When you commute, you tend to see the same people over and over again. You wouldn’t call them friends, or even acquaintances, but you recognize them and they recognize you, and you smile when you see each other (well, a few smile back.
Most some commuters are mean).
I usually park on the fourth floor of my garage. I guess you could say I’m fairly consistent – I arrive at the same time each day, more or less, and park in the same general area. Sometimes I see my fellow commuters walking from their cars to the elevator or stairs, and I recognize some of them and others, I’ve never seen before.
Last week, I was running a bit late. I parked my car on the fourth floor, as usual, but instead of taking the stairs, I veered over to the elevator. I was feeling a bit lazy, and it had just arrived so I wouldn’t have to wait. As I was stepping in the elevator, a man I’d never seen before said “Trying something new?”
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“Trying something new? You always take the stairs for exercise, but today you’re taking the elevator,” he said.
I looked at him. He smiled. I mumbled something appropriate, then dashed out of the elevator as soon as it stopped and ran for the train.
It’s rather horrifying to realize someone you’ve never seen before has not only seen you (perhaps dozens of times), but made note of your habits. People, be careful in parking garages – you never know who is watching.