I’ve been accidentally startling people since I was a teen-ager. You see, I spent my formative years learning woodcraft, wildlife watching, and hunting, so I hit adult-hood unconsciously moving quietly.
My voice broke into deep baritone at about 14, and just got deeper and a bit richer since.
The result is that if I’m not paying attention to purposely making noise with a key ring, soft whistling or humming (just short of wearing a belled-collar like a cat), I’m likely to wind up next to or behind someone who has no clue I’m there. If I then belt out a comment or question at what is “normal” volume (to me), I’ve frequently made people spill their drink, clutch their pearls, or elicit a startled call to their Savior.
Sorry. Sorry ma’am. Sorry, sir. Just me, the 250lb guy who just snuck up on you and asked, “Coke or Pepsi products?” to the waitress standing in front of you. Sorry. [big smile, no teeth, friendly eyes].
So, here I am in my 50’s putting that Voice to a use and purpose.
No surprises, now. It’s OK, it’s just me.