Recently I started a new job. The last time I had a new job, the place was small enough at the next company meeting new hires were encouraged to stand up and be introduced and talk a little about themselves. Naturally, at the time, I talked about Shakespeare.
So I prepared myself for something similar here. Only, it’s a bigger company. Call it maybe 50-100 people? I wasn’t sure if they still do such things. They are still small enough that the CEO calls together everybody for a quarterly update meeting, so who knew. I imagined saying something about Shakespeare (since it came up in my interviews), and then anticipated what I would do if somebody asked me my opinion on authorship? Because, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that it’s often one of the first questions people ask (it’s a tie with “What’s your favorite play?”)
I thought of all kinds of snappy answers. Then I thought, “You will have just met these people, and you have no idea who you’ll offend. For all you know there might actually be Oxfordians working here.” I decided that my answer would be, “I’d rather discuss politics or religion.” And I’m completely serious about that.
At this particular time, however, nobody has asked. There is no “stand up and be introduced” moment, because they’re simply hiring people too fast. Which is fine. It’s more fun to meet people individually over time, anyway.
But it brings up an interesting question. Have you ever met an Oxfordian (or other Shakespeare denier) in person? How’d it go? We all know that thing we do on the Internet where distance and anonymity make us bold, but honestly and truly if you found yourself in a situation where you were going to see a person on a regular basis (such as a new coworker), and discovered that this person has a deep and fundamental disagreement about something so important to you, what would you do? I wonder.