Home » Wrong number? How a US professor is plagued by calls for the MyPillow CEO | US news

Wrong number? How a US professor is plagued by calls for the MyPillow CEO | US news

by John Jefferson
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The voicemails and emails last year came from his supporters, praising his work and asking if he could connect them with Donald Trump.

Not a weird ask for Mike Lindell, the pillow salesman who now makes a name for himself by questioning election results.

But the callers and writers had the wrong Mike Lindell: they were reaching out to a semi-retired 77-year-old professor living in Seattle who most definitely didn’t know how to reach the former president.

The professor’s recent spate of mistaken identity gives a glimpse at what it’s like to share the same name as someone famous – or, in this instance, infamous. It’s the lower-profile version of booking the Four Seasons Total Landscaping when you meant to book the Four Seasons.

The professor is deliberate with his words, speaking slowly, after taking time to think. The pillow salesman is perhaps the opposite, going a mile a minute with an over-the-top showmanship common to Trump and those within his realm.

Lindell the professor first felt a bit embarrassed when a man with his same name burst on to the national scene. For years, the professor’s name popped up first on Google, having spent his professional career researching and teaching on emergency preparedness. Now, he falls below the other Mike Lindell. (This reporter found his listing by accident recently, while looking up what the pillow guy was doing on hand counts.)

There’s a feeling, he said, of the “name being contaminated”, though he’s never suffered any personal consequences – beyond the instances of mistaken identity – since he’s long been established in his career.

“It’s sort of like the idea of picking up a slug, that kind of sense of revulsion was my immediate reaction,” the professor said.

Why some people think they’re reaching the pillow-slinger at a university email address escapes the professor, but his public contact information must be posted somewhere Lindell fans hang out.

“His political and personal views are so different from mine, I guess is the kindest way I could say it,” the elder Lindell said. “It’s sort of like an optical illusion that we even live on the same planet.”

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He feels some compassion for the guy who shares his name, who he thinks has lost his way, simply because “it’s sad to see another human being engage in that kind of self-destructive behavior”. He feels a modicum of it for Trump at times, too, “although it’s only for nanoseconds”.

Mike Lindell screens his calls – too much spam, aside from the name issue – so he’s never directly engaged with a caller trying to find the other guy. He deletes the emails he’s gotten seeking the election activist. It’s a low-level nuisance at most and only occasionally.

When he goes to a conference or checks into a hotel, there’s sometimes a raised eyebrow or a joke from someone who saw the name and is now seeing the man, but not the one they see on TV.

Lindell turns it into a joke, too: “He sells pillows and I put students to sleep, so we’re sort of in the same line of business.”

Read the full article here

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