Somewhere in Nordrhein Westfalen

Sometime in late December 2019

The last person that spoke to me on a Christmas Day was a homeless woman. While passing her by at the abandoned underground tram stop, when going home, she asked me to carry her numerous boxes full of who-knows-what. I politely shrugged her off, yet she still cornered me at the elevator and shouted at me some bad German words I did not fully understand. 

Then she yelled: „Verpiss dich in dein Scheißland!“ 

I knew the homeless woman from before. See, I am a real Bielefelderin! I know the local homeless! Do you too? Or do you live in Auto-Shop-Office-Shop-Home bubble? 

My colleagues, the ones that travel by tram, know her as well. Guys, it is the one telling us that she was in Australia and that the world was coming to an end.

I kept silent with my gaze pointed down as the last thing I wished for on a Christmas day was a physical attack. Despite me being obviously scared, I was impressed that despite her being obviously lost in mysterious labyrinths of her mind, she was still present enough to notice my accent.

The elevator door closed and to my great relief, she stayed at the other side. I felt sorry for her, as I am learning that what people tell me, and the tone they choose, defines more them than me. Sure, it sends signals to us about us, yet we shall not forget the narrator’s perspective.

Here are some other memorable goodbye words. This time from my colleagues:

Influencerin: „Das brauchen wir doch nicht allen erzählen.“

Sceptic: „Du willst von uns abhauen.“

Boulder Team: „Plane deine Dienstreisen hier immer mittwochs.“

Creative: „Granatapfels sind gut für Potenz.“

People-person: „Wir kommen alle bei dir in Tschechien vorbei und du kochst für uns.“

Miele-Lady: „Madame, Sie können noch zu uns kommen oder zu andere Miele Lokation!“

Big-heart: „Ich mache mich für dich klein.“ (for a hug)

Pragmatist: „Marketa, komme.“ (for a hug, then rushed off to a meeting)

Teacher: „Na komm, du solltest jetzt etwas den Leuten sagen.“

Diplomat: „Sind Sie hier noch morgen?“

Friend: „Change is good.“

Dancer: „Du bist empathisch. Viel empathisch.“

Friend: „Danke dir.“

Another shy diva?: „Ja, das passiert oft in meiner Umgebung, dass Leute auf den Knien fallen.“

Der Leichenfresser: „Darf ich schon dein Stuhl haben?“

Responsible: „Wir haben noch offene Themen.“

Funny one: „Wir schicken dich zurück mit Milkrun.“

Hope giver and the absolute winner: “Du kannst doch die Schokolade essen, wenn es dir wieder gut geht.”

How do you relate to what people tell you?