I need to do a little venting; that's what you're here for, right? Great!
This past Sunday the other half and I entered into what was my first 'real' bowling tournament. Sure, I've bowled league for about 2 years now, and I'm used to competition, but this was a chance to stand apart from a team and show my own performance in front of my peers. This particular event was a monthly No Tap tournament held at our local bowling house. For those not keen on the nitty gritty bowling undergound, 'No Tap' is a term for a scoring system that marks a 9 pin fall (on the first ball) as a strike. It's especially great for bowlers like me who tend to hit the head pin just out of the pocket and leave that one straggling pin. But that's enough of the technical jargon, all you need to know is that there were about 40 teams of 2 competing across 3 games, total pinfall (plus handicap) determines placing.
Well the other half and I wrapped our first game with two scores over 300. (Recall, this is handicap, which means we had a set number of pins coming in, but bowled exceptionally well above our average.) Right out of the gate we had a target on our back. The regular tournament crowd was watching us very closely, and already calling placings. The second game we fell a little, but still bowled well and just above our average. The third game we bowled very good, but not as hot as our first. In all, we had fellow bowlers coming by proclaiming that we had 'swept' the competition definitively. We had entered with no intention of taking home any money, simply to attend and have fun, so I was hesitant to stick around and wait for the results. I was proud of our scores, but I had no idea what was 'normal' or 'great' for a No Tap tournament. For all I knew everyone had scores as high as ours.
Against my better judgement, as I had plans to go out with a girlfriend and was already running late, we waited around near an extra hour for the numbers to be crunched. When the remaining bowlers, perhaps 1/4 of the initial turnout, gathered in the bar to hear the results the individual who had done the counting began handing out envelopes of money. Even though I was standing just a few feet away I could barely make out what he was saying. All I knew was that money, in large sums, was being passed out and no scores were being provided. I was handed $15 for having the highest individual score the first game, and yet another placing prize was distributed. I inquired about the names of the bowlers and their score and was told "Don't worry, if you win, I'll let you know how much and the scores!" At the time I'd found it a bit cold, but I wasn't expecting any money, so I didn't argue. By the time the last prize had been awarded it was clear we hadn't placed, and I was over an hour and a half late for my date, so we left.
No sooner had we arrived home then I received multiple texts and calls from various attendees and officials; a mistake had been made. Jeremy's handicap had only been counted for one game, instead of 3, leaving us over 160 pins short in total pin count. We were the rightful first place team! I'll admit, I thought it was a joke at first, until several more people confirmed this. The alley was going to honor our prize in a monetary amount ($300), but it seemed no formal recognition was to be made of the mistake. Now here's where I became upset about the circumstances.
Proud of how well we had done, and the big tournament win, Jeremy posted a very nonspecific post on Facebook that we had taken first place in a tournament. His only intent being to notify the friends and family who had followed and attended. Recognition in front of our peers was worth much more to us than the actual money. Well, no sooner had the status gone live then we were contacted by an employee of the alley, who had actually been bowling in the tournament, and asked to remove the status. According to him it was 'bad press' for the alley to advertise that we had won first place; despite a lack of complaint or mention of the miscount on our part! To make matters worse, another employee of the alley had the nerve to insinuate that the miscount was partially our fault. And I quote "If you thought there was something wrong, you should have spoke up." As I explained, I was in a hurry to make up lost time with plans I'd had for over a week, and in honesty, trusted the officials were correct. I certainly wouldn't have been brazen enough to call a miscount when I had never participated in a tournament before! And so we were left with $300 of what I consider hush money, and a very sour experience.
Have you ever been overlooked unjustly for recognition? Did you let it pass, or call it out?
What Daughter Says: Sometimes I think modesty and manners are simply an excuse for others to take advantage.