“So, where are you from?” she inquired. Not an exceptional thing to ask. Except we were seated in a public park across from the county government seat – in Tapachula, Chiapas México.
She had walked past me moments before and asked “¿Hoy no hay payasos?” “Hoy no” I had replied. The absence of clowns seemed obvious to me.
Her question in English startled me. I seldom hear perfect English so I chatted with her for a bit. Nothing seeming to be out of the ordinary.
I often experience the sensation of being flooded with external sensory input. I notice things that others don’t. And I’m discreet about it.
I wonder how people can miss such obvious things as the odd manner of someone smiling or a dog scratching.
I should be used to it. But it still puzzles me.
As she sat down next to me, I began to ‘notice’ things.
She had been sweating and her last bath long forgotten, her 2 tone feet telling their own part in the story.
Another woman, selling popcorn, walked past us and gave Ms Player a brief, inquisitive look. Ah!, I thought, they know each other.
I was now convinced that she was a ‘player’.
“What’s a player?” you ask. She didn’t know either.
A ‘player’ is a person who preys upon other people. As a livelihood. She claimed that she wasn’t.
I don’t forget what people say either.
As we chatted I learned that she had spent 30 years in the United States. She didn’t look to be much older than that. I made the mistake of asking why she had returned to Mexico.
Her response, in Spanish, was emotional gibberish. She kept repeating the name Donald Trump. She regained her composure just as suddenly as she had ‘lost´it. Bipolar? I wondered.
The popcorn lady gave us another glance. I wondered what their connection was.
“Do you live here?” she inquired. I evaded the question.
I was anxious to make new friends and contacts. Players are neither of those.
We sat silent for a few moments, I, absorbed in the music streaming from the marimba band playing under the domed roof.
Abruptly she asked, “Me das por un taquito?”
My personal opinion is that a person who cannot give is the poorest of the poor. Their monetary assets not withstanding.
“Anything short of infinity is poverty consciousness. – Deepak Chopra
I also value the truth.
Her denying that she was a player had sealed her fate. I don’t support liars. Period.
“¿No entiendes?” she asked me after a few moments had passed. “Si” I replied, “Estoy pensando.” So I sat there thinking. To give or not to give? That was the question.
I did not want to be harsh and uncaring.
I did care. I wanted her to have a bath and food and somebody to relate to.
But I also knew that, just being there beside her, was placing me and my brand at a disadvantage.
Ms Player was a liability.
I struggled to move.
Pulling myself to my feet, I told her “I have to go.” “It’s been nice chatting with you.”
I walked away, broad shouldered and standing tall. I did not want to project any of what I was feeling.
I didn’t look back.
Your personal brand is a compilation of all that you have done and said, on as well as, offline.
All brands are judged by standards of integrity.
Don’t be a “Ms Player.”
by James Bradrick