What's your backstory?

Check out this "Happy Hunting" guide from Dentyne gum, designed to help women land men, and men land women. OK, icky enough. But then check out the "backstory" section, where they advise women to memorize a made-up story about being a professional cheerleader, or being in a commercial as a kid; and guys to fake having been a caddy on a PGA tour, or to say they once played a dead guy on CSI. So, we're all so boring we have to lie about who we are and what we've done to get someone interested? As Susan on A Bird's Eye View says, "Are they nuts? Or am I? Are people seriously interested in meeting potential dates whose conversations are built on a totally phony premise?"

Can you imagine doing this at a networking event, just making up stuff to catch someone's attention, like, say, you planned a national political convention, or the Superbowl, or whatever? So they're impressed, and they call you, and they want to hire you or work with you in some way. At what point do you 'fess up, in either your personal or professional life? OK, so I understand that the Dentyne thing is supposed to be funny and viral, but it is such a commentary on the value of flash over substance in our society that I couldn't let it pass by unremarked.

This one will, without a doubt, somewhere, somehow come back to bite you. I know people do pad their resumes, and pump up their experiences to sound more interesting than perhaps they were, so caveat emptor, folks. While I've done a lot of stupid things in my time, I never did this one. I guess I'm lucky in that every time I've done something stupid, I've been caught, usually in the most embarrassing way possible. Every time. It's a great incentive not to go there—honest.

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