Occasionally I run into other Mormons while I am working. This fact is very, very awkward.
There are a few reasons for that. First off, I work in an emergency room. The typical, happy-to-meet-another-Mormon mood isn’t exactly what people are expecting. They are there because their leg hurts, they are about to throw up, that kind of thing. It’s not very likely that they are going to want to chat about what ward they are in and where they are from.
Second off, in all likelihood after I realize they are Mormon, I’m going to have to ask them for money. That part of the job is awkward enough, thanks to my bumbling social skills and the constrictions placed on us in the emergency room. It only gets worse if I try to make friends with them or get to know them first. What am I going to say? ‘Hi, I’m LDS too, from such and such ward, which one are you from? Hey that’s cool, small world right? Now about that copay…’ See, just awkward.
Still, it’s pretty much ingrained in Mormons to greet each other this way, especially when we’re outside of Utah, and Mormons aren’t the most common people we meet. So every time I ask the question about their religious preference for our registration process (meant to help the hospital contact clergy members of appropriate faiths when the situation warrants it) and hear ‘Mormon’ I experience this aborted, knee-jerk reaction that I don’t know what to do with.
Oh well. I guess I should just put it down to my own peculiar awkwardness and bear with it. One among many, believe me. :)