Throughout my life, I’ve learned that there are some people who are a bit hesitant to believe just how accident-prone I can be. I find it funny, because I am very upfront about this fact.
How the heck could I keep something like that hidden? I’m the same girl who can’t be around a hot guy without seriously injuring myself. I seriously once nearly gave myself a concussion trying to retrieve a cap to a water bottle because a hot guy was sat about 10 feet away from me.
Usually, the way things work is that, when I disclose my not-so-secret affliction, people think, Oh, isn’t she cute? She thinks she’s accident-prone. I bet she’s tripped like once in her life.
Ha! I wish.
What then follows is that I do something, quite by accident of course, that proves that, if anything, I underestimate just how much of a walking disaster this girl can be.
And sadly, the person doesn’t quite believe how bad it gets. Then I tell The Interview Story. (It gets caps, because it’s totally epic in terms of having a Minday).
So, to show you how much of a Minday I can cram into a short span of time, I present The Interview Story:
Back in July of 2006, I was ready to move away from being a clerk at The Star and do something different. I applied for higher ed jobs, but just to fully cover my bases, I also applied for jobs at other newspapers in the area.
One newspaper called, and the editor asked me to come out for an interview that Sunday. It was a bit weird having to head off to Overland Park to meet with the editor on a Sunday, but hey, I know they tend to work some crazy hours, so who was I to judge?
The night before I crawled into bed and the nerves kicked in. Oh my God! What if he starts asking me all these questions about Kansas? I only know that the State Song is “Home on the Range” and that they’ve been having a massive debate on evolution since we crawled out of the primordial ooze! What if he asks about the Gross Domestic Product of the average tree trimming service in Olathe? Oh no!!!
So obviously, giving in to an exhausted sleep was a blessing…until I woke up at 2 a.m. and started right in again.
The next morning I awoke, not refreshed per se, but as ready as I pretty much could be. I showered and did the normal morning routine. I even actually did more to my hair than just my standard French twist. I straightened it, and I felt pretty darn confident about myself, even if I had to suck it in to squeeze into the skirt of my suit.
At 9:15 a.m., I was as ready to go as I could be, so I grabbed the portfolio of my stories, my wallet, cell phone and a pair of flip flops to change into once the interview had completed and I was back on the road heading toward home. I said goodbye to Zeus and the evil Satan Kitteh then walked outside, shutting the locked door behind me.
I shut the screen door and turned toward my car, my arms ladened with all the things I needed to take with me. Then, as though I had walked into an invisible brick wall, I stopped short. Without even looking at the items in my hands I knew what one thing they were not carrying: my car keys.
Son of a….
I dropped everything on the porch and turned back to the door. Even though I knew better, I turned the knob, which of course did not give due to it being locked. Crap! I thought. I needed to get going as soon as possible, but how could I do that when my keys hung on the other side of the door, laughing at me for being so stupid as to walk out without them???
The back door! I thought, then ran round the house, but it too mocked me as I jiggled the locked knob.
I needed to get in as soon as possible, but how? What could I do?
That’s it! I’ll call Brandy! I rushed back around front, grabbed my cell and speed dialed my sister. When the answer machine clicked on, I wanted to scream. Instead, as calmly as I could I said, “Brandy, it’s an emergency! Please call me on my cell when you get this.”
I hung up and waited, but as the second minute passed, I knew she wouldn’t call in time. I needed to get to Overland Park in 35 minutes, and if there was traffic, I would be out of luck!
So, I did what any desperate woman would do. I walked around the side of the house, found the basement window that Paul had once broken into and did the exact same thing. Of course, not realizing how the window opened, I kicked out the wood covering the broken window pane, and shimmied into the tiny gap. I actually (and surprisingly) fit, but of course scratched up my stomach and arm along the way. A small price though, because I WAS INSIDE!!
I rushed upstairs, grabbed the keys, rushed out the door, grabbed my items and jumped into the car. I sped out to Johnson County and arrived at the newspaper’s office with 10 minutes to spare.
As I had been instructed to do, I started to punch in the editor’s number when a man walked out of the building. He noticed me and knocked on the window. “You’re here for the interview?” he asked, and I nodded. “I’ve got to go cover a fire. Want to come?”
Knowing that flexibility is what comes with the territory of being a reporter, I said sure, grabbed my portfolio and hurriedly followed him to his car. During the drive he asked me quite a few of the standard interview questions. We drove from 435 and Metcalf to 135th Street and Metcalf but we couldn’t find any sign of a fire. So, the editor said screw it and drove back to the office so that he could continue the interview.
In all, the whole thing took two hours, but it gave me a glimpse not only of what the job would be like, but also what my potential boss would be like. And to be honest, I really enjoyed it. I could easily do the job at this paper.
Interview completed, we made general chit chat as he walked me to the front door. I even joked about my hectic morning, but it wasn’t until I was outside and walking to my car that it dawned on me. My keys weren’t in my hands. Nor were they tucked inside my portfolio.
Nope, they were hanging from the ignition inside my locked car, where I left them when I had jumped from my car to join the editor.
The good thing is that I kept my hatchback unlocked specifically for this occasion. Back at that time I locked my keys in my car on average of once a month. (Fortunately, since I got the new car I don’t have to do that anymore.)
So, in my suit, I climbed through the hatch and into the front seat. As I was sliding down into the driver’s seat, I looked up to notice that the editor had walked out of the front of the building and was looking right at me.
The funny thing is that I actually got a job offer from the paper. Unfortunately, it came one my first day of work at UMKC.