The Art of Making An Impression

A few years ago, I was looking for a job, and in an effort to shake things up a bit, I applied for positions that I normally wouldn’t have considered before. I’ve mainly worked in accounting and human resources all my life, but after my little stint of owning some bars, I thought I’d give bar management a try.

Finally, after sending out resumes, and phone call screening interviews, I was granted an interview in front of a board of members for a position with one of the numerous Elk’s Clubs in the area. I was nervous, but excited. It was a definite step in a different direction. I’ve always hated interviews in front of multiple people, so I set about making myself mentally prepared for any questions they might ask me.

I don’t normally stress much on what to wear to an interview. I have a few business suits that are my “interview” suits, but thinking that I would dress it up a bit for this job, I decided to wear a dress that I hadn’t worn in years. I tried it on, and was pleased with the way it looked, and so mentally, I felt like I was prepared for the interview.

The day arrived, rainy and gloomy, but I went full steam ahead with my plans. I felt like I looked professional; mentally, I was ready for any question that might be lodged at me, and I had my mapquest directions to the club. I was ready to rock.

Everything went according to plan up until I was sitting in the bar area waiting for my name to be called for the interview. Looking around, I studied the other applicants, and I was instantly glad I had decided to wear a dress. There were three other women interviewing, and two of them were drop-dead gorgeous women. One of them was wearing a business suit, but with a somewhat revealing top, and the other one had a bit of a mini-skirt on. It was a little disconcerting to me that there were only women applicants.

Deciding to keep my OCD brain under control, I tried to focus on stuff at my own table and quit obsessing over stuff I had no control over. Looking in my lap, I noticed a long thread sticking to my dress, and I absently picked at it….until I heard a soft, zipper-like sound up the back of my dress…. The somewhat snugness of the dress went slack, and I sat in horror remembering exactly why I had put this dress in the back of my closet all those years ago.

Looking around, I stood up, holding my dress closed in the back the best I could, and made a mad dash to the restroom. Sure enough, the damage was incredible. Where there used to be a tasteful 6 inch split at the knee area of the dress, there was a hoochie split that went up to the bottom of my bra strap. And what was peeking out wasn’t sexy either. I had my granny panties plastered firmly to my rear-end by control-top panty-hose that were slightly too big for me.  There was no fixing this.

I was on the horns of a dilemma. I could make a mad dash to my car, drive home in humiliation, and block this phone number from ever calling me again, or I could go ahead and interview, using this embarrassment as a humor tool that would guarantee they’d not forget me name any time soon, even if I didn’t get the job.

I decided to finish the interview process. I’d worked really hard getting to this point, and I wasn’t going to be defeated by a dress mishap or paralyzing humiliation. Using the bathroom mirror, I memorized which parts of the dress I needed to hold closed to mitigate the most humiliating exposure, and I marched back into the bar, and stood quietly in a corner until my name was called. Thankfully, I was called last, and the bar was empty, except for the bartender.

“Miss Martin?” a small, wrinkled man called out.

“Here,” I called, clumsily moving towards him.

Motioning to some stairs, the man directed me to proceed ahead of him.

Stairs.      I seriously have no luck.

Looking the guy squarely in the eye, I told him that my dress had just ripped from bottom to top in the back and that I needed him to go up those stairs first, and to tell everyone in that room to turn their eyes until I sat down. No peeking!!

At first he was startled, then he burst out laughing. I was laughing, too, but only from being nervous.  He did what I asked, and I could hear a room full of people laughing as I walked in. But, they all had their heads averted as I sat down.

After a few random business questions that no one seemed to be focused on, one guy asked me why I hadn’t just gone home when I tore my dress and tried to reschedule my interview. I told him that I figured I’d use this misfortune to my advantage…..   :)

“You probably won’t remember one answer I give you today, but you’ll remember that I went through with this interview with the entire back of my dress ripped open. ” The group of 11 men looked at each other nodding, and I instantly knew I’d made a good decision.

I made them all turn around as I made my break for the door after the interview was over, and speeding home, my cell phone rang.

I got the job…

:)

– Bird

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50 Comments

  1. This is an awesome story!
    You made the right decision clearly!!!

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  2. that was hysterical and so good. you were a brave one to go ahead with the interview. i probably would have done the same thing. the incident would provide great humor, covering my nervousness, and hey,,,,,,you got the job!!!!

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  3. Sis

     /  May 25, 2012

    You are so brave!

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  4. Determination! I love this story!.

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  5. I once nearly choked to death on a glass of water during an interview. After determining that I wasn’t going to die on their watch the two men interviewing me offered me the job on the spot. Funny.

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  6. That is a great story. Good for you for finishing the interview. That took balls…you know what I mean right…impressive.

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  7. Bwa ha ha ha ha!!! That is SO funny, but wonderful!! I’m afraid I would not have been as brave as you. I would’ve taken it as a sign that the job wasn’t meant for me, and headed home with my tail tucked between my legs. :) Good for you!! :)

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    • It was really far away from my house, I had spent weeks doing phone interviews, and brushing up on my management skills. No way was I letting all that work go to waste!!

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  8. Lol!! This is SO Funny!! Good job thinking on your feet, and just being yourself. It worked for you! :)

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  9. That was my laugh for the day..I could just picture it…you were very brave and wise to go through with the interview….Diane

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  10. Too bad you weren’t a writer for the Seinfeld series – this would have been a perfect set-up for Elaine. I bet she would have done the same thing.

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  11. Bravissima, Bird! I shared this on Facebook to inspire my many friends who are job-hunting :) Peace be with you. — Kelly

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  12. you ROCK!!!!!! What an awesome way to handle it. Perfectly done~love it love it love it. can i reblog this?

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  13. Reblogged this on Believe Anyway and commented:
    Need an example of being quick on your feet? You will LOVE this!!

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  14. I need lessons! Thanks for teaching some skills in determination here! :) I once got back home after delivering a little paper route to find that my dress was ripped like that up the back, my own granny panties showing. And . . .I never knew it or how long it was that way. argh.

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  15. Love button. Fantastic story. Made my night. :) Sam

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  16. Bird, changed your theme? I like it, but more important, again you have a way of telling a story that makes one hang on the edge, waiting for the ‘denouement.’

    Well, that ending was short, sweet, succinct and to the point. But it packs a lot of punch. Kudos to your writing style for the umpteenth time!

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  17. Do you know what the absolute best, the very finest, most wonderful job in the world would be? The job where every single solitary soul that you dealt with would most likely be ecstatic, happy, completely unbearable because they were so full of joy?

    Do you know what that job might be?

    It’s the lady that takes the winning lottery tickets and pays the folks their reward.

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Now let me tell you about MY job …

    Oh well, okay, maybe some other time.

    DS

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  18. I love it, Bird! You have a way with words. You turned quick-rippĕd into quick-witted. :-) And even though you didn’t keep the job, you now have something to write about that brings a smile, or more likely, an outburst of laughter. As the saying goes, if you get a lemon, make lemonade. You made it with sugar, too.

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  19. Bird, what a wonderfully funny story! I think you should write a book too, and you have the perfect name for it…”What to do when you enter a job interview with a rip down the back of your dress…and other funny stories!” I think the story about hiding your underwear in Chef’s boxers should go in there as well. You are a riot!

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  20. Awesome story!

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  21. Loved this story. It shows how honesty paid off even in what could have been the most embarrassing moment ever. Did those who interviewed you ever let you forget? {:D

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    • Honestly, I don’t know if they still remember me or not. Turned out, there was a reason they only were interviewing women, and the atmosphere was kind of creepy and immoral. I ended up resigning after only a couple of months…It turned me off of running bars forever. :-) I haven’t really found my perfect career in this world. I loved accounting, but since my motorcycle accident, I find that I transverse numbers when I get tired, and so that is pretty much the end of that career. Oh well. I’ll carve out my niche some other way!!

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      • I worked at the office of a sporting goods chain that was creepy like that, too. Wanted to see skin and such. I resigned as well and eventually worked into jobs I enjoy. Keep looking as it is there.

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        • I sure will. I don’t like sexualized atmospheres at all, and I was surprised that they still exist in this day and age. But hey! I left and found something better. :-)

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