Wednesday, 8 June 2016
He was gregarious, always joking and telling stories and was fun to be with.
Our journey took us through narrow winding country lanes, up and down steep hills, and at one point near the sea with beautiful mountains in the background. It was a warm and sunny day and I enjoyed the drive ahead.
My passenger was unusually silent and I surmised that he was rehearsing in his head the important speech he was about to make at the meeting.
When we arrived at our destination he got out of the car and said in a loud voice: “I will never, ever, get in a car with you again!” then he stormed into the building.
That evening he took the train back home and I drove alone.
I was to learn later from other colleagues that my driving was too fast – “almost reckless” he had described it. Yet he was too polite (or frightened?) to say anything during the journey.
I apologized to him of course. But the problem was that I had totally miss-read the situation and took his silence for what it wasn’t.
How often do we fail to consider the feelings of those close to us as we rush speedily through our busy lives?