Friday, November 19, 2010

i'm so embarrassed!

I like to think I'm pretty careful with my internet identity, but I suspect there are a number of glaring holes in my anti-fraud armory. I do hope, however, that I am looking after things better online than I am in the real world!

Yesterday I needed someone to verify my ID for a good character check application. I took my driver licence from my purse because I didn't want to carry my purse around the school. A colleague kindly signed me off and I took the licence with me, but since I was on the way to a meeting, I just put it on top of all my papers. The licence stayed in front of me throughout the meeting before I gathered everything together, packed up for the day and drove home.

This morning I received a phone call from school: "A student found your driver licence in the library and has just handed it in to the office."

Thanks for that, I'll be in to pick it up later and hope I don't get stopped by the police or have an accident on the way, since I'm supposed to have my licence on me whenever driving. (I'm also hoping that the student who found it was one of the less literate and could not figure out my address or date of birth, although of course I'm pleased they recognised my picture and were honest enough to hand the licence in)

So ends embarrassing incident number one, but unfortunately it doesn't end there.

A friend and I decided to check out the Apron Design Market at Seaport this afternoon. After a coffee and chat we ambled along the board walk, enjoying people's creativity and skill, caressing each beautiful piece with our eyes. Into this moment stepped a journalist and cameraman.

"We're from 'The Examiner'," they said. "Would you mind participating in a survey? What do you think of Julia Gillard's decision to commit Australian troops to Afghanistan for a further 10 years."

It was a rude assault on our evening enjoyment really... you want me to stop ogling these items and condense all my thinking into a one word answer on an issue that had been debated in parliament for days, and in boardrooms for years? Hello?!

When I finally gathered my thoughts together I said I didn't really know...

"You're undecided?" she said.

"Yes, undecided. I don't really like the troops being there, but I'm not sure pulling out quickly is the right approach either."

In my mind I was thinking my comments were a waste, because obviously she wanted a one word answer. How wrong I was.

"That's a great quote," said the camera man, "may I take your photo now?"

At which point the penny dropped. This was not a carpet survey of everyone attending the market, while the journalist ticked a sheet: one hundred 'yes', one thousand 'no' and 10 million 'undecided'. Oh no, this was the 'Have your say' bit where they print one meaty bight of your response and plaster your photo beside it. By that stage she had my name and I felt gang pressed into going along with it.

I laughed hysterically before eventually regaining my composure and smiling as best I could for the camera.

"I hope you don't misquote me," I said, trying to figure out how on earth she was going to remember what I said when she hadn't even taken notes.

Another penny dropped (if only they had been real pennies - I might have bought something at the market after all) as I walked away... she had a voice recorder.

Now I feel totally gypped! Duped in front of the world! Deceived into responding because I didn't know what it was (although I had wondered why there was a camera man with her)... and recorded without asking!

So... ah... if you live locally, check out tomorrow's Examiner. I'll be grinning out of it like a mug. How embarrassing!

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At 10:06 pm, November 19, 2010, Anonymous 2paw said...

OH no!! I shall look for you on the letters page, I always look at the people and read what they have said!!

At 3:50 am, November 20, 2010, Blogger Cherie said...

A similar thing happened to me years ago. I was asked my opinion about the meaning of Christmas. i gave what I thought was an insightful and sincere answer. The paper carried a nice photo of me with someone else's stupid answer underneath as though it was mine. My lovely answer was under the photo of a sloppy, unshaven man with a cigar stub protruding from fat lips.

Sheesh. What's a girl to do.


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