Backstage Blog: Mistaken Identity
Posted: Mon 06/04/2012 12:00 AM
The Question Team—as we were called in the first few weeks of pre-production—consisted of David, Lauren, Aaron and myself. (Maybe I should give them fake names to protect them from any embarrassment. Nah, what would be the fun in that?)
Early on, our job was just to think of all the little things that a lot of people do but never really talk about. We had no choice but to become extremely close very quickly because we were spilling all these embarrassing stories and humbling confessions about ourselves.
I mean, how many other offices can you work in where, on the first day, you and your office mates get into a deep discussion about whether or not you look at your poo before you flush AND have it actually be part of the job? I know more about the other three people on the team than I ever wished to know about anyone...and I’m sure they feel the same about me.
As I said in my previous post, not only did we come up with questions by sharing our past, personal experiences—sometimes those experiences unfolded right before our eyes.
For example, about a week into production, Barry took the Question Team out to lunch. He was trying to explain to us about how he wanted the questions to all be relatable. They all had to be based on something that a good number of people have at least heard of someone doing...if not actually done themselves. (Which killed my question:"Is it normal to try and eat a can of chili underwater?"Apparently, I’m still the only person to ever try that.)
We were all agreeing with everything he was saying—except for Lauren. It's not that she disagreed. She was just preoccupied with trying to get our server's attention. She had skipped breakfast and was very eager to get something to eat. The server was a round person with short, curly hair who had their back turned towards us. Lauren was trying to say "excuse me" as loud as she could without being impolite or interrupting Barry. Finally she got frustrated enough to raise her voice a bit and said "Excuse me, sir!" At which point our waitRESS (a female one) turned around and gave Lauren a much-deserved "stink eye."
It wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t put so much emphasis on the "sir!" But her hunger conspired against her. She said "sir" with the kind of succinct certainty of a military man in basic training. There was no way to pretend she said or meant something else. We were stuck with this woman that Lauren had just inadvertently insulted leering at us and handling our food. (You really don’t want to make this level of mistake about someone right before they bring you a beverage...I’m just saying.)
Lauren was mortified and seemed to shrink six inches right before our eyes. We tried to make her feel better (between fits of laughter) by telling her it's a mistake we've all made at some point. Then Barry said, "This is exactly what I’m talking about."
We all realized immediately that Lauren’s humiliation was a small price to pay for such a great question. Well, I’m not sure if Lauren felt that way, but the rest of us sure did.
So is it normal to have mistaken someone for the opposite sex?
Watch our second episode, airing Monday June 4, at 9/8c to find out.
I’ll be back with more insights, question origins and humiliating stories about my co-workers next time... Enjoy the show!