The Kid in Me

It looks like I may be getting a second interview for a job I



lust after

... am seriously considering.

Even though I am qualified for the position, I must admit I'm a bit jittery when thinking about the interview.

I began to prep mentally today, telling myself there's no reason to be worried; just show up, present my best self to the panel, and remain calm and collected.  What's the worst that could happen?

FLASHBACK to the year 2000.  

I was working as an independent consultant for a major multinational company.  I was seated in a remote conference room in Canada with two of my colleagues (I'll call them Stacy and Barb), presenting our project findings to a panel of experts via tele-con.  Each 'expert' was dialing in from a different location, scattered throughout the US.  

The outcomes of the project would determine Stacy's, Barb's and my ability to achieve a much sought-after professional qualification.  We were nervous.  Voices were hushed.

The premise was that panelists would keep their polycom unit on mute, each panelist activating his/her individual unit only when he/she was personally addressing a question to my two colleagues and me.  That polycom would then be muted, and the next panelist would activate his/her unit and proceed in the same way.

Distance introductions made, all panelists save one mute their units.  The first panelist begins the question period, we answer in turn, and the panelist mutes his unit (or so we assume).  

Cue to second panelist ... but we can hear the rustling of what sounds like a brown paper lunch bag being opened.  We ask the 2nd panelist if the interference is coming from her end, but she indicates it isn't and the noise continues.  On our end, we realize that the first panelist must have mistakenly turned off the volume instead of muted it on ours.  I don't know if he ever turned the volume back up on his end, but I do know that he never muted his unit.

So halfway through the second set of questions, as 'Barb' is leaning into the mike, the first panelist lets loose a HUGE ripper.  I swear the polycom shakes.  'Stacy' and I look at each other wide-eyed.  We stifle our laughter.  This is serious business.  'Barb', the ultimate professional, carries on.  We keep it together.  We forge on.

'Stacy' then begins explaining her fishbone diagram.  As she asks all panelists to focus on the 'tail end' of the diagram, she pauses for effect, and at that very moment a few distinct ~~~~~~~Ffffffrrrrppppppp fffrrrrpppp ffrrpp ffffrrrrrrrpppppps~~~~~! reverberate over the polycom unit.  It's too much.  

We three realize that not only are WE hearing the flatulence, but the other panelists must be hearing it too and thinking it is coming from one of us.  The 1st panelist is obviously oblivious.  We are in hysterics, fighting to silence our guffaws, tears streaming down our face, 'Stacy' struggling to breathe and keep it together.  Pinching her inner arm and silently pounding her fist on her leg in an effort to silence her laughter with pain.  We are highly unsuccessful.  The panel must think we are insane, immature, or a combination of both.  We are just like 12-year-old boys, unable to keep it together in the face of bodily functions.  

I look back on that day and still laugh.  One of my worst professional moments, but one of the most memorable.  In the end, we all received our qualification, so I guess the project was pretty darned good.  But really not an experience I'd hope to see repeated.

BACK to 2013.  

I really hope no one farts during this interview.  

I won't kid myself; I may be middle-aged, but there is still a 12-year-old child hiding in me.

Stopped in Germany to get a pic of the 'fart' sign.  Yeah, I'm that mature.  

Stopped in Germany to get a pic of the 'fart' sign.  Yeah, I'm that mature.