I'm pretty good with faces. I'll remember most people I've come into contact with in one form or another, even if I have absolutely no recollection of their name. I've passed old schoolmates on escalators, and journalists on station platforms and been able to remember all of them in a crowd.
Last Monday (as well as being assaulted. Busy day), I started a new job (a non-sequitur, I know. Stick with me). It's in an absolutely enormous beast of a place, where the employee figure dwarves the combined total headcount of my last two agencies put together - by a factor of something large. Quite whether I'm going to learn the names of everyone in my department, let alone on my floor, within a polite and acceptable length of time remains to be seen.
I arrived on Monday morning and was whisked through security and up to my floor by a very nice colleague, who introduced himself and made the usual small talk about how long he's been here, and where he'd been previously. He showed me to my desk, and then sat at the one directly behind me. I thought he looked sort of familiar, but in the whirl of new faces and bits of paper and more paper and more faces, I didn't think too much of it.
Until two days later, when I came back from a meeting, and it suddenly hit me. Those glasses. The place he used to work several years ago. His name. DEEPLY awkward realisation, I texted Best Mate, that the new colleague sitting behind me is someone I went on a date with several years ago. I thought he looked familiar.
I'm not sure how it came about - I think I met him in a bar during my far harder-partying days. As far as I remember, it was a perfectly pleasant date. We went to PIX in Covent Garden, had not too much Rioja and a few tapas, and he picked up the bill. He was polite, and engaging, if a little wet. Definitely not the worst date ever, but not one that was going to set the world alight. I went on holiday with PolitiGal shortly afterwards, and neither he nor I picked things up once I got back. So I never expected to see him again.
Except, I have seen him again. All day, for the past couple of days, and barring anything horribly untoward happening to either one of us, I imagine I will continue to do so for the forseeable future. I'm, quite obviously, sticking my head in the sand and, other than taking you into my confidences, lovely people of the internet, and admitting nothing to nobody.
Given his polite and friendly and not obviously mortified demeanour, I'm assuming he's completely forgotten about it or, not having a memory for faces, has no idea who I am. I am, of course, hoping that if he, like me, has a memory for faces, he will do the only decent thing known to colleaguekind in this situation, and have the decency to pretend the whole thing never happened.
Chicken Rendang (In Partnership with Le Creuset)
3 hours ago