the other megan

27 December 2010 at 1:32 pm 6 comments

I have been working at the museum for almost 4 years now.

So, when Meghan (notice the “h”) started working part-time in the education department I wasn’t too worried. After all, she was a nice girl, we got along well, and since we didn’t work together all the time, I figured there would be little confusion.

There have been a few moments when both of us have been walking down the hall, or when both of us are standing in the same room, and upon hearing someone say, “Megan” — we both turn around or look up. Not a big deal — usually a light-hearted moment ensues afterward and its a nice break in the day of serious working.

But then two conversations happened:

#1 — I called a co-worker outside of work. She had me labelled in her phone as “Megan – Museum”. Understandable. I do the same thing when I know someone more by the location we meet, than by their last name. So when I called asking for help in finding a store where I could purchase felting needles, all she knew was that I was a Megan she knew from work. We talked for a bit and then she asked me something about some upcoming tours, and I was confused. “What are you talking about?” I said.
“Oh! This isn’t Meghan with an ‘H’?”
“Nope”
“I’m sorry — I thought you were her!”

#2 — I called in sick to work. I wasn’t feeling well and I called in to say that I wouldn’t be coming in. The staff member I spoke to listened to what I had to say and then asked if I wanted to speak to the Education Curator about it. “Why would I want to speak to him?” I asked and then continued, “If you want to connect me to the Exhibits Curator, then I can talk to him about it…”

“Oh!” she said suddenly, “It’s the other Megan. Sorry, I thought you were Meghan — the one who works in education.”

The OTHER MEGAN?!?

How had I been downgraded to “the other” anything? I’ve been working here AT LEAST three and half years longer than her, and suddenly after a few months, I’m the other one?

I felt like I’d entered some bizarre science fiction movie — the ones where a doppelganger from an alternate universe finds a hole in the fabric of time and comes into this world only to find the protagonist and take over their perfect life.  I felt pushed to the side — had all my years meant nothing?

I didn’t want to be “the other” anything. But, as I discovered, it really isn’t up to me. I can’t go into everyone’s brains and re-wire it so that everyone at work automatically thinks of me first — although I did think briefly that it would be fun to try… hmmmmm…

Have you ever felt displaced? Why?

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rebekah  |  27 December 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I HAVE felt displaced, and for that same reason; I was “the other Rebecca” in a class. I’d been at NMSU longer than the other girl, and I was older, but alas.

    I now work with yet another Rebecca. Confusion abounds.

    Maybe you’re BOTH “the other Megan” in people’s minds; maybe when Meghan calls someone, they say “Oh, you’re the other one!” to her as well.

    Great photo!

  • 2. Michael Critz  |  28 December 2010 at 8:35 am

    As a freshman at NMSU I was walking to drawing class and I saw two girls walking toward me in conversation. I smiled and they smiled back. One of them a simple smile of acknowledgement, the other something sly. It could even have been flirtatious.
    Finally, I was close enough to hear her as she spoke to her friend, “I hate Mike Critz. He’s boring. He talks too much. I don’t feel like I’m benefiting by just sitting there when I could be spending my time better in so many ways.”
    The first few seconds after that I was emotionally wrought. Then, I started rationalizing. These ladies never even saw me before, let alone talked to me. Someone must have been playing a prank on me. It worked, but I wasn’t going to do my best not to let this mystery prankster affect my mood. I’ll stay upbeat and focus on my work.
    For a year I worked in drawing, painting, design, and photography. The work was viewed by the instructors. They would offer a lot of one-on-one advice. I took the advice. This is what I knew of art school and I thought this is how it would always be.
    A few weeks into my sophomore year the class finished a charcoal still life of a lamp in scene with some drapes. After the hour was up, the instructor told us, “everyone take your drawing to the class next door we’re going to have our first class critique.” Our drawings were tacked to the wall of the class next door and we discussed our work with each other in a group learning. A couple months passed. I grew to love critiques. People’s insight was helpful.
    One day with thirty minutes left in class the instructor told us, “ok, we’re running a little late. Everyone let’s head next door for a quick crit.”
    It hit me like a ton of bricks. That girl wasn’t pranking me. She didn’t even know me. She hated her crits.
    She had said, “my crits” not Mike Critz.

  • 3. Rebekah  |  28 December 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Mike, that is SUCH A GOOD STORY. After reading it, I told the whole thing to my boyfriend. =)

  • 4. Michael Critz  |  28 December 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks, Rebekah.

  • 5. hazelnutmegan  |  28 December 2010 at 8:03 pm

    That IS a great story, Michael! I laughed really hard at the punchline, because I remember just saying the slang “crits” for “critiques” so often, I never even thought about it!

    @ Rebekah — this is what we get for having fairly common names, I suppose. I read a recent article about how baby names are becoming more unique: http://www.barcelonareporter.com/index.php?/news/comments/unusual_baby_names_becoming_more_popular_with_parents_than_common_names_lis/

    so perhaps future generations will have to deal with this problem less…?

  • 6. Rebekah  |  2 January 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Fun article! Maybe the pendulum will swing back in a generation or two? Or maybe we’ll all get used to never knowing how to spell or pronounce names… I suspect either way will be fine.

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