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And you are ...?
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
During one night at the Three Rivers Festival, someone said, “Buenos Diaz!” to me twice. At first, I thought he was a friendly Mexican. However, after a few minutes of conversation, it sunk in he was referring to this column.
Tom Blacketor, if you are reading this column, (and you should be) I apologize for being an airhead. I think I was floored by the fact that he recognized me after nearly 20 years, but I had no idea who he was, until I asked him. I’m pleased and dismayed that I’m recognizable after such a long time. Pleased, because maybe I’m not aging too badly; dismayed, because geez, I looked like such a dork back then. You mean to tell me nothing has changed?
Anyway, I seem to have this problem. People know who I am, but I’m stuck asking the question, “and you are ...?” It’s embarrassing. I’ve worked with people and carried on conversations with them, and had no idea what their names were. At my last job, I referred to people by how they looked. The lady who resembled a hip grandmother I nicknamed “Marge Simpson,” because of her elaborate beehive hairdo. The college-age girl who had a build most men would envy I privately called “the linebacker.” Still, there was another one a friend of mine called “Pig Girl,” because she resembled a pig, and sadly, once she was pointed out to me, I had to agree. Then there was the woman with bad breath who had the ability to grow a beard. I didn’t have a name for her.
But people seem to know who I am. It’s weird, because I always thought of myself as invisible. At my old job, we were required to wear ID badges as a security measure. But some people would clip their badge to the bottom of their shirt, which meant unless you were 18 inches high, you wouldn’t be able to read their name. Others clipped the badge on their backpack, purse or wore it around their neck with the picture side turned over. The print on the badge was too small anyway. It was the kind of place that really could have made use of those “Hello! My name is ...” stickers you see at conventions.
So unless you were really unique-looking, it was hard to describe a fellow co-worker. Lord help you if you had medium brown hair, brown eyes and an average build. A couple co-workers would try to describe fellow employees to me, and I’d be completely stumped as to who they were talking about.
I ran into a former co-worker the other day. She knew who I was, but unfortunately, I only knew her by sight. We chatted about work, and why she left. I thought about asking a couple people I know who still work out there what her name is, but I’d feel ridiculous in trying to describe her. Long straight dark hair, brown eyes, um...yeah. She was one of those average-looking people who don’t really defy description, they just aren’t striking, the way someone with purple hair and a nose ring would be.
In case you don’t know me or what I look like, grab an old copy of the Reader. I sorta look like the logo the publishers pasted over my column, except for one thing: my hair is roughly 1,000 percent bigger.
Just thought you’d like to know.