A Dispiriting First Day

| Learning | August 5, 2013

(I’m attending a mandatory university orientation session. The person who leads the orientation has just asked everyone to get to know the people at their tables, then introduce someone else to the whole group. I explain to my table I’m trained and certified as a ghostwriter, and that I help people write their manuscripts, but take no credit on anything. They are really interested, and decide to introduce me.)

Student #1: *pointing at me* “She’s a certified ghostwriter!”

Orientation Leader: “Oh! Well, uhm… that’s great, but due to confidentiality…”

(The leader moves on to other people, and I appreciate she understands my job completely. Meanwhile, I see a small group of about six orientation helpers whispering to each other and looking at me. I already know this could go one of two ways when they make their way over.)

Orientation Helper: “So, uhm… you’re a ghostwriter?”

Me: “Yeah, I—”

Orientation Helper: “Do you sense anything in the room now?”

Me: “No. Too many people. Besides, I write books.”

Orientation Helper: *crestfallen* “Oh…” *sudden dawning realization* “Oh! Ghost-WRITER!”

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