Last week, I attended a situational awareness training at my workplace on how to deal with upset, difficult, or aggressive customers, and the trainer was talking about empathy. I know that this doesn’t seem like it has anything to do with cooking, but hear me out.
He told us about his encounter with a stranger on a train with whom he felt a strong connection to. At that time, he was undergoing a really difficult time—his wife had just died. He was sitting on a train, reading newspaper, when a woman in front of him asked him whether he was divorced. There was a line on his finger where his wedding ring should be.
He told her that that he has been widowed for three months, and that he has three little children.
“So you know how difficult it is to be in the kitchen then,” she said to him. He was offended. Just because I’m a man doesn’t mean that I can’t cook, he thought.
“Oh, no, no,” the woman said, realising his face had changed. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m referring to feeling the dread when entering the kitchen, thinking, What should I cook for dinner tonight?”
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