Friday, April 14, 2006

Shame On Me

Last night I stopped at the local Chinese place for some food. While waiting for my Lo Mein and General Tso's Chicken (which was mediocre by the way) the nice young gal behind the register asked if I still worked at the local high school.

"No" I said, "I have moved on to different job somewhere else".

"Do you remember me" she asked.

"Sure" I said, struggling to recall her name, although she did look familiar.

"Do you remember that time I came running into your office crying?"

"Uhmmmm...I don't exactly remember that situation" I said, my ears turning red from embarrassment.

"Well, I came into your office crying because my sister had just beat me up and you helped me. You got her suspended for 5 days."

"I did?"

"Yeah, you were my hero."

Talk about feeling like an asshat. Here is this young woman holding me up as a hero in her life and I don't even have the common decency to remember her name. It eventually came back to me, albeit too late, and I can sort of understand why she would hold someone who helped her in the way I did in such high esteem - she didn't have much in the way of positive role models in her family - but a hero?

Does this mean I'm not a good counselor?


The Boy said...

I agree with Miss Litzi. Heroes are hard to come by these days. I'll take a slightly-forgetful Sven over a drug-crazed gangsta any day.

Attila The Mom said...

It's really odd how our actions create a "ripple in a pond" effect.

Small things we do that we don't remember because they aren't really remarkable "to us" can have tremendous effects on the lives of others.

It's so weird that you would post about it. It's a topic I've been thinking a lot about in the last few days.

The Poodle's Friend said...

You must be one hell of a counselor if this girl 1)willingly came to you for help, 2)found your help useful and 3)remembers your help and holds you in such high regard.

In other words, I agree with what everyone else has said. You don't have to be a martyr to be a hero.

Rhonda said...

I think that this girl came running to you is a good indicator you are both the stuff heroes are made of and a good counselor.

Sophia said...

I agree with the others. You're obviously a good counselor if she regards you as a hero.

I think it's also important (and interesting) to consider why you forgot. Maybe if you got too involved in every "case" you had and got too close to each person, you wouldn't have the energy to take care of everyone. The way you're doing it, you are able to help and make a difference to a greater number of people.

Sven said...

Sophia: You bring up an interesting point. I didn't intend to go fishing for compliments or validation with this post. Frankly I was more interested in how and why I could forget her name. Sadly it wasn't until I thought about who her sister was that it came to me. The thing is I spent a whole lot more time working with her sister (and her brother) than with her. So I almost felt guilty when I figured out who she was after thinking about her sister. The hero comment was just salt in the wounds.

The funny thing is I could recite entire conversations word for word that I've had with families 10 years ago. So why her? It was only a few years ago. For me the question is more about how the brain filters and cetegorizes memories. The good counselor thing was just a shamless plug to get people to read an old post.

frankengirl said...

Oh, I must ditto Attila The Mom who wrote: "Small things we do that we don't remember because they aren't really remarkable "to us" can have tremendous effects on the lives of others."

So true!

And I agree with Poodle, too, that you must be pretty darn good at counseling if a girl is going to run to you about such a tough issue.

Clearly, you just have too many fans to keep track of each and every one from way back...