Yesterday my wife and I went to the supermarket. While she did the shopping, I sat out back painting the loading dock.
Gazing at the back of the market for a half hour got me thinking about how we divide our world into frontstage and backstage, parts we're supposed to look at and other parts we're not. But from a systems point of view, the loading dock is really important, because it's where everything goes in. It's the mouth of the organism.
While I sat there, two people in supermarket uniforms approached me. They had spotted me from the picnic table where they take smoking breaks, or from the security cameras, I'm not sure which.
One of them identified herself as the store manager. I was nervous, trying to muster an explanation. She said, "I'm just being nosy. Can I see what you're doing?" She was interested in painting. We remarked on the beauty of the spring day and then she and her associate went back inside.