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mbumby
An act of kindness, questioning myself 
18th-Jan-2010 04:59 pm
Enjoy
Pardon me while I descend, once again, into my standard ambiguity.


I don't have a terribly high self-image. When I got some spam today telling me I had been nominated for some such (just click here -- it won't cost you anything) based on having achieved some high distinction in my field, I knew it was bogus.

And when someone, especially a pro and object of worship, treats me badly, I'm not sure I don't deserve it. After all, what do I have to offer _them_.

And overall, I believe I want the Truth. Please, push me off (gently if possible) rather than flatter me falsely!

A year or so ago I had an encounter with a GoH at a con that left me (still) grinding my teeth. S/He said something inappropriate and dismissive. Due to the moment, it COULD have been seen as "in the spirit of fun", and were that my only bad encounter with this person I used to be a fan of, I would have chalked it up to being caught up in what-all else was going on and probably not remembered it now.

However, as I said, I had been a fan, and although I didn't figure that I had much to offer them, I _had_ earlier tried to get a word in edgewise. However I hadn't been willing to tread on other people who were move vocal and insistent. When most other folks had drifted off I started to talk, and it was made clear to me that NOW was when this person needed to be elsewhere, and s/he walked off. The first time that happened, I figured it was bad timing on my part. The second time it happened it really kind of stung. And when I was half-following (mouth hanging open in shock) this guest allowed hirself to be accosted by someone who grabbed them, and rather than insisting that s/he truly had a pressing appointment elsewhere s/he talked with them for a few minutes, and then continued off, leaving me in the dust. Once again.

So I was already smarting from being dissed a couple times when I got the final slap.

Flash forward to much more recently. Again, having not a heck of a lot to offer, but wanting to introduce myself (again?) to a guest whom I have been in conversation with before, but perhaps never formally introduced to, a person who was surrounded for much of the con by people, so I didn't get the opportunity until lateish on Saturday... and others were louder and pushier than I, so I was cut in front of once in line -- but at one point he asked me if I were next, and in the short time I took to speak, I (re-?) introduced myself. When I mentioned my city of residence he said something like "ah, of course. You looked familiar..."

And now comes the questioning myself. I do prefer the truth, but even though I don't know for sure that he really did think I looked familiar, that was a kind thing to say, and I feel a LOT better about famous guests. And perhaps a little better about myself. And that puzzles me some.
Comments 
19th-Jan-2010 03:30 pm (UTC)
Andy and I were out for dinner in a local restaurant when we lived in IL. There was a woman heading towards us and I said "That woman looks just like Jody Lynn Nye" She got us as the Jody came out and stopped. She looked puzzled and said "Yes?" I said "I was just saying that you look just like you. I didn't know you lived close." She said "ah, I'm visiting someone. Do I know you?" and I said "We go to the local conventions, and know *someone else she knows* very well" "Oh! You looked familiar..." A minute of discussion about how he's doing, thanks for recognising her (which I didn't, really, I just thought someone looked like her :) and she was off.

A LOT depends on the person and how much recognition they get on a day to day basis, I think. Fred Pohl is never anything but polite and sweet, some others, however, are arrogant and obnoxious. (I once had the best conversation with Jody Lynn and Gordon Dickson on an elevator at Minnecon that I remember to this day... and both were wonderful, considering I sort of pushed myself into their private conversation without realising who they were until the end of the conversation. Then I stammered out "Oh! I love your books a lot. They thanked me and rushed off to where they were supposed to have been when the conversation started. :)
19th-Jan-2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Hah. Good stories. Jody has always be been courteous to me (and she always seems to remember the spouse). (Although when I tried to follow up on something a year-and-change ago, her e-mail bounced.) This other person seemed to have no problems with all the other geeky-fan-types, but seemed to single me out for dissing.

Don't know if I smell bad, have an ugly aura, or what. Ah well, not to dwell on it.
20th-Jan-2010 05:41 am (UTC)
This is a tough one. As someone who's tried very hard to be gracious no matter how exhausted or overwhelmed I was feeling, I can understand that sometimes things get to be Just Too Much. OTOH, I still think that *everyone* deserves basic politeness, and it does sound like this person was either oblivious, rude, or both. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience.
26th-Jan-2010 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you. For what it's worth, to my memory, you've never been anything but gracious & kind to me when I've had the nerve to come over and talk.

I tend to be floored (eg. I have a story I tell about how wonderful LMBujold was to be back in 1987, and I still sing praises for her and her work) when people (especially folks I don't know, MOST especially Big Names) are nice to me, and I tend to not expect too much. (Introduced myself twice to a GoH I'd had prior contact with last weekend; wasn't surprised that each time there seemed to be no recollection of prior times -- I'm one of many, and don't think I really stand out in any way.)

Back to the other year, had I gotten the impression that "The Rules" (i.e. "I'm tired, busy, &/or out of cope") applied to everyone and not just me I (believe I) would have been quite understanding. I don't _think_ I was in drooling puppy mode. I don't tend to do that. And while I was a fan, I was never THAT much of a fan...
23rd-Jan-2010 02:44 pm (UTC)
When you make your living selling what you produce to people, it's usually a good idea to be polite to them.

I once caught myself being very cool and distant with someone I barely knew, and then I realized it was because he bore a very strong resemblance to someone I just can't stand. I try to be nice to everyone and assume the best, but you never know why someone acts the way they do.

But then, some people are just schmucks. Case in point would be one of my favorite authors, who I once met at a convention in the south that was considerably outside of where he normally shows up. I found out two things about him. a) He's got a very high opinion of himself. b) The only reason he was at the convention is that it was an excuse to cheat on his wife.
26th-Jan-2010 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm _not_ always nice to folks, because I've had that used against me a few times too many, so I go a bit upstream and try not to let folks get the impression that they can take advantage of me from the git-go, rather then try to extricate myself once they start trying. But I do try to be polite. And I try to appear consistent. (I told one person I didn't like to dance. Which was true. Then a person for whom I would have made an exception asked me, but since the first person was still there, I declined.)

Good point. I suppose I could have looked like this person's ex. Or the person their ex cheated with. Or their third grade teacher... But the 3rd thing took it from dismissive to nasty, and ... I guess we're both lucky that either my temper is better than it used to be or that I'm not male, because I might have taken them out -- and they'd still be healing and I'd still be in jail for assault.

Hmph. I guess I find myself hoping that this author of yours is not one of _my_ favorites. It's difficult for me to separate the writing from the person when I know both.
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