Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Coffeeshop Nature Documentary

We approach the environment with trepidation, noting the excessive crowding of the humans. They have worked together to form a system of ordering, and wait in line for coffee, which some consider essential to functioning throughout the day.

We spy a well-dressed human, male, in a grey and gold pinstriped suit. At first he casts an impressive figure, as evidenced by the way in which the other humans leave him a small amount of "personal space" around him. Upon closer inspection, however, we notice that he is oblivious to those around him, intent as he is on listening to recorded sounds through an item known as an "iPod." The "earbuds" plugged into the human's ears clash discordantly with the tailoring of his suit. Particularly noted in this human's appearance is a small amount of fungus growing behind the ears. At once, the human's visual status is greatly diminished by this oversight in personal hygiene.

Moving through the complicated process of ordering coffee, the humans cluster in a corner, awaiting delivery of their beverages. At this point, we observe two examples of the social behavior known as "networking." The first encounter involves two humans who have met briefly before at a meeting; after brief greetings, such as "hello" and "how are you," the first human retreats, too shy to continue talking, even though the second human seems enthusiastic about pursuing conversation.

The second human then spies another acquaintance, and approaches this figure. As they await their coffee, they engage in what is known as "small talk." While no business is conducted, personal information is exchanged, as well as contact information. This sort of "networking," is done to help continue an existing relationship between humans; a way of "staying in touch." Such small interactions require little effort for the participants but prove to be important in building a strong social and business network.

As we leave the Coffee House, we review the lessons learned during this observation period:

  • Hygiene is important--an impressive suit is completely negated by the presence of ear fungus
  • Shyness can hinder relationship building
  • Small personal interactions can build a relationship for future social networking uses
This concludes this week's installment. Please join us in the future as we continue to explore the strange and wonderful world of humans.

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