You know when you’re in a group and everyone is saying their name?

Every month or so, I go to work my 3-hour shift at the Park Slope Food Co-op here in Brooklyn. And at the end of the shift, the supervisor gathers us all together to make some announcements before letting us all go. It’s always the same supervisor—Ross—but it’s always a different group of about 20 of us who are working that particular shift. One or two other folks I may have met before in the last couple years, but the rest of the group is made up of essentially strangers to me. But here’s the thing: as we go around the circle saying our names and answering Ross’s quirky get-to-know-you question (favorite cheese? last CD you bought?) I just repeat in my mind each person’s name. Then I quickly say them in order silently in my head up to that point (Catherine, Bogdan, Lior, Jennifer, Dave, etc.). If we get to someone I “know” (because I’ve worked on the same shift with them once or twice before) I feel I can sort of “rest” and consider everyone who came before as a group. Toward the end of the circle—I position myself to Ross’s right before he starts speaking so that I can go last as he goes around clockwise—the last few folks to my right, it gets a little sketchy, and I might have a block on one person. But when it’s my turn to introduce myself, I say my name, AND THEN I SAY EVERYONE ELSE’S NAME TO THEIR UTTER DISBELIEF AND MY AMUSEMENT! It is one of my favorite things to do, and I’m convinced I am staving off senility by actively working at it. That’s all I wanted to say. Carry on.

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