Judging A Person: Number One Mistake

by Paul_Takeo

I judged a person negatively just by their actions towards me. I found out later I was totally wrong about her.

Admit it. We have all done it one time or another. We meet a person and whether it is by their looks or by what they say in your first encounter with them, we will more than likely judge that person.

This person is boring. That person is so obnoxious. He is ugly. She is so snobbish. I admit I still judge people to a certain degree but my mantra now is you do not really know a person until you get to know them. This happened to me years ago and I still laugh at the circumstances resulting in this chance encounter.

Young Lady Looking At People Sitting On Sidewalk
Young Lady Looking At People Sitting ...
Girl On Bicycle Looks At Man Sleeping In Alley
Girl On Bicycle Looks At Man Sleeping...

She Thinks She Is Better Than Everyone Else

That was my very first thought after seeing her the first two times.  I met her during the course of working at a Catering company.  The caterer had a contract with a local company that offered Sunset Dinner Cruises to tourists.  It was our job to prepare the food, deliver it and set it up on the ship.  We would pick up everything and clean up the area once it returned to the dock.

The caterer rotated the employees so we all could have a chance to deliver the food to the ship and on this trip I met Sandra.  She worked as a bartender.  While I was setting everything up I said "Hi" but she did not reply. I did not think anything of it but whenever it was my turn to deliver food to the ship and I greeted her, she would not say one word.

Right then and there I judged her.  "What a snob", I told my partner when we drove back from delivering to the ship.  Since he worked there longer then I did, I asked my partner about her. he told me he had no problems with her.  He was a kind of ladies man, always flirting with the females who worked there.

It came to a point with her that every time I made a trip out there I wouldn't say one word to her. I hated Sandra and I assumed Sandra hated me.  It went like that for about 9 months.  It was okay by me that we continue this "relationship", both of us hating each other.

One day the Caterer tried something new with the ship company. We would be serving Prime Rib. Which meant one of us would have to be physically on the ship for every Sunset Dinner Cruise to carve and serve the Prime Rib.  I was excited about this.  Away from the workplace and enjoying a cruise, even if it was just off shore.

The Cruise company had small ships that could hold from 40-120 passengers and besides the Sunset cruises they would also do cruises off shore. Entertainment and drinks were offered on every cruise so when it was my turn to serve I was so excited..  The setup on all the ships were different.  Most times the serving area would be in the middle of the ship but away from the bar but on this particular ship I was to serve on, the bar was located next to where I would set up.

I was giddy with excitement  when my turn came but that feeling was quickly extinguished when I saw who would be working the bar, Sandra.  My partner heard me express my disgust and asked me what was wrong and I pointed to the ship's bar.  He busted out in laughter.  I asked him if he wanted to trade places and he said No and wished me good luck before he drove off.

What made this more uncomfortable was the bar and serving area was so tightly squeezed in one area that it was almost impossible not to bump into each other.  I set everything up not saying one word to Sandra and vice versa.  

It was inevitable. We slightly bumped into each other and although she never verbally said anything, I could hear the groans of dislike for me.  I tried my hardest to not let it happen again and surprisingly I was successful.  After serving the passengers I started to clean up a little bit and waiting for passengers who asked for seconds.  During that time I would watch Sandra serving the customers and was amazed by how good she was at her job.  All kinds of drinks were ordered and she breezed through it with no trouble at all.

After I served what turned out to be my last passenger I saw she was running short on soda and was having trouble changing the soda canister under the bar. She had a few passengers waiting for drinks and some looked impatient so I told her that I'll do it and asked her where is the spare canister and she pointed to where it was.  I was able to change it in less than a minute and when she finished serving all of them she turned and looked at me and said "Thank You".

In that very space in time it was the very first words she spoke to me since I first laid my eyes on her.  I just replied "Your're welcome" and I could not believe what happened afterwards, we actually started a conversation.  We asked each other about our jobs and our talk would now and then be interrupted by the occasional customer.

The ship was returning to port so I started to clean up and she did the same. Sandra asked if she could help and I politely said no since I was almost finished.  When the ship reached port my partner came onboard and helped carry the pans back to the van.  I said goodbye to Sandra and she said, 'Bye.

My partner saw this interaction and kind of laughed. I told him it surprised me too. I told him the circumstances and he just smiled then he jokingly asked if I was going to ask her out and I said I don't know.

Since that day every time I would deliver the food to the ship we would greet each other and talk a few minutes.  Once in awhile my partner had to grab my arm and pull me away.  After a few weeks I finally asked her out.  We once went to a rock concert which is not a very good venue to have a conversation but we enjoyed each other's company.  On one date I picked her up and she invited me into her home. 

As our friendship grew she was in my car and she talked about the possibility of moving in together.  I was surprised at this and I kind of shot down this idea.  At this time in my life I was living with my Parents and my Dad's health was getting worse.  From that time on Sandra kind of distanced herself from me.  We still talked to each other but I could still sense her wanting to take our friendship to the next level.  One day I saw her talking to a person aboard ship and they were smiling and laughing and my insecurities kicked in and became jealous.  I confronted her about this and it literally broke us up.

I don't blame Sandra for any of this.  I blame myself and thinking what could have been but looking back at this experience, I judged her too harshly at her silent treatment of me when we first met.  I never asked her why she acted like this to me when I offered my hand in friendship but this taught me a valuable lesson in life, never judge a person until you really get to know them.

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Updated: 03/06/2015, Paul_Takeo
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Paul_Takeo on 03/07/2015

I agree but I think there is a part inside all of us that will always judge a person but it is up to the individual to try and fight that urge. to do so.

katiem2 on 03/07/2015

Great food for thought and the very thing we should do, give a person careful thought and consideration.

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