October 30, 2019:

Early in my career I met for lunch with a VP about a possible next job. He gave me an address on El Camino Real in Mountain View, but when I arrived there the address was an empty lot. He was actually on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, the next town south. It's a simple mistake to make: El Camino runs through a half dozen towns on the San Francisco Peninsula where the borders blend and mash, and the street numbers reset, so that the same address exists on El Camino in multiple locations. Thus while he was in fact in Sunnyvale he believed he was in Mountain View. With great but erroneous certainty about his location he then concluded it was I who'd gotten lost and was making excuses. To this day he pegs me as a person with poor sense of geography.

On another occasion I was feeling a bit under the whether at a business dinner with a small executive team. When I nibbled at but chose not to finish my plate, the CEO became convinced I "eat like bird" and for years after would use those words to describe me. Meanwhile, at a group lunch with the same company, I ordered appetizers for the table which it turned out nobody wanted. One of the participants misunderstood, thinking I'd ordered them for myself. Forever after, he'd tell people I "eat like a horse".

It's interesting that these kinds of simple misperceptions stick with such tenacity. And that some people are so quick to generalize from so little data.