I am not being mean about his clothing or sense of style - I am being quite literal. His taste buds do not work at all. When he eats, there is only texture, no flavor. "Food is simply fuel" as he says it - there is no particular enjoyment to any particular food, just the satisfaction of no longer being hungry.
"How horrible," I thought, "to never be able to taste chocolate, fruit or delicious, exotic foods".
Fortunately it only lasted around 4 weeks, but I can tell you I was worried it might not come back. Life without the taste of good food...and chocolate! Of course, I could imagine it very well as I was experiencing it first-hand, but I did not like the prospect of life without tasting. While I suffered the effects, food was definitely just fuel. No enjoyment at all.
I was thinking a lot about my colleague during that time - wondering if he missed it, or simply did not know what he was missing.
Other friends or colleagues are color-blind, some red/green, some other mixes, and a rare few have strictly black and white vision. A few others are partially or entirely blind, either through accidents, disease or blind since birth. Countless others wear glasses, as I did until laser surgery - when I had reached the point where things were still a bit blurry at the "best" setting on the optician's fancy machine.
Some other friends and family are deaf, either mostly or partly - and my kids certainly have selective hearing when there are jobs to do around the house!
I have not come across anyone personally who has a diminished sense of touch, but I understand that there are many people with this condition as well.
When we are dealing with people, we never know exactly how they each experience the world - what their perspectives are - and not just with the physical senses.
One thing that is undeniable, though, is that your perception of the world around you affects how you respond in any given situation - and it also affects your approach to projects and challenges.
Listen to the podcast, or read the full article on Gazza's Corner blog.