I was introduced to Nigel in a dark and empty bar after a long conference day. His bald hobbit like appearance was reinforced by his friendly English demeanor. We got along very well. He had many tales of my co-workers when they were his co-workers a decade ago.
When a large man with a high-tech camera only a true geek would buy asked if he could get a picture with Nigel did I realize his true stardom. After leaving the company I work at he became a rock star software analyst. He is not just Nigel, he is “The Nigel.”
As he told me stories of London in the back of a dark bus back to the hotel, a young programmer, drunk off his ass from the open bar we just left, called out “Nigel! Is that You?”
Nigel smiled and nodded with excitement, “Yes, yes it is me.”
I could smell the booze off the breath of the boy behind me. He wore a glowing halo that Miami’s hippest night club had passed out. His young wife sat next to him basking in the presence of “The Nigel.”
“My wife and I loved the presentation you gave today, man. What are you doing on a bus with the little people? Shouldn’t you be in, like, a limo or something?”
“Well” Nigel mustered as his hat size increased by one “I am human.”
As the kid asked a very complicated IT question that was over my head, the co-worker tried to contain her laughter. I on the other hand shifted in my seat to be off target of any projectile vomit.
We made our way off the bus, The Nigel in front of me as I blocked him from the fans. In the lobby he continued his stories of global travel even I was jealous of. We made quick friends.
Often I wonder why people enjoy my company. And this is not to belittle myself or be humble – I do have some great attributes you all must like at some level. My question is more to the point, why do people take to me so quickly? For Nigel, I like to think that it is because I had no idea he was The Nigel. Once I did know, I didn’t care. He just seemed like a nice guy with some great stories. It is a good thing to accept people for who they are.