I talk to a lot of people.
Sometimes it’s in an interview setting. Sometimes on a chairlift (yes, I ski a lot). Sometimes on the subway or train. Sometimes it’s just in the halls of the agency. And I guess, I’m just the type of person that other people feel comfortable saying things they probably shouldn’t. Here’s a sample.
Woman #1: Do you have children?
Me: Yes, three.
Woman #1: How old?
Me: I have twin daughters who are 26 and a son who is 9.
Woman #1: 26 and 9?
Woman #2: No way it’s the same wife, no way. Right?
Woman #1: You know, that’s what I was thinking. No way. Can’t be.
(Now notice I haven’t answered yet – but they continued this conversation)
Woman #2: Can you imagine having children 15 years apart?
Woman #1: (To me) What were you thinking?
Me: At the exact moment of conception? I really don’t remember. (That kind of ended the conversation)
In the hallway of the agency
Man: You know, I’ve been meaning to ask you, is that a chicken pox scar on your cheek?
Me: No, it’s a burn I got when I was 2 years old.
Man: Man that must’ve really bummed out your parents.
Me: Actually, according to my family, they didn’t even notice for a few days. My father actually thought my mother accidentally burned me with a cigarette.
Man: Did it hurt?
Me: I was 2. I don’t remember.
Man: How come you never had plastic surgery?
Me: I guess I really don’t notice it. It doesn’t bother me.
Man: Is that why you grew a beard?
Me: No, I grew a beard because I hate shaving.
At an industry event
Woman: Don’t you miss being in consumer advertising?
Me: Not really, I love what I’m doing.
Woman: Come on, you got to miss doing real advertising.
Me: I think I’m doing real advertising. I produce TV, print, digital, you know, real stuff.
Woman: No, I mean real stuff. You know, consumer stuff. Not healthcare stuff.
Me: Come by the agency and I’ll show you the stuff we create.
Woman: Can’t you just send me a PDF?
Me: I can. But I won’t. Have a good night.
There are dozens of other really stupid things people have said to me. But I’ve decided to end with this thought: think first, talk second.
Otherwise, you may see a conversation we’ve had on this site at some point in the near future. And that would be bad.