Any sort of social interaction is a nightmare for me. That's one of the many reasons I've found solace in working from the comfort of my couch.
But a few years before I realized the beauty of the work-from-home life, I was in the middle of a job hunt in the "real world." (I was so naive in my mid-20s.) As luck would have it, I got the chance to interview for a gig that would have been the ultimate dream come true... had I not lost it thanks to a nervous tummy.
At the time, I'd been focusing on writing full-time for about a year. I didn't go to school for it; instead, I'd basically stumbled into it like a drunk girl climbing into her Uber after last call. Eventually, though, I landed an interview with a huge, TMZ-like media company that covered celebrity gossip.
After I delighted their recruitment team with an editing test, I was asked to interview with the head of the company, a minor celebrity themselves. I was stoked. STOKED. This would jumpstart my career. No more struggle bus for this girl!
Ugh, I was so naive. Job interviews have never been my strong suit. When a potential employer asks me about myself, I never know where to start. Do I begin telling them about my childhood growing up in a trailer or just the most recent week of my life? Can colleges teach classes on this?
The morning of the interview, my stomach was shot. It was tumbling over and over. It would've taken the gold if it was on an Olympic gymnastics team.
With a gut that had to find peace, I decided to visit the bathroom of a McDonald's a few blocks from the office where my interview was scheduled to take place and — like Queen Elsa from Frozen — I let it go. (We're about to make like Degrassi and go there. This is your warning.)
Considering just how much money McDonald's pulls in, you'd think they'd supply their patrons with slightly better quality toilet paper. I wiped, but the thin, cheap material just wasn't enough to leave me with a solid peace of mind. Nothing was running down my leg, to be sure, but there perhaps there was a lingering odor. (I'm okay with sharing this because we've all been there at least once in our adult life — or that's what I'm telling myself right now, at least.)
With no time to remedy the issue, I left the McDonald's and wound up waiting for this possibly life-changing opportunity feeling like Charlie Brown's pal Pig-Pen. When my interview eventually began, I sat in front of the company's head honcho — a semi-celebrity whose name was synonymous with celebrity news — and tried to pretend like nothing was wrong. At that moment, I silently thanked my dad for my brown skin; if I’d been white, my face would've been as red as Cheryl Blossom’s wardrobe during those few minutes of pure discomfort.
After a few minutes, my interviewer politely ended our interview. I left. I never heard back.
Was it an awful job interview? Oh, you betcha. Was I upset when I found out that the Backstreet Boys often popped by the company's office? You're damn right. Was I sad I didn't get the job? Um, YEAH... but only at first.
Not long after the interview, I came to the realization that I would've had to wake up at the crack of dawn every weekday morning to bus down to Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, to write celebrity gossip pieces that weren't particularly nice to their subjects. In the end, I think that nervous tummy not only saved me from that not-so-great-after-all gig, but also a life of constant social interaction. Thanks, poor toilet paper at the Golden Arches.