I’m quite well known for not noticing people waving to me when I’m out and about. Or not knowing who people are when they know me.
Part of that has to do with the fact I meet so many people through things like CAB. I’m usually the only person they deal with but depending on if I’m doing appointments of gateway (10 minute triage like interviews) I might see up to 4 people in one session.
The big thing in training for CAB is confidentiality. One of the points made about it is that due to that you shouldn’t acknowledge clients outside the bureau. That’s easier than it sounds because more than likely I don’t remember them or I think “hmm I know them from somewhere…” There are obviously the odd memorable person. Regulars and such like. But the number of people I’ve met and introduced myself to who’ve then gone “I know you helped me at CAB” and I’ve not known them is huge.
One day recently I was doing some jobs in town popping from place to place.
And in one of them someone saw me and said “oh! Good Morning.” As they walked past.
I replied “Morning” and continued what I was doing.
30 seconds later they reappeared in front of me to say
“You really helped me a long time ago but I don’t think I thanked you properly.”
All of a sudden the stuff in front of me didn’t have my attention any more. I’d been only half listening expecting the usual “bizarre and probably inappropriate comment to a wheelchair user” I so often get. Not that.
I said they were welcome and asked “at CAB?” They said yes and that it’d been “years and years ago”
I’m wracking my brain but I’m getting no where on who this might be so I asked how long “years and years ago” was
It turns out years and years ago was so long ago they had to think for a minute before they could answer. And so long ago I really can’t have been advising for long when I saw them.
We talked for a few more minutes. I had to admit I didn’t remember them. They said how much of a difference I’d made, how often I’d seen them and how grateful they were. They thanked me again and left.
I thanked them and left as well.
Because that made my day.
I can’t write any more about this. Because of confidentiality. But also because even with several days of thinking later I can’t remember them.