Empty field triggering a "field not empty" automation step - can't tell why

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I have an automation that triggers when a form is filled out. The form collects email addresses and locations from people, putting that info in the signups table, and matches them with captains based on their location; the captains are listed in the captains table and linked to the signups table, with lookup fields in signups for their email address and other key info.

The automation sends an email to the new signup connecting them with their captain. Some captains have email addresses, some don't. So the automation looks to see first of all if there is an email address for the captain in the signups table's lookup field. The logic in the automation is: signups: email (from captains) is NOT empty.

However, the step is triggered even if the email (from captains) lookup field IS empty. When testing the step, it returns a success and shows the field contains [object Object]

The field looks empty in the data table, I have no idea why it is returning "object Object" or why that counts as a "not empty". I can figure out other workarounds (I did not build this automation myself and would have done it differently) but want to understand why this is failing and see if there is an easier fix than starting over.

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