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…