Yesterday, on my way out of the testing center, a young man stopped me and asked, "Hey, do you need employment?" To which I answered, "No, I’ve got a job, thanks."
"Well, if you sell these alarm systems over the summer you can make thousands!" Sorry folks, thousands just doesn’t do it for me (maybe millions) let alone alarm systems. So I replied, "I’m really not interested." But he continued.
"We’re having a meeting this Thursday to get started. Here, let me give you my phone number." Before I could say anything, he was writing down his number.
"By the way, do you have any friends who’d be interested in this?" he asked.
"You know, I don’t know… Listen-" I replied between his breaths only to be interrupted.
"How many friends do you think?" he said while writing the rest of his address, yup, that’s right, he gave me his address for the big "meeting." He continued with, "Now, I’ll only give this to you [the phone number /address] if you promise to call me."
I wasn’t sure what to say, so I muttered a "well, we’ll see."
"O.k., great, I’ll see you at the meeting! Take it easy, man."
Finally! I was on my way to my car and started thinking, was he mentally retarded? No, not really. He was in good physical shape and spoke fairly well. Well then, what was it? I concluded that it was a severe case of "social retardation." Now, I’m sure there’s a much more elegant way of putting it. I don’t want to make fun of this guy; I actually felt quite sorry for him as I walked to my car.
We’ve all had our episodes of social retardation whether it be the telling of a joke that really wasn’t funny or a misunderstanding that led to embarrassment. But there are those I come across occasionally (like yesterday) who just have such consistency with this issue. I feel sad because I want to do something to help, but what?