Lord knows I had plenty of sleepless nights to hang out on the porch and think until my brain almost fell out. I analyzed my bad mistakes with men. I thought about some of the possible reasons why my life was spared when so many women die every day from this disease. And I thought about my long history of allowing other people to wipe their feet on my forehead. While I rocked, I decided that I would definitely make some drastic changes, one of which was to stop allowing other people to hurt me, make me uncomfortable, humiliate me and anything else that might make me cry.
Last week a potential employer wanted to meet at a busy restaurant for an interview. Now granted, I thought that was pretty stupid. How in the world could we even hear each other in such a loud place? But I kept my big mouth shut.
So anyway, I show up for the meeting and the potential employer is talking to a much younger woman. They soon said goodbye. But the restaurant was not noisy enough to keep me from overhearing the boss man say to a much younger guy that definitely, they knew who to hire.
I can’t even tell you how awful it was to walk over there and introduce myself, knowing that it was a total waste of time. But also, when I saw how young both men were, I suddenly felt the need for a walker. I wanted to spitefully say something like, “How are you today, you little whipper snappers? Don’t you have a kiss for granny?”
But instead, I sat down between them and fought the urge to wipe the younger one’s mouth. Since I wasn’t wearing my glasses (in my sorry attempt to look at least 40 instead of my usual 83), the smudge above his lip looked like chocolate milk. By looking closer, I realized that the little cutie was trying to grow facial hair.
Immediately, a barrage of questions came my way.
“How often do you use Excel?”
“How about Adobe blah blah?”
“I’ve never seen it,” I said timidly while looking around for something heavy enough to bonk myself unconscious.
“Any video experience?”
I shook my head.
“How about blah blah blah or bleh,” the arrogant man asked.
Suddenly, I remembered my promise to myself. I might not have boobs anymore. I might desperately need more work, too. But I do have some dignity.
“I’m not qualified for this job,” I said nicely. “You know that as well as I do. And so, I’m just going to stick with what I know.”
Their faces were frozen with shock as I stood up, said goodbye and left, making history with the shortest interview in the world. But my dignity was sitting high on my shoulder. Yep, I’m retired from those negative moments. And it feels pretty darn good, too.
A former Southsider and an award-winning journalist and humor writer, Sherri Coner resides in southwest Florida. To learn about her books for women and to join her on Facebook, visit www.sherriconer.com. She also speaks to women’s groups.