A friend and I used to work together in the same software company, so most days we would get the bus together.
At our bus stop there was a woman named 'Bus Hand' that would usually be waiting there with us.
I've no idea what her real name is, we just called her Bus Hand because she would raise her hand to hail the bus as soon as she saw it coming.
This particular bus stop was on a long straight road so you could see the bus coming from a pretty significant distance away.
This means that she'd be stood there for a good 40 seconds with her arm raised in what can only be described as a nazi-esque fashion.
For some reason my friend and I found this weird and funny so we nicknamed her 'Bus Hand' and she will be forever known to us as Bus Hand.
I've always found it interesting how nicknames are born. For example I know one guy with the nickname 'Underpants John'.
The origin of this name is as ridiculous as the name itself.
His name is John, and one day while in a friends house he sat on his friends bed. However there was a pair of underwear on the bed at the time and he sat on them.
He was 'Underpants John' from that day on.
But that's a nickname he knew about... What I'm more interested in is the stories or names that random strangers come up with about me as I go about my daily routine, if any.
What does it all mean?
How we judge others is interesting.
We're very quick to judge based on some small behavioral attribute, which makes sense, we've nothing else to go on.
We are exposed to thousands of tiny snippets of other peoples lives every day and being the social animals that we are we need to make subconscious decisions about how we are going to interact with any given person.
These behaviours we base our judgements on are of course is not representative of them as a person. It’s like judging a book by the first sentence.
For example, you may come across a scraggly haired middle aged man wearing stained, creased clothes and smoking a cigarette, and assume that they are a bit of a bum.
But maybe that persons primary concern is reconciling quantum physics with the relativity and so he doesn't put much thought into his appearance.
Or maybe that girl who works in the local coffee shop and always seems a bit angry and is often rude is capable of writing beautiful and moving piano sonatas and resents having to work in Starbucks to pay their rent.
The point is that it's easy to be really harsh in judgement and assign a category or 'class' to a person, but how many of your own little behaviours when viewed in isolation would not be an accurate or fair representation of you as a person?
Definitely something worth considering.
I write all of these blog posts while sitting on the bus, which means I always have a laptop (MS Surface Go if interested) open while commuting.
That's the obvious thing that makes me stand out from the crowd. Maybe there are some regulars on that bus that think of me as 'That laptop guy' or some variant of that.
Or maybe people see me as hardworking and very professional... Which is far from the full picture.