Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Missed Opportunity

Tuesdays I have lunch with a young man at a local school.  Since the beginning of the year, we've missed quite a few lunches.  Some days he has a difficult time staying in school the entire day.  It has been frustrating from time to time to show up at the school, only to find that he just left.

Today I arrived at the school and gave the secretary a quizzical glance.  He smiled and told me that my lunch partner was in school.  Excellent.  I signed in and started trekking up the hall, only to nearly stumble over the gentleman I was en route to visit.  He shuffled by and explained that he was going home.

I walked to the office with him, chatted a bit, signed out, and left.  At the time, it felt a bit awkward to talk to him in the office with all the hubbub off the office going on.  On my way back to the office, I realized that I failed to recognize an opportunity.  Instead of leaving, I should have sat in the office and waited.  At the very least, it might have cheered my dejected lunch partner a bit.  More importantly, he would have realized that my evaluation of him isn't tied directly to his school performance.

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