For the last 13 months I have held the same job, walked in the same building, sat at the same cubicle in the same office suite. In those 13 months some things in the suite as well as some of the people in the suite have changed yet one thing and one person has always been consistent. There is a coworker who has chosen for the past 13 months not to engage me in conversation, not even simple greetings, and at times not even make eye contact with me if it could be avoided.
When I first started working in The Kingdom I put my best foot forward to fit in with the office and create positive working relationships. He showed no direct interest and to my understanding expressed to others that he had none. I respected that.
I have lived every aspect of my life as an out gay man since college and I in this journey I have come to understand that not everyone is okay with that and that, is most certainly okay with me. I have also grown not only to understand but appreciate those who may have an issue with homosexuality and homosexuals and not allow it to become reason nor ammunition to disrespect me – which is still different from respect.
Nevertheless, I had resigned that this colleague and I have not spoken any words to each other since my first month on the job. He does his job and I do my job. But a funny thing happened on the way to the train this evening after work.
I packed my bag, put on my coat and scarf and headed out the suite door. I went down the hall and the one who has had no words came from the opposite end of the hallway and in passing he said “Have a good evening.” Without missing a beat I told him to do the same. As I got closer to the elevators I heard him call my name. I turned around and he walked over to me.
He apologized. I listened.
He explained that I had never done anything to him and that he didn’t have any real reason to ever not speak to me and that it was in his own words, stupid for him to have been acting how he had. He said that he noticed my interactions with others in the suite and felt that he had been missing out on having a friendly work relationship with a good guy because he was being ignorant.
I told him that I am glad that we could start all over again.