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  • Writer's pictureAdam

To Speak or Hold Silence?

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

"Good morning ma'am! How are you this morning?" says David. "Good morning, I'm doing well! Such a beautiful morning out there" says the woman customer. David replies, "how can I help you?" "Oh I'm here for a cut and color again" she giggles. "And with the holiday season coming up, boy do I need some touch ups to get rid of those pesky gray hairs." David laughs with her as they carry on with conversation for a few moments before moving on.

The morning progresses with more clients coming for haircuts, colors, pedicures, and facials. David speaks with everyone, trying to bring a smile and an inviting atmosphere. Some are returners who engage with David longer based off past interactions. Others are new and their words are brief. Nonetheless, David tries to create smiles out of silence by friendly interactions.

12 noon rolls around and it is time for David's lunch break. He strolls to the break room where nail technicians and hair stylists all converge for breaks of their own. David sits in his usual spot amongst the mostly occupied room of woman. He unwraps his sandwich and sits silently among his fellow co-workers.

He finishes, throws away his trash, and heads back to the front desk.

"Good afternoon sir! How are you doing this afternoon?" says David. "Well sir, I'm doing pretty good! Here for my haircut. By the way how are your hobbies coming along we talked about last time?" says a returning male customer. David smiles and responds with heartfelt excitement. They talk for a spell as they do each time he comes in.

This pattern happens each week for David. "Good morning!" 12pm-Unwraps sandwich and sits silently. "Good afternoon!"

You might be confused at this point. "Does David not like his co-workers?" you might say. "Or does he only put up a front for the customers?" Neither are true.

As David sits silently eating lunch, he listens. Not in a creepy way, but in his listening he learns that his silence is best.

One stylist is a mom of 2 small girls. Another has a high school boy and a middle school boy. And the other lady stylist have similar lives. David thinks, "they talk with clients all day and then go home to raise their kids." Life is hectic for them in a way that David is cannot relate to.

David wants to talk to his co-workers, he wants to be friendly. And if they initiate, he will gladly converse. But he thinks that maybe the best way to be friendly is to be silent. And by doing so, giving these moms a few minutes to themselves. Thus, providing a quiet time that may not be possible all other times of the day.

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