Confession: I have ambivalent feelings about bacon.* I do not hate it but do not love it either. I can take it or leave it so, given the option, I usually leave it. (I would rather my unhealthy food consumption be things I really enjoy.) Feel free to commence teasing and declaring me un-American as some of my bacon-loving male coworkers did… until they realized the perks of my bacon ambivalence.
I recently went out for dinner with a group of coworker-friends. I was chatting quietly with the new girl (she’s been here for months, but will be the new girl until a newer one comes along) when she mentioned she wanted the chicken club sandwich with American cheese and no bacon. I replied, “I think I’m going to order that too, but we should get the bacon on the side.”
She looked confused, “Why?”
I looked around the table at the six men caught up in their own conversations. “See all these guys? Most of them would be very happy to eat the bacon we don’t want… and it’s already included in the price of the sandwich. I’ve learned I should almost never say no to bacon because someone else wants it if I don’t.”
One of the guys across the table from us grinned, “I am SO glad I’m sitting at this end of the table!”**
Showing people we care does not always require grand gestures. It certainly takes effort to observe them and get to know what they appreciate. It also takes attentiveness and initiative to watch for and take opportunities. It is well worth the effort, though, to remind people they matter to us.
*Yes, I am talking about real, made-from-a-pig bacon and not the turkey impostor that tastes more like salted cardboard than actual meat.
**Results may vary; not everyone appreciates bacon.