Thursday, February 22, 2007

One thing I'm never sure about is how to handle meeting people through work who know my parents. If I let them know who my parents are, does it make them more likely to open up to me if I'm not a complete stranger after all, or does it cement me in their heads as young and inexperienced, or... what?

This has happened less and less lately, and wasn't a huge problem even when I was new at the paper, just an annoyance. But on the other hand, I think it's worth mentioning just because my situation seems pretty unique. I'm not in a rural area where I've spent all my life and everyone knows practically everyone else, but nor am I in an urban area and/or a place where I'm a complete newcomer. My family moved here in 2000. My sister went to high school here and my parents have jobs in the area; in my dad's case, a relatively prominent one. From 2000 to 2005, though, I spent almost all my time going to school out of state, all my friends were either from college or the community where I went to high school, and I worked out of state for one summer. So my family is much better known around here than me.

I'm reminded of this just because I was talking to Rep. Peter Welch yesterday - a bad day overall, but anyways - and he's from the county where I grew up. This isn't what I'm talking about because I didn't expect him to know my parents, but similar enough that it reminded me.

Example from just a couple months after I started working here: I interviewed the superintendent of a neighboring school district - my dad's boss. We were chatting before we got down to business, and he asked where I'm from, and instead of naming a place I decided to just tell him my full last name. Which was enough to tell him where I'm from, who my parents are, etc.

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