My maternal grandmother and mother are both somewhat famous for talking to strangers, often in unusual situations.
I take after them.
On a recent work from home day, I was wrapping up a call when my entry doorknob moved. I wasn’t expecting anyone, and my boyfriend has the keycode, so it didn’t make sense that someone was trying to enter and was failing.
I went to the door, and found a couple looking a bit lost, staring into their phones. I asked if they needed assistance, and they said they were here to see my apartment, which is listed as being available soon.
[Insert me shaking my fist in the general direction of my landlord, who knows I’m moving at the end of the month. Reader: it is not the end of the month.]
Being me, I offered to show these total strangers my apartment, which is a total disaster because I’m inventorying things for packing, and also was working from home at the end of the week, by which time most order has broken down.
I asked them not to judge me IN FRONT OF ME. They said yes, so I showed them how the locks work, gave them a tour of my unit (have I mentioned it was the messiest it has been in months?), talked about the merits of other units I toured here when I was selecting, and answered their questions about my experience living here for the past year, safety, neighborhood features, temperature comfort, and so on.
Beyond that, we chatted about why they are in the market for an apartment, and it turned out one member of the couple got her Ph.D. in blood cancers and is interviewing at local biotech companies. By coincidence, the famous commercial drug for treating blood cancers was my responsibility in legal contract writing at a famous local biotech company. We chatted about the local biotech and biopharma landscape, employers I could recommend or warn her away from, and the wild over-qualification of many people in this industry. We also spoke in detail about specific blood cancers and HER+ breast cancers, because this is totally the sort of topic I can speak about in depth with strangers in my kitchen.
‘Nice couple. Small world, if I move out and another biotech person moves in.
Also, I have to keep an eye on my landlord, because sheesh.