I Misremember

One of my memorable career experiences was an all-day off-site conflict-resolution gathering held at a nearby hotel conference room. The coworker who somehow was allowed to put this thing together instructed us to take turns confessing what we could have done better (a practice I hear they adopted in North Korean schools). One coworker confessed he could have done a better job of helping the other coworkers do a better job. Another coworker said he since he’s not Catholic, he wasn’t going to make a confession. And then there were hugs.

I remember it like I was there, but I wasn’t. I’d called in to say I had a cold and couldn’t attend (my boss said he wished he had a cold, too), so I got the story later from my suspicious coworkers, who surely thought I was faking.

Anyway, I’ve known objectively that memory is notoriously unreliable, and it’s not hard to see selective or mutating memories in others, but it’s disconcerting when you realize that’s happened to you. Memory is a funny thing. And so are off-site confess-and-hug sessions.

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