Gut feeling


“I’m just about to heat up my haggis” – not a phrase you hear everyday, especially not in Melbourne. But this is what the Scottish lady who works a desk over from me proudly announced to the open-plan office this afternoon. Haggis. I must confess, I’ve never been inspired to try it. When I was a kid there was an elderly Scottish lady who lived across the road from us. She treated us like grandchildren and never forgot any of our birthdays. From since I can remember until she passed away when I was a teenager, every birthday I would get a new pack of perfumed hankies and some Werther’s Originals. One of my younger brothers got toddler bath toys until he was at least 12. She never forgot. She taught my older sister and I to hand embroider, proudly showed us her collection of dolls, and constantly sang the praises of haggis. From those hazy memories, the impression of haggis I have carried with me to adulthood approximates a sheep’s stomach full of porridge. Yum!! Still, as we know, things don’t always turn out as you expect. One day I may well cross paths with a deliciously ugly haggis, and we’ll run off into the sunset.

But all that aside, my Scottish office companion, C, was very excited about her team’s ‘bring a plate’ Friday drinks. I don’t know C very well, in fact, I hardly know her at all. I have only worked in that particular office for a couple of months, and since I am only there two days a week and work for a different department, I don’t cross paths much with others on the floor. But from the first I felt that C is my kind of people. I saw her and I ‘knew’ – I had a gut feeling.

I get this very particular sense about certain people, and it’s never far wrong. It makes me think of the cliched ‘spark’ or love at first sight – but without necessarily any romantic angle (took me a while to figure out that mine is often a platonic spark – whoops!). Sometimes I see a person and know, for no apparent reason, that they are going to be part of, or have a significant impact on, my life. Until recently I didn’t trust this gut reaction. If what I felt didn’t match up to the way someone presented themselves, or what others said about them, I would dismiss my own feeling as insignificant. However, over the last couple of years in particular, I have noticed (with 20/20 hindsight) that people’s true colours will eventually show. Time and again my gut seems to know well before my poor, bumbling brain catches up whether that person who seems so lovely is actually a succubus, or whether that kinda weird guy is actually a sweetheart terrified of being found out. 

I haven’t as yet acted on my feeling about C – funnily enough, I haven’t had the guts. Just before beginning work in that office I had been burned by an awful ‘office politics’ situation in my previous workplace, the shockwaves of which are still rolling through my and others’ lives. That whole chapter has made me hesitant to bust into a new workplace and instantly befriend everyone, but it has also made me feel vindicated in my opinion of certain former colleagues. And it has strengthened my resolve to ‘go with the gut’, to continue learning to trust my intuition. Mind you, I’m not about to throw all caution to the wind and form lasting opinions on what could be, let’s face it, just that haggis I ate earlier…


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