Every day, we’ll meet amazing people and pass amazing people in the street as we get on with our lives, our obligations, responsibilities and our personal concerns. How I identify which people are amazing? Its easy, there are a few stories I want to share from personal experiences over the last few weeks and years.
Take my friend and colleague John; a Tottenham Hotspur supporter and good for a laugh when the football season gets going. We exchange messages, insults and banter during the whole season and it’s generally good value. On occasion I’ll catch up with John over lunch, John is in his sixties and we get on really well. During a conversation, we switch to a different subject. John tells me he’s been in the publication industry for many years and that he worked at Penguin for twenty of those in Singapore. Next, John tells me he met Roald Dahl. Wait, John… stop….. You met…. Roald Dahl…. in Singapore?
Apparently Mr. Dahl stayed at Goodwood Park Hotel. John even tells me an anecdote about Roald Dahl’s zipper. What??? You met… the Roald Dahl in Singapore? THE Roald Dahl John. Seriously??
John tells the story casually, unaware how special that moment was at the time. His only regret is that mobile phones didn’t exist back then so he could prove it. Sure enough, I do a quick search and find https://roots.sg/Content/Places/national-monuments/goodwood-park-hotel-tower-block. Yup, Roald Dahl stayed at Goodwood. It doesn’t prove John met him of course, but why make up a story like that?
Another story is about an ex-CEO a few years back who came to Singapore and as part of the trip, was scheduled to play tennis with some of the employees. As a keen tennis lover and player. I signed up to participate. A colleague called Matthew wanted to test the capabilities of each volunteer and I took exception thinking ‘how dare he’ and considered how ‘I would destroy him’ on the court. Turns out Matthew got a tennis scholarship when he was younger. I looked like the most pathetic, wettest piece of lettuce nobody wants when he was finished with me. I had no idea such talented people existed in my 9-5 workplace.
As a writer and keen reader, we can never judge a book by it’s cover; the title, the picture, the words on the back, because the surprise is always what lies beneath the exterior.