Not sure how to title this concept but multi-identity will do for now. If you had a job that interacts with a lot of people on a daily basis, have you wondered who else they are in addition to being a customer? The multi-identity concept surrounds the idea that in most situations we are confronted with, we only take the obvious “title” and “identity” into consideration while ignoring the fact that they’re a human being with a past that we won’t find out, experiences we won’t know, and connections that we can utilize.
As a cashier in a restaurant, I interact with over 60 customers a day. They all typically follow the same routine of ordering and payment, lasting shorter than 5 minutes. From all the people I’ve communicated with, if only we established a relationship and gotten to know more about them, rather than just a typical customer, my connections would be off the charts. Have you wondered that whenever you’re in a public place, such as on the train to work, in a workshop session, hospital waiting area, what if there’s a way for you to find out who every one’s name, job, and past were? For all you know, one of them is the next Steve Jobs, the one sitting next to you who smiled as you passed the magazine to him while waiting. It would be cool to without being strange who people are and build a relationship that can be used later in life, like for finding a job, looking for clients for your business or searching for company when you travel to a location. We are often forget that there are people that we have, is, and will meet in our everyday life that can change our future. Being a barista at Starbucks can get you hired by another manager who is getting a iced latte, if you stand out and present yourself well. Be the best you want to be every moment, because you don’t know who you’re meeting.
Treat everyone with respect, because regardless of what they appear to be at the moment; it doesn’t mean that that’s their only identity. A 55-year old man who works part time for two hours in the afternoon and dinner time in our restaurant with food delivery. I did not find out until a week after meeting him that he used to be a mechanical engineer at Jacobs Engineering Group. The assistant chief we have used to be the owner of two restaurants. The current job and the state they are in does not necessary mean that they’ve always been like that all their life. We can’t just judge someone based on what we see them as during that moment. People are have multiple identities, unable to be classified into one category. I am a female, college student, Asian American, part time writer, make up artist, health care intern, tennis player, music lover, entrepreneur, and the list goes on and on. Would you be able to put yourself in one category? We are often blinded by the current situation and our brain functions and has conditioned itself to take first impression as the most important and categorize others without much thought.
If I was one of those people who are really good at starting conversations and able to find out a lot about someone within 3-5 minutes, I’d have so many connections built for when I need them one day. Connections and relationships are the most important and that’s what makes life exciting. If you became friends with every single person you had an opportunity to become in contact with, how would it be like? Maybe that’s how you’ve met the Obama when he was a little boy, while you worked as a taxi driver. Life can be so unpredictable. Again, you never know who you have and will meet.