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Why random conversations are a good thing

Yep, I like to talk to people

August 21, 2014
By Tom Adkinson, STS past Chairman

Half-marathon runner with Tom Adkinson
“That’s terrible,” I said to my co-worker when we encountered a hotel check-in kiosk that required no contact with a desk agent.

“That’s wonderful,” my sometimes-dour co-worker said. “All I want is a room key.”

I brought the subject up the next day, and my co-worker said, “But you like talking to people.”

Yes, that’s true. And I benefit from it.

That’s why this piece, “The Hidden Benefits of Talking to Strangers,” was such fun to read.

My own examples include:
  • In Quebec City, a breakfast waiter told me about a super-local meat-n-three restaurant for lunch.
  • On Hawaii’s Big Island, I chatted up a guy just because his sign promised great barbecue. He was from Louisiana, and we knew some of the same people.
  • My new barbecue friend introduced me to his Hawaiian benefactor, and she gave me a full shot of her local, perhaps illicit, home-brew.
  • My inspiration at a half-marathon this spring came from a random chat with guy who looked every one of his 73 years but who was running his 16th half-marathon after open-heart surgery 10 years ago.
  • A New York City desk agent agreed that $28 was too much for breakfast in the hotel and steered me around the corner to his favorite diner, where breakfast was about $8.
Yep, I like to talk to people. 
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