26 Sep We Almost Did It. Thanks anyways, About.Me
I won my chance to be on the billboard in Times Square for the about.me contest.
I didn’t think I could ever win something like this, but I did.
I had won runner up, which was a place on the billboard. I had finally gotten a chance for the ostomy to appear in Times Square! Finally some REAL awareness for the campaign!
I was so excited I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I immediately called the woman who contacted me and told her that I was over the age of 18 and I was a resident of the US, living in New York City, legally.
She said she had noticed that I had gone to school in Canada and I replied that I was a Canadian citizen, but again, I was living in the US legally.
She said she would check with the legal department but saw no reason for it to be an issue and she would get back to me on Monday.
The contest rules stated you have to be a legal resident. Well, I’m not hiding out in America, I live here because the country says I’m allowed to. So it shouldn’t be an issue, right?
Well, it’s Monday.
I got this:
Apparently, living here legally as an F-1 student with a legal visa living in a legal apartment paying with a legal bank account and calling her with a legal phone number doesn’t mean anything.
I have to have a green card.
A green card to put a picture of me on a billboard.
A green card to use the rights to a picture.
A green card, that in actual circumstances, is not needed to obtain rights to an image.
The contest is literally so they can use an image. An image I am willing to hand to them on a silver platter covered in flowers and diamonds. Do I seriously need to be a legal resident to let them use a picture for free?
I don’t think they care.
I certainly care.
I think all of you certainly care.
Now, I’m in no way trying to bash this company for what they have done. I get it. I get that they have to follow certain rules. They are owned by AOL so they can’t really go breaking any laws. I just don’t think they had fully considered the loopholes in this situation and just decided it would be easier to back out. I mean, they had tons of other people to choose from. So it only makes sense to cut out the legal issues and go with someone easier to handle.
I was just in awe that they really tried to give us a chance. I never thought any organization with such power would even consider our cause, but they did. So I give them a huge thank you for that.
I just can’t believe they handled the situation the way they did. I mean, to email me and speak to me on the phone to tell me that I have won, only to take it back?
Needless to say, I’m crushed.
We had a chance guys. We really did.
I really don’t know how I can fix this. I don’t think I can. I think our chance is gone.
I would take some solace in the fact they said in the 2nd email that they wish to work with me on future endeavours, but I don’t think they legally can.
I have emailed one of the co-founders and CEO, Tony Conrad, asking if there is anything else he can do. Even he can just use the picture that I will hand over for free outside of the contest. I’m waiting to see if he’ll email back. I doubt it, though. I have his phone number too. I may call. It may be useless, though.
I still want to say a huge thank you to about.me for at least trying. They tried to give us a chance that no one else has.
At least we know someone’s noticed us.
I’m sorry I’m from the wrong country. I really, really am.