Sharing the Salt

Starting conversations with colleagues and patients can have unexpected benefits

April 2018

After a fascinating visit to a central London pathology laboratory (see our feature on page 16), The Pathologist’s content director and I dined in a train station restaurant before our respective journeys home. Evidently, our table had been hastily separated from the one next to it; we shared a number, a napkin holder, and salt and pepper grinders – all of which sat on the other table.

“Excuse me… Could I please borrow the salt?”

Over the course of the evening, we shared the single salt and pepper grinders back and forth across the tables a couple of times, growing somewhat well-acquainted with our neighbors. By the end of the meal, they were fans of The Pathologist, despite never having read a single word of its content. We had learned more about their lives, too; they had spent the day at a hospital just around the corner from – and with close pathology ties to – Great Ormond Street. For all we knew, the laboratory medicine professionals who had spent that day speaking to us might have spent the next looking at samples from the couple at the other table.

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