- I wasn't prepared in terms of outfit
- I didn't have a speech ready
- I have stage fright
Yes, I'm not kidding. I had spent a decent amount of time choosing miniature cheese quiches and wine, created an invitation that caused about 200 people to confirm their attendance, but I didn't have my welcome speech.
Not on paper, not even in my head.
Just thinking of what I might say made me too nervous, so I figured I'd just wing it. Free speech was more authentic than reading notes anyway.
I still had no clue what to say when I was on my way up the hill, sweating like a pig, groaning with pain and swearing about what I was wearing and why the hell I didn't force myself to write a speech, even if it was a generic BS one!
Just as I wanted to go in and feel the room, Mr P, the CEO, approached me and wished me luck. "This is great stuff here, congratulations!"
Geez, I was gonna need all the luck in the world! The small knights' room was packed!!
They even had to set up seats where there's usually an aisle!
I could feel adrenaline rushing into my veins, and not in a good way, let me tell you.
My legs were wobbly when I climbed the two or three steps to the stage. My hands were shaking when I grabbed the microphone, and my voice was trembling badly when I said "Hello and welcome to Lenzburg!"
In the front row some of my favorite clients were giving me the thumbs up, and I said to myself "none of them would like to switch places with me, but all of them are supporting me"
And I winged it.
Somehow. I said something like the following:
"On my way up to this beautiful castle I was asking myself what expectations you might have. Graphology - just another pricey tool, along with countless computer based personalty tests?
Well, let me tell you, the lady I am going to introduce to you in a minute, knows what she's doing.
The way a job candidate is looking may be deceiving.
I mean - look at me today! Clearly I am not at my best today, and I have an excuse, I have a bad knee, but still!
Fortunately she (pointing at the graphologist) couldn't see my clothes when she was analyzing my handwriting three years ago as I applied for my job.
What she did see - very obviously - was that I can work hard and make things happen. She could even see that against my better judgement I can raise to the occasion and speak in front of all of you."
"Enough of me, though. Please welcome Mrs can-you-believe-I-can't-remember-her-name!"
(I did know her name back then, just not today!)
Her presentation was very interesting, and soon we proceeded to miniature cheese quiches and wine.
I was so very relieved and happy, and I made it my goal to clink glasses with each and every participant.
Add to that the pain killers I was on.
I was at my best.
Or probably beyond.
I didn't notice though.
I didn't care about my being dressed inappropriately, that's for sure ;-)
Later we went to a TexMex Bar. Just my coworkers, a handful of our best clients, and I.
They were doing Tequila shots and asked why I didn't join them.
"I don't like plain Tequila."
Well, what do you like then?
So they went ahead and ordered every variety on the menu: peach, strawberry, mango, you name it.
Fast forward a couple of hours.
9am at my apartment. The phone rang. And rang. And rang. Until
She assured her boss that she was gonna be at the office in about an hour, showered and appropriately dressed.
Allright, I made the last part up for effect ;-)