After a recent all night work session, I rode my bike across campus back to my dorm. As I tired to enter, I realized I had forgotten to bring my ID (ID cards here @ Stanford access the outer doors of buildings). Crap, 5AM and nobody awake to let me in.
I decided to bike back to the library. As I arrived and was locking my bike, I exchanged glances with a guy 20 feet away from me. I started walking to the front entrance of Meyer and glanced over at the guy (he was getting on his bike). He was looking at me like we had met before.
There’s always some kind of internal build-up before you talk to someone. With people you know well it’s instinctual, however the less you know someone the more internal resistance there is to engage them. This guy smiled like we definitely knew each other, I was still far enough away that I wasn’t sure if this was the case or not, but it was enough to push me of the “cliff” of resistance. I said, “Hey man!” He replied similarly stating that he didn’t have his contacts in. As I approached and shook his hand the 5AM Stanford moment occurred… we both immediately realized that we had no idea who in the hell each other was. Neither of us wanting to admit it, we talked for 30 seconds, me about getting locked out of my dorm, him about still needing to finish 3 more pages of writing before morning classes.
That was it. We split ways and I went in to get more work done. Usually I would’ve brought up the fact that we actually had no freaking idea who each other was and introduced myself, but not today. We both just wanted to get the hell out of that interaction as quickly as possible without coming across as dicks. Mission successful.