Funny Seeing You Here

I trolled my therapist’s Facebook page today. It was as innocent as FB-trolling can be, I swear. Her photo showed up in the “People you may know” box. How could I not?

I wasn’t on her page long – I read a Mary Oliver and Wendell Berry poem she had posted. I saw pictures of her with her husband. And, before going back to my page, clicked to see the two mutual friends we have – both odd connections.

That’s how it works – one click leads to another and before you know it, you’re sitting on your couch on a quiet Saturday thinking, how in the world does she know my therapist??

The world is so small.

Once, in the middle of an interview, the woman interviewing me asked about my boss at the time. As any professional would do, I refrained from offering my truest thoughts and said that I thought he was great, and had really enjoyed my nine-plus years working for the CEO, but it was time for me to branch out. She then told me she knew him. They were friends, she had grown up with his wife.

I pointed out  how my cover letter noted that my job search was confidential.

“Should I leave my current role, I really would like to be the one who initiates that conversation with him,” I said.

I didn’t get the job. And the following week, my CEO came in my office and closed the door behind him.

“Are you looking for a new job?” he asked.

As much as I love where I am in my career now, I still can’t help but give that woman the stink-eye and shake of my fist across the Internet. I like to imagine her already stuck in her own private Idaho, not needing any evil-wishers wishing her worse. (Said Sally who sold shells by the sea shore.)

Not too long ago, my therapist’s husband entered the coffee shop where I had set up office. I watched him scan the room to find a seat, and gestured that he could take my spot. I don’t know if he knew his wife was my therapist. We had met briefly at that very coffee shop when I ran into the two of them waiting in line. She introduced us, but that had been months before.

“You can have this table, I’m about to leave anyway,” I told him.

He walked over with a smile. “You don’t have to take care of everyone,” he said, and sat down at another table.

Whether he knew it or not, he was channeling his wife just for me – offering the exact comment I needed on that very day.

I don’t know how these two stories connect, but here they are, reminding me how small our world it is.

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