No, really, I am. It was inadvertent and accidental, but it’s true. I am a confirmed racist!
What happened? How was this proof discovered? It went down like this:
1. At work we are held up with something I am responsible for due to a system error. This has bounced around and we finally had a path forward. I was instructed to talk to a manager about it, and I emailed him.
2. The manager told me to talk to someone on his team. Now, when he told me the name, either due to being so tired this week with work or just not thinking, I immediately thought, “Oh, he means this guy.” It didn’t dawn on me that I’ve never met the guy he said to talk to.
3. I walk over to the bullpen where they work and sit and start talking to the person I was sure I was there to meet. I pulled up the email and forwarded it to him, sort of surprised that he was not sent information about it. The email came through on my other account, but not his. I was perplexed.
4. I checked the email again and was about to ask how to spell his last name (it is a long name) and happened to catch his name on his email account on his screen. I had the wrong guy!
5. I internalized my new-found racism and tried to figure out a classy way out of the situation. I wound up with “Heck, there ain’t no easy way out of this, so here goes nothing.” I said, “I totally have the wrong person, I apologize. I guess I’m just very tired.”
6. It gets worse.
7. I get up to go look for the guy I was actually there to see and walk out of the bullpen and notice his name on the other wall.
8. I have to walk back into the same bullpen and sit directly in back of the first guy I went to see in order to talk to the right guy. Yes, the correct guy sits in the same bullpen and directly across from the first guy.
9. They look nothing alike and have very different names. They are also Indian.
10. Situation is 80% resolved now, but I am shaking my head at myself all day and praying I don’t get reported to HR or anything. I am so embarrassed. I know they’re going to talk about me to their families and friends. I would. I would have GChatted friends immediately.