see you

I remember there was a time in my university days when I had this realisation that I could no longer say “see you tomorrow” as a standard thing when leaving for home. The chance of seeing someone on any given weekday during semester depended on what classes were on, when we were going to have our lunch breaks, and which buildings they would be in during the course of the day.

During uni, I still hung out with several of my high school friends, even if they were studying different courses. During high school, it was just about certain to see each other each day and the next, so it was easy enough to say “see you tomorrow” at the end of any day, Monday to Thursday. Hence the change during uni made an impression on me.

Even for the friends I made in Pharmacy, it was not guaranteed to see each other every day. That depended on what tutorial and practical classes we were in (smaller classes than lectures), and whether people wanted to show up for lectures. There were some days we didn’t have lectures, and some that we didn’t have the smaller classes.

It’s very possible that I’ve blogged about this before. Just can’t be bothered going back through the archives or even just conducting a search.

Anyway, the reason I thought about all this recently was because of these impromptu lockdowns. Last week-end, DL and I dropped off stuff at one friend’s house, and went to another friend’s place to collect other things. At the first friend’s house, we said “see you next week-end at the wedding” (the wedding of a mutual friend); and then at the second, DL said “see you at training on Tuesday”.

And then on Monday morning, we learnt that our city was going into lockdown because of an outbreak that was threatening to get out of hand. Suddenly we weren’t so sure the wedding would proceed, and Tuesday training was cancelled.

(Thankfully the restrictions were lifted yesterday, so the wedding is proceeding as per the original plan tomorrow, but I’m sure those few days of uncertainty were highly stressful for my friends, and for plenty of other people across the city.)

I think it’s interesting that people like to say “see you tomorrow” or “see you on [insert day of week]”. It’s like some sort of promise or reassurance of meeting again. Not a big deal, but kind of comforting in a way.

In my team at work, I have a number of casual staff. Sometimes they like saying “I’ll see you on [whatever day they’re working next]” as they leave for the day. It’s kind of nice for me, as a manager, to have a reminder that this person is working on whatever day, and they know they have been rostered. So I guess this has its practical uses too.

I suppose life is full of so much uncertainty, it’s just nice to promote some sense of solid structure or smooth flow (whichever analogy you prefer).


2 thoughts on “see you

  1. I guess I must skirt this issue because I say “see you later.” I’ve not thought about this before, but it is fascinating. I’ll be paying closer attention to what other people say to me now.

    • I always think it’s funny when I’m on the phone with someone, and they end it by saying “see you later” or something similar …but they are in a different city, and the chances of actually seeing each other is next to zero. It’s sort of become something that people just say, and has lost the literal meaning.

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