While attending the ASSA convention, I had dinner with 4 colleagues and a colleague's acquaintance at a restaurant in Harvard Square. Afterwards, I had an experience that I can only describe as weird Econ karma.
After dinner, my colleagues and I walked down the street and stopped at a bank so one of us could visit the ATM. He walked in while the rest of us waited outside in the cold January air. After a short time, I decided that I might need a little extra cash, so I tried to walk inside the lobby to access the ATM. The door was locked, but she let me in.
She looked like a new assitant professor of English Literature, an expert in Longfellow if you will, or an older graduate student. She was 30-ish, about 5'6" tall with long, permed brown hair. She was of medium build and wore thin, intellectual-looking glasses. She had a thin, bright smile behind her thin-to-medium lips. She wore a medium-length brown coat. I never saw her before in my life. I swear.
She opened the door to let me in. "Hi, Phil" she said.
Privately I thought to myself "Who the hell are you?" Publicly I said, meekly, "Hi."
"I'm sorry for locking you out," she said.
"That's OK," I replied, wondering how she knew my name, who she was, and how I was going to get the flock out of there.
She asked, in a Boston accent, "did you come in to get wahm?"
"No," I replied truthfully. "I came in to use the ATM."
She purred "Would you like to go some place wahmah?"
"No," I replied in a panicky voice (what can I say? I'm as smooth as jagged rocks), and I turned to use the ATM. For some reason, I couldn't complete a transaction, so I took my ATM card and left the lobby thinking "how can I explain this to my wife?" "How did she know my name?" "How can I explain this to my colleagues not in attendance but who will surely hear about this?" "I'll never live this down."
Upon walking out of the bank, I quickly put my colleagues between me and the bank, circling the wagons if you will. She followed me outside. We walked away, my colleagues between me and her, and one of them asked "Who was that? How did she know your name?"
"I have no farking idea," I replied.
She continued to follow me for about 50 feet until she realized I was not interested. It was at that time that my cellphone rang. It was my wife! She called to see when my plane was scheduled back in the Nort'lands.
Talk about some weird Econ karma.