We are, probably, all aware that during lockdown many companies have resorted to their employees working from home. This is especially true for those who answer the telephone and deal with our queries and questions. Recently I have had to make several such calls.
One operator apologised after a couple of minutes of our discussion because her dog could be heard snoring in the background. Another commented on the number of police sirens which could be heard passing as we spoke on the phone. On a third call, there was an unanswered doorbell ringing, the operator made no reference to it but it sounded as though it was at his home. Minor details, but they did make something of a friendly contribution to the conversation.
Something similar happens when an interview is taking place over oom. We see the home, or office, of the interviewer very smart and business-like and the home of the person being interviewed; again tidy and smart. I’m interested when one of the people involved has bookshelves behind them; what books do they read? One individual, no names, has books written by former MP’s and people of significance from his own party. I’m sure he has lots more books but these seem to have prominence on the shelves behind him.
Yesterday, I watched an unusual interview. The person being interviewed wasn’t unusual, the setting was. He was in a room lined with untidy shelving and cluttered floor space. There were clothes strewn over the back of a chair, a shirt was hanging from a bookshelf, on another shelf was a mug and teaspoon, through an open door the corner of the kitchen sink was visible with a pile of dishes on it. As I watched I felt a bit easier about my study.
I think many of us want to present a neat, tidy, smart image of ourselves and our homes; but that isn’t always the true reflection of who we are. Zoom gives us a peek into another part of someone’s life and for the large part seems to make them a little more human.
Wanting to present a positive image is normal. Wanting to display our homes and offices in a positive way is also normal. It becomes a problem when displaying the right image is everything, and we put pressure on those around us to keep the right image on view regardless of the difficulties it makes for them.
Ask someone how they are, and the usual response is positive: even when we know everything isn’t going well for them. In a family, being open and honest with each other is important because it develops trust. An important commodity in any relationship.
I frequently include in my prayers gratitude and thanksgiving that God knows me. Knows me fully, nothing hidden, no surprises, no dark corners where I hide my secrets. And he still loves me. When we realise that and understand the significance of it; it’s much easier to put up with each other’s faults and failings. When that happens trying to present the right image doesn’t seem to be so important.