This is a story that I don't tell very often, and you will see why. I can only imagine the field day that someone like Emma or Jennifer would have with it, but here it goes:
It was my junior year of high school, and I was helping with a job fair day at my school. One of the groups there was a branch of the United States millitary. I don't remember which one it was, but I do remember going up to the booth and showing interest.
As I walked up to look over the display and grab a brochure, the man in uniform behind the desk said "Hello Nick, how are you doing?"
I was taken aback for a minute. I was sure I had never met this person in my life, but he had just firmly looked me in the eye and called me by name. He then began to give his pitch about the benefits of going into the millitary. As he talked to me, he continued to call me by name. I was listening, but my head was swimming in a sea of shock and confusion.
Now aside from being a huge X-Files fan at the time, I'm was not overtly paranoid about the United States government. But this had me freaked out. How did these people know who I was? Were they keeping tabs on me? Had they collected information on students before the job fair and profiled us? If so, would they really be so brazen as to flaunt the fact that they knew who I was before I had even introduced myself?
When the man was done talking to me, I shook his hand, took a brochure, and walked away. Once I was out of his line of sight, I ran to a group of friends standing nearby.
"Guys, you will never believe this!" I stammered. "I just went over to the millitary booth, and the guy there knew my name! These people know everything!"
At that point, one of my friends looked at me and said "Nick, you're wearing a name tag..."