I've had limited experience with the rumor mill. I'm pretty sure this is because in most gossip-hungry social circles, I'm far from significant enough for anyone to have made things up about me. This is the beauty of non-entity-hood.
Recently, I accidentally made myself the talk of my town in the basest way possible. That's right- I'm talking Facebook. It started when a friend of mine whom I became acquainted with through the high school party scene and later was reunited with at good ol' PF Chang's asked me an innocent question via my "wall" about how work was going. Now, said friend is a ton o' fun and I don't mean to suggest otherwise when I say this, but this is the kind of mundane question that drives me to be so creative in my attempt to counteract it that I start stirring up trouble. See, I've never been the "oh it's going great, how're the kids?" type of guy. The button-down lifestyle is not for me. In response to her harmless query, I told her that I actually couldn't tell her how the job was going because I'd recently been fired- a needless and utter lie.
Don't get me wrong; I expected this would provoke mild outrage on her part, and it did, but the response I got in addition was overwhelming. My wall was soon after littered by my other Facebook-ing co-workers with appalled expressions of surprise and dismay. When I went in to work a few days later, I was immediately met with an assortment of variations of "Dude, what are you doing here? I thought you got fired!" by at least four of my fellow Chang-ers. It was mayhem. I couldn't even fathom how my seemingly innocuous, temporary, antidote to boredom could blow out of proportion right before my eyes that way.
In my admittedly limited calculation of the consequences of lying about being fired, I failed to account for the fact that Facebook, as a "social utility", pretty much notifies everyone who is listed as your friend if you even so much as fart. For those of you not in the know (and jesus, there can't be many of you left at this point), the log-in screen features up-to-the-minute updates on all of your friends' activities (eg: "Connor Jenkins has just jerked off in the shower")- including what they've written on your mutual friends' "walls". Facebook turned to telephone turned to word of mouth turned to me looking like a complete jackass when I had to explain that I hadn't actually been fired, but merely made an idiotic joke out of boredom...
The suspicion of my termination from Chang's lasted weeks, and it became more clear to me just how widespread it was as time went on as I found myself clearing my name- online and in person at work- several times a day. I found this especially ironic because, as a part-time server who has recently downsized his schedule to three shifts a week, and who frequently must request off even those few shifts to accomodate the demands of being in an active rock band, I feel my actual termination from this job is imminent. Due to my being an idiot and Facebook, a classic Boy-Who-Cried-Wolf situation is all but sure to ensue.
So of course, if there's a moral to this story, one would hope I had picked up on it throughout all the confusion. A moral about truth and honesty, trust among friends, and approaching things as significant as one's employment with a certain level of sobriety and integrity.
In a manner of speaking, I very much did learn a lesson.
A former co-worker, unaware of the debacle I caused two weeks ago, has already unwittingly presented me with an opportunity to redeem myself by asking the same innocent question about work once more.
This time, my response on his wall reflects what I've learned.
"Work is going great, dude. Thanks for asking. But more importantly, I've got an 11- inch penis."