Mohini Chakravorty explains why she’ll probably ask you about the weather if you are ever on an elevator with her.
I always keep my guard up when I’m in downtown Atlanta. It’s not the safest city so I make sure to avoid eye contact with strangers.
I have to walk a few crazy streets on my way to work. So once I step into the elevator, I usually breathe a sigh of relief that I’ve made it safely without any awkward confrontations.
However, on one recent trip, things were different. When I got to the elevator, a large man quickly walked in after me. I side-stepped away from him, as he moved inside the elevator.
I’ve heard so many horrible stories that my mind could not help but conjure up all of the worst case scenarios. I pressed the button for the seventh floor, as he pressed the six. I whipped out my phone and pretended to text someone in an attempt to comfort myself - but it wasn’t working.
Suddenly, he turned towards me and said “It’s pretty hot outside, huh?” I was thrown off. The simplicity of the question left me babbling like an idiot. He politely nodded, got off on his floor, wishing me a good day.
I then realized that having small talk with a stranger is a foreign concept for me. I’m always expecting the worst, which means I often miss out on having friendly conversations with people.
The pleasant surprise of a stranger’s politeness made my day. It’s a small thing, but next time I’m in an elevator with somebody, I’ll make sure to ask them about the weather.