A 60 second exchange between two girls behind the tills at Waitrose yesterday reminded me that you can never can tell what someone's real skills are.
Girl A - "How was your break?"
Girl B - "What break?"
A - "Your break from work."
B - "Oh that! Actually I was still working, but yeah it was good."
A - "Really? Where were you working then?"
B - "Hong Kong"
A - "...What?"
B - "Hong Kong, I was doing an internship."
A - "Wow. Doing what?"
B - "Investment Banking."
And then they went back to packing shopping. How brilliant is that?! I bet there's more to Girl A as well. I see her often and she always has a glossy, sixties ponytail, bangs swept to one side and flicky eyeliner. I'm quite sure that she's Dusty Springfield in her spare time.
There's so much that we don't know about people, especially the people we work with. Busy, and with our own agendas, we tend to take them at face value.
So; how many amazing things don't you know about your own staff or colleagues? What skills do they have, that they're not getting the chance to use. How much more awesome a place would work be if you knew the whole story?