As I packed up to head home after a reasonably successful overnight shift, I was greeted both with goodbyes (from my fellow overnighters) and hellos (from the arriving morning shift). While there's nothing so unusual about saying "hello" or "goodbye," what struck me was how many people called me by name--not just "Hi," but "Hi, Tracy," not just "See ya," but "Bye, Tracy."
After a long run at ABC, during which people clearly knew my name (the
single and married versions), as well as most of my personal baggage, I
entered a world in which people seemed far more interested in my ability
to do the work five minutes after entering a building. If the job was
getting done, it didn't much matter who was doing it. While this was not
true everywhere, it is actually not so unusual these days. In a world where most
jobs are freelance, and many are different versions of short-term,
names (at least those of the people you know) may be important for getting in, but once you're in, tend to
be much less important than simply accomplishing the tasks at hand.
So today, as I heard hellos and goodbyes addressed specifically to me, I
couldn't help but smile. Perhaps there are still places where
everybody--or at least somebody--cares to know your name.