It was 1st January, the first day of the year and a holiday for me. What luck! I started by thinking of getting the bank work out of the way. The bank person, an elderly gentleman with a white beard, was, as usual, curt[简略的] to my polite “Happy New Year.” He nodded and I sat in front of him.


  Minutes passed and nothing happened.


  Then very hesitantly[犹豫地] I put my form and booklet[小册子] in front of him. He was busy filling up entries in his register. After a few minutes he took my form and from his cabinet he took out a very thick file from which he started filling in my details. I sat there wondering why we had computerized banking if we were still filling in forms and registers.


  After waiting for a few more minutes, in which I showed all signs of being impatient, I asked him if my work was done. The moment I uttered[说] the words, I felt as if a bombshell[炸弹] had fallen on him. He shouted, “Nothing is done, it will take time!”


  Just then I saw his morning cup of tea which had been lying there for the last ten minutes, untouched. The tea had turned almost cold while he was doing his work. Suddenly I felt what this man, who had been working at this counter for the last God-knows-how-many years, must be feeling when customers like me come who are always in a hurry to get their work done. We do not even feel the need to thank them for being there. He must be feeling so agitated[激动的] that “here comes another person who will push me for doing his work first.”


  On an instinct I told him, “Sir, you please have your tea, I am not in a hurry.” This man, who I had been seeing for the last few years, suddenly looked up at me and for the first time we had eye contact—he had never made eye contact earlier. I saw a different person there, another human being who was as hard-pressed[处于强大压力的] for time as I always am.


  I saw both of us sailing in the same boat[(与某人)同舟共济]. I felt that he was also missing the small things in life like a hot cup of tea or lying in a warm bed for a few more minutes like me. He gave me a rare smile and said, “It is an everyday affair with me; you are not in a hurry but somebody else will come who will be in a hurry.”


  He really touched my heart with his wise words. I felt that we had all put shields on our hearts like we put gloves on our hands; we are scared to show our heart and reveal too much of ourselves. I felt that all this time I thought of him as a robot, someone who was there for my convenience, but today I suddenly felt a strange communion[(思想感情的)交融] with him. I vowed to be more empathetic[移情作用的] and friendly with people who help me with my work and be thankful that they are there for me.




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