How I Was Manipulated in a HOSA Competition

In case if you’re wondering, HOSA is an organization that stands for Health Occupations Students of America. It consists of competitions within health science, like nursing assisting, forensic medicine, medical innovations, etc. But it also consists of students leading it or officers. In which, I was running to become a regional officer. This is big because it’s a group of students that organize the whole convention & competitions. It wasn’t easy to get my name up as a candidate. I took a test, sent in 2 letters of recommendations, a resume, a youtube video, 2 speeches, an interview and 5 signatures. But there was some chaos between my opponent and I, and i feel so stupid for falling through her hole.

The morning of my interview, all the candidates met. Most of the candidates were from a Medical High School, that pretty much controls the whole competition (making it rigged & unfair) …(I”ll explain in a bit) . We were all befriending each other, waiting for each of us to be interviewed. While we were conversing, they asked me questions that they already knew the answer to. Like “what are you competing in” and i answered “Forensic Medicine” “Oh i know”. I was perplexed to see that people knew who i was before I stepped in the building, but they obviously stalked  me through social media so they can get familiar with their opponent. Once we were all interviewed, the nominating committee came to a decision to slate the candidates.

I was slated as the HOSA Area Historian, against a husky girl from the obnoxious medical high school. Let’s call her Lucy. Well Lucy was the one I had more of a connection before the interview. She was cool, funny and smart, yet once she found out she was slated against me she was agitated and stressed.  Though her friends (also obnoxious candidates from the same medical high school), perfectly helped her through tactics like: underestimation, artful falsehood, and fake friendship.

Underestimation

By underestimation, Lucy made me believe that she didn’t have the ability to win, she was practically being cynical the whole time. She kept on saying “I don’t want to run against you”…”I didn’t even want to be historian”…”I wanted the secretary position”…”I hate pictures” (In reality her instagram was super photogenic…yeah she added me on instagram before we met)… “You’re way better then me”. I believed it. I underestimated her because her attitude was so negative, that made me confident to win. Well, I was wrong.

Fake Friendship

After the interview, most of the candidates went out to eat lunch together and prepared our campaign speeches. We were getting to know each other and giving feedback on our speeches. She kept on repeating how stressed she was running against me and had too many “allergies”.  Once we went to Barnes & Nobles we sat in the children’s area to “work” on our speeches. She talked to me a lot about how cool I am, and kept on putting her head on my shoulder to weep (this happened a lot throughout the day). I comforted her and told her to just try your best. At the bookstore, I tried to stop talking to them so i could practice and write my speech but they were stalling. I notice what they were trying to do when I looked down to my paper and looked up at them a second later, and saw them mouthing words and giving each other a wide eye stare. That’s when i immediately messaged my sponsor so we can meet each other.

Artful Falsehood

By artful falsehood, she was copiously filled with beautiful lies. We were talking about music we liked and I told her I really like indie bands such as Daughter and The XX. A couple moments later, she said “Omg I love the The XX too, my favorite song is Intro and Islands. I realized she was lying the moment she opened her phone and from the corner of my eye her recent google search was “The XX” & songs.

Her campaign speech was filled with lies. She lied to her audience that she had a passion for pictures, and lived behind a camera (which she said she hated it before)  She also told her audience she had a “photo business”, which was the turning point to my loss. At the end of the speech she took out her phone and said “Can everyone get up, I want to capture this moment” “Say cheese!”

My Lesson

I’m not trying to be a sore loser here or anything. My speech was horrendous compared to hers, but i’m actually glad i lost. Why? Because i learned the lesson to not trust your competitor. They will certainly follow the Benjamin Franklin quote “keep your friends close but your enemies closer”.

Since I was extremely agitated after hearing her speech, I blank out and was filled with nerves saying mine. I’m normally a confident and outgoing person, in which after this experience I never want to perform imperfectly and nervously to an audience ever again.

I’m also enraged that these people got away with it. Every year it’s the same kids from the same school running this regional competition. Diversity of different schools is highly lacked every year within these officer positions. I want to send out the message that you should never befriend your competitor, because they will take advantage of that. Everyone must open their eyes and see what kind of people are truly out there.

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