t.
He hemmed and hawed, oh goshed a couple of times, but never regained his composure.
That night he did something he never does, he went five miles over the speed limit to get his children back to the safety of his suburban nest. I’m sure he sighed a big relief when they were all safe inside.
You shouldn’t ask a question you don’t want an honest answer to.
I told my coworker about the conversation. He laughed and said “At least you didn’t tell him about the two homeless guys having sex in a sleeping bag on the sidewalk.”
Maybe next time.