You never know where you are going to find new friends and business connections. Just this month, the pillar in John Lewis Cafe became my old-school LinkedIn.
Owning a rather clunky laptop with a battery life that hovers around the 5 minute mark, means that I spend lots of my working life hunting down power points. Once one is joyously discovered I plug in as stealthily as possible, convinced that I’m not really supposed to be “borrowing” the power, and tap away to my heart’s content.
Last week was the same as any other week but this time I found myself upstairs in John Lewis. I located the only, yes, the only power point in the whole cafe which happened to be in a pillar. After half an hour or so I heard a voice from behind the microwave (it needed the power too) saying,
Oh brilliant! Is that a power point, can I plug in too? I need to make a call and I’m totally out of juice.
Always one to welcome another juice sucker, I heartily agreed and even went as far as unplugging the microwave for her. Please don’t tell John Lewis.
Another hour or so passed and it occurred to me that this lady (deep in her work) sounded quite cool (not that I was listening, honest) and so I took a deep breath and stuck my head round the pillar to introduce myself. Quite why, I have no idea, it’s not something I do often, but a little voice was telling me to do it and I listened to my instincts.
So what happened?
Well, it turned out we had lots in common. Shared job spec, shared experience of moving to Norwich, shared juggling of job and family. And so we chatted away as if this wasn’t a slightly weird thing to be happening.
We’ve done the obligatory LinkedIn connection now too, but we’re meeting, in person, next week. In John Lewis of course, and I’ve made a connection that may prove interesting, educational and fun. I’d urge you too to stick your head around the pillar and say hello. You just never know.