Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Beans Spillith Over

I began blogging when Harper was 3 months old, which also happened to be during the time in my life when I was still auditioning quite regularly for commercials.

A few times a week I would traipse downtown to David O'Connor Casting, circle the area to find a parking place, sit in the waiting room with the other hopefuls, perform a glorious audition lasting, oh, say, 5 minutes, get back in my car, and trek the hour (with traffic) home again. As I was being called in with some regularity, I began a blog to share with my family the details about my auditions: how I felt, what I wore, whether I would change my delivery, the result, etc. Never once did I hesitate about what I wrote, or censor my words.

One day, however, as I was exiting the casting office after an audition, I was I stopped cold in my tracks by David O'Connor himself as he announced with a grin, "Joline, I really enjoy The Audition Chronicles."

It took a moment to register what he had just said, but once I realized that he was referring to my blog (which was indeed called The Audition Chronicles) my insides turned to jello. WHAT???!!! David O'Connor had read my blog. David O'Connor, one of the biggest casting director's in Chicago had read my blog. Any flattery I may have felt disappeared quickly as my mind raced to weigh the situation. At the very center of my racing thoughts one stood out: had I written anything negative about David himself?

It was on this day that I was hit square in the face with the reality that blogs are public. Very public.

I mumbled some incomprehensible response about my parents living out of town and my wanting to give them the details of all my auditions, blah, blah, blah, panic, panic, panic. I stumbled. I muttered. I think I may have spit or drooled during this exchange. Regardless, I came out looking like a buffoon.

I called George immediately and told him to read through posts to see if I had ever said anything derogatory about David himself. You know how temperamental actors can be: blaming a bad audition on the casting director. (Not that I'd ever had a bad audition . . .) He assured me that all was OK. But, I was quite flustered and sure that I would never be called into his office for an audition again. I also wondered how he had found my blog. And concluded that it must have been due to googling either the name of the casting office, David O'Connor Casting, or, (as if the next option was even a remote possibility), me.

My next post detailed what had transpired and included a "hello" to David himself.

I never heard another word. And it wasn't the end of my career. Catastrophe averted.

Since that experience, I have continued blogging and have often struggled with the question of when and when not to "spill the beans", so to speak, or, rather, so to "write" when blogging about specific situations that I encounter as I stroll through life.

I am pretty vulnerable. To be sure. And yet, there are several experiences which I choose to keep off the public airway that is the Internet. I don't bare it all. I'm not a blogging pole dancer.
And yet there are those experiences which I share with complete freedom and candor of opinion.

The debate over spilling the beans in a blog certainly arises when one, like David O'Connor, actually locates a blog in which he is mentioned.

Take today.

In this case let's say that the someone who has located my blog is, oh, I don't know, let's go with, MY MECHANIC. And the mechanic's "trans guys".

Google is a really good search engine.

George talked with the owner. He requested that we remove any reference to his shop or the "trans guys". George talked with me. We came the conclusion that since we are working really hard at actually reconciling our relationship with our mechanic, I would agree to remove all references to the actual companies involved. Not the posts, mind you.

Did I struggle with this decision?

Um, yeah.

For the readers that have been following our auto drama, I hope that you can see the shift I have begun to take from my earlier posts which communicate sheer anger and wrath, to my most recent attempt, however feeble, at forgiveness and reconciliation. This is where I struggled over the request that I edit my posts. As, what I have tried to convey with my most recent post was how we are working very hard at repairing and reconciling with this business. After all, they did reimburse us for the taxi and the tow, loaned us a courtesy car, honored their warranty, and credited us back the entire amount for the transmission until which time the work is done and we deem it sufficient. So, yes, they have worked with us. I see this. I am thankful for this. I can not, however, continue to mention them in my blog.

Putting aside all the frustration I've felt towards them, I must say that I doubt other businesses would give us the personal attention they have. In terms of trying to do the right thing by us (based upon their actions that I've mentioned above) they are striving to be above board.

And yet, the situation has been completely inexcusable and unacceptable. Thus, I still struggle with having to edit what I have written - even though I understand that the goal is reconciliation. Yeah, some of you would say, "The goal is getting your car back! What about that!" That is the earthly goal. The bigger goal is to "Treat others as you would want to be treated", which is a much harder goal to reach due to all the pride and personal effort I have wrapped up in my little blogging world.

For this reason, I have agreed to remove all references to the parties involved. Don't think for a moment that I am totally sold out on this or that I am just trying to be all high and mighty and righteous with my decision. For honestly, it sucks a little.

I'm just trying to do my part in cleaning up the mess of spilled beans.

One by one by one . . .


Amy said...

Have you been on the settings page to remove your blog from searches?

Cuppa Jo said...

Yep. Just now.

Tiffany said...

I'm not sure that I understand why reconciliation or the Golden Rule involves not being totally open and forthcoming about truthful facts.

Liz said...

Good for you, Joline. Our culture is so much about entitlements and our "rights". It is my "right" to be heard. I have a "right" to be angry. It's my "right" to defend myself, etc. etc. Very counter-cultural and Christ-cultural to turn the other cheek, which is exactly what you just did.

Brigette said...

I too am careful about what I post on my blog and what I don't. Blogs are indeed very public, and that's something I keep in mind as I write mine.