I like microphones. I once tweeted a picture of my view from the stage at a conference where I was leading the singing. Here it is, for reference:
Somebody responded saying that they got nervous just looking at that photo.
I’ve always erred on the side of overconfidence, given the choice between it and humility, which served me well in terms of my inherent ability to alienate people close to me. So I was caught off guard when people responded anxiously to the idea of being behind a microphone. It is a happy place–filled with sparklers, unlimited wifi, and free pizza–in my world.
My overconfidence also worked well in terms of name recognition. Since I wasn’t afraid of microphones, people tended to hand them to me. And that led to being well-known.
Regardless of what people thought of me, people knew me.
Once I started raising support, that name-recognition was good for making contact with folks. “I’m Ben, from the band on Sunday morning. You may also remember me from such classics as ‘Lead in the Youth Musical for Three Straight Years.'”
But it didn’t take me long to realize the problem: I’d run into people in the narthex (easily the feature of any church building most suitable for a punk-rock band name or window-cleaning solution) and they’d say something detailed like “Hey Ben.”
From there, I entered into conversational self-defense, utilizing terms like “brother” relentlessly, in hopes of a clue as to not only this person’s name, but the subject matter of any pervious conversations. Throw me a bone, mystery person. Have we ever met, or do you just know me from that time on the missions video?
There’s no feeling in the world like having a two-person conversation in which you are feeling left out.
Has this ever happened to anyone else?