Every day when I come into work I pass a lady on the stairs, I always pass her on my way out as well and can generally expect to see her around the corridors during the day.
I thought I recognised the woman from one of the PAs' offices. Yes, very quickly I identified her as K. I work in a very large college, there are like 30,000 learners and 3000 members of staff, as you can imagine, the place isn't very personable.
So, in an effort to change this, after a while I started to do the smile recognition thing when we passed, and about a week ago I upped it into actually saying hello. She always looked slightly confused but positively beamed back.
As it happened, a project meant that I had to email K several times last week and yesterday, when I saw her on the stairs, I thought I would ask her about them, did they all make sense etc...
K looked at me blankly.
I repeated what I said.
She blinked back and then slowly,
"I sorry, I not understand. English new."
Turns out that the woman was not actually K but one of our ESOL learners, new to the College and indeed the country.
And the real K? Yep, she looks nothing like her.
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