REBLOGGING this painful episode from January. Just want you all to know, I have totally healed from it. It was upsetting at the time, but you forgive, heal, and move on.
I’m actually at another writer’s conference this week. So, I’m not generating new material.
“All the winners are present. And there may be some here who didn’t win, but came very, very close.” I was at a writer’s conference over the weekend where an announcement was made. I’ve talked about it before, but I hate to use the real names, but many of you will know who I’m talking about, and what contest it was.
There were three publishing prizes given out, and three of us were there. But the announcer was wrong, as I was to learn just a minute later. As it happened, two winners were present, and I was the “close” one. But that first statement made me think I’d actually won something, only to have it dashed moments later.
I went into shock. I had to have something to do or I would have totally lost it. I had to keep busy to keep the raging tide of grief inside me from exploding onto my face. So what did I do? I got on Facebook through my Galaxy 5, and posted the winners, congratulating especially the first place winner who was not there.
Then, I stared at the wall for most of the rest of the speaker’s time, still trying to hold it all inside. The speaker is a household name, and I’d had interaction with him before. It was all I could do to not fall apart right then and there. I was determined not to. I would handle this in a mature way.
In writing, there’s an anagram RUE (Resist the Urge to Explain). I was RUF. I had to Resist the Urge to Flee the room, because that’s all I wanted to do. But to leave at that point would have drawn attention to me, and I didn’t want to do that. I couldn’t look the speaker in the eye for the rest of his address, and I avoided him until the conference was over.
I couldn’t sleep at all that night. While the other two couldn’t sleep because they were so excited and happy, I was dealing with grief, loss, and emotional pain. And of course, it had to be me it happened to. Why? I will never know.
I finally got my courage up, and believe me – it took all I had – the next day – to talk to the household name. I was glad I did, because I learned he had been given the information he announced. I don’t know whose “fault” it was. I just wish they had gotten their facts straight. The man was very nice and last encouraged me in my writing in a special way.
“All the winners are here” was a false statement. I know it was unintentional, but even so, it still hurt – a lot.
Moral of this story: when making important announcements, or giving the speaker important information, get your facts straight. Check your lists a second or third time. If you don’t, you may cause someone unnecessary emotional pain. And mine was so needless.
If they’d just said “Two out of three winners are here, and another semi-finalist who is here was very close” – it would have made such a difference to me. It wouldn’t have hurt so much.
I did talk to one of the people running the conference, and told them the same story the same way I had told the household name. “You almost gave me a heart attack…” The light bulb finally went off. I just said, “Just get your facts straight.”
How about you? Have you been wounded by an oversight, a mistake, albeit unintentional? Leave me a comment, and let me know. Tomorrow, I’ll have more news about this blog.