A black-and-white portrait of KenKen ZinserMake sense and make better

Leaving a good impression

I was standing at the corner of a busy intersection, waiting to cross the street, on my way home after work. A bus pulled up next to me and stopped for the red light. Nothing out of the ordinary —As a city boy I’m used to cohabitating with buses. Except the bus driver opened his door and twisted over in his seat to flag me down.

I turned towards the driver, pulled the headphone out of my left ear, and leaned in to give him my attention. My brain put the pieces together a split second after.

“Hey, I used to pick you up in the mornings,” he said. “It’s been awhile, I just wanted to say Hi.”

We chatted for all of thirty seconds — however long before the traffic lights changed. I told him how I had to start getting to work earlier. He told me how he had to start working evenings. Neither of us liked waking up early.

Small talk at the top of your lungs.

“Who is that?” Sarah asked in my right ear. I told her it’s the guy who drove my route to work every morning. “Aw, that’s cute.”

I still think about the time he waved at me to hop on the bus while he was stopped in traffic. He recognized me, and had probably seen me running to catch the bus before, and knew that I wouldn’t have made it to the bus stop before he got there. I wish I had told him in that moment.

It’s nice to be familiar with people. To leave an impression positive enough to make someone say Hi.

If you have what it takes to become a regular, do it. You’ll be happier for it.