I know we’ve all had those moments in our lives when we have either mis-identified someone as being a person they indeed are not, or other people mis-identifying us as being someone other than ourselves.
I think back on the most embarrassing moments when I’ve called the wrong number given and after a longer than appropriate conversation, the person on the other end says, “I think you have the wrong number.” That is without a doubt the most uncomfortable feeling. Several years ago, a woman showed up at a public open house I was having and I “thought” I recognized her as a past customer. I went on to say how good it was to see her again and asked how her son and daughter were doing along with the normal pleasantries. The killer question to her was, “How are the horses doing?” She looked at me a bit strange and said, “I don’t have horses.” and continued on to say, “I think you have me confused with someone else.” Oh Mercy! I was ready to crawl under the table and hide my face from embarrassment. I used to be mis-taken for man who was a minister at one of the churches here. He must have moved because people don’t mistake me for him anymore. In years past, I used to be confused with one of the prominent attorneys here in the city, but not much any more since we’ve grown farther from looking much like each other but we still share the same shoe size. The widespread use of the cell phone for texting has caused many texts sent to the wrong individuals as well as e-mails. Someone told me today that I was sent an e-mail and when I looked, I found that I didn’t get it, so likely it went to someone else from his address book. When out of State once, I was even mis-taken as a judge who must have held court in the area.
Other most uncomfortable moments are when people call me at the office and think I’m supposed to know who they are. After a few sentences, I can nearly always recognize the voice. Once in a great while, I’ll have to ask the person who he or she is. It sort of makes me feel a bit idiotic yet the caller really should have identified themselves before speaking—especially when I haven’t spoken to them in a number of years. I get texts sometimes from people who must think I have their numbers saved and listed with a name because they don’t identify themselves and I have to quickly start piecing the puzzle of who the person is that’s texting. I’ll never forget the time when I was in a grocery store check-out lane and a woman standing behind me struck up a conversation. I didn’t recognize her but she seemed to know me so I sort of went along with the casual conversation believing she knew who I was. The conversation went on for some time until she said something about the cruise I’d evidently been on recently. Since I’ve never been on a cruise I began to get a bit worried that she had me confused with another and after such a long conversation I knew she would be more embarrassed than me when she discovered my true identity. I turned to her smiling and said, “I believe you’re mistaken as to who you think I am.” She said, “Well aren’t you…M_________?” I said, “No, I’m Joe Chodur.” Oh Mercy again! She was not very happy that I apparently strung her along in the conversation which I indeed didn’t. With that said, I do make a point of people knowing that it’s me they are talking to and not someone else. Go forth now and be not the wrong person!