Monday, July 06, 2015

I'm not Scott

During hockey season, I wear two different hats on game days. During the day, I do my job for the Tampa Bay Lightning as a customer service manager at Amalie Arena, At 5:00, I switch hats and I cover the team as a staff writer for Raw Charge. Seems like a conflict of interest, doesn't it? I was worried about that at first two, and I think both sets of bosses were too. But it's been a few years now and I've been able to manage it so I don't think it's an issue anymore. What's interesting to me is how differently I'm treated in he same building by the same people as a member of the media. Before 5, I get things done myself. Once the credential goes around my neck, there's no shortage of people offering all kinds of assistance.
One area where that's really pronounced is the press dining room. The Lightning makes a meal available to the press before every home game, and it's pretty great. There's a full salad bar, a buffet, a carving station manned by a real chef and ice cream with about a dozen toppings. (AN ASIDE: the next time you read a story about spoiled pro athletes, feel free to call the writer up and laugh in his or her face.) This is  all staffed by people who aren't exactly servers, but they are there to attend to you.

One of those people, we'll call her "Sharon" (not her real name) calls me "Scott" (not my real name). I don't know why. She always has and I've never corrected her. It never seemed important to do so, I guess. But she always greets me pleasantly with a "Hi, Scott!" and I always reply pleasantly.
One night during the recent playoffs, this exchange happened as I was taking my seat at a table with another writer who knows my name isn't Scott...
"What was that all about?"
"She always says hi. She's very friendly."
"Yeah, but your name isn't Scott."
"Oh, I know. But this has been going on for years now and I think at this point, it would be rude to correct her."
"So she's living a lie."
"Kind of. A small part of her life is a lie, I guess. She's not aware of it though."
"Hmm, I think it borders on deceit. I think you have an ethical dilemma on your hands."
"You think I should tell her?"
"It would be the moral thing to do, yes."
"I can't just correct her here, in front of all these people."
"No, that would be embarrassing."
"But this is the only time I interact with her."
"Ethical dilemmas are seldom easy to resolve."
"Maybe I should wait until some day when her family visits her at work. When she's proudly showing off what she does and introducing people to her loved ones, I can pipe up with, 'That's not my name!'"
"Or you could wait until she's on her death bed. Let it be the last thing she hears and too late to respond. That would tie things up nicely for you."
"That's a good idea! Or if I die first, I could tell her while I'm on my death bed. Then I could slip off into the great beyond and leave her behind to wonder what the hell happened."
"That's a solid plan. Get it off your chest and destroy her at the same time."
"Maybe we should just take care of it now. She doesn't know you; why don't you tell her? You won't care if she thinks you're a jerk."
"Oh, I don't want to be involved."
"Too late. You involved yourself by bringing the whole thing up."
"Why would she believe me, when she's known you for years?"
"Why would she think you're lying? Do you have a habit of lying to people you've just met?"
"You do, apparently."
At that point "Sharon" came over to the table. "Hi Scott. Can I get you anything?"
I reply, "No thanks, Sharon. I'm good." as she leaves.
"No, you aren't", my dining companion whispers.
"I know", I reply.

1 comment:

Michael Noble said...

... great Scott ...

*shakes head silently*