I always tell my kids and my students that this is a small world and to watch what you do and say to everyone you meet as you never know who they are, who they know or when you may meet them again or have business dealings with them. It has been funny, and VERY scary, as to some of the people that I have come across. Complete strangers that I find out are related to people I know, are friends with people I know, live or work with people that I know or who have been at the same spot as I or my family have been at. A few of the strange things that have happened:
1) A guy that I worked with YEARS ago and moved to the NWT was on his way home from a convention in the US and we happen to be waiting at the same airport for different flights. Also turns out that he was traveling with a friend that he met on the trip that was also a friend of mine.
2) A customer of mine in Lethbridge who loves to golf, travels to his best friends cabin in Northern Saskatchewan several times a year to golf at a golf course that is owned by a friend of his friend (confused?). Well it just so happens that his friend’s friend is my brother. My customer says to me I know him and his wife (my sister in law) WOW that is weird – you think. That is only around 10 hours away from Lethbridge not bad for a random run in.
3) I was in Glacier National Park last year. Stopped by the side of the road to take a picture and another person shows up. We get talking and I find that he is from the southern US, born and raised down there. Well after he finds out that I am from Canada he asks me if I know this guy who is an old friend and work mate, I always laugh as American’s think us Canadians know everyone. Well I did know him, had known him for years and dealt with him the same time he was working with this American at the same company.
4) My kids have had a few jobs in southern Alberta and you would expect that you would run across a few people that know them and boy do I. But the funny thing is when you are in a place like Waterton and just so happen to run across a person who worked with one of my kids.
5) I ran into (never hurt him thankfully) a bylaw officer the other day. We got talking and I found out that he worked in Northern Alberta with his brother an RCMP officer. For their coffee breaks they would stop at a gas station/corner store. Turns out that this corner store was owned by my brother-in-laws brothers.
And it goes on and on. These are just a few, there are many more. My point is that you never know when you are dealing with a person or talking to someone who they may be. They may be a acquaintance today, a customer tomorrow and a relative in a few years. Treat everyone with respect and be careful what you do and say. Telling someone today something bad about a person may come back to haunt you. Saying something mean about someone may get back to them and the next time you are doing a business deal you may find out that the person making the final decision is the same person you said mean things about. Add to this the fact that the Internet connects everyone, things can travel fast and are never erased and we need to watch our actions and our talk at all times. If you want to be a successful business person, or even a successful family person treat everyone the way you want to be treated.