But this other job, the manager of the Redding Convention Center, that was a real job. It would be a big job in town, one I could throw about at dinner parties and get immediate admiration and recognition. I never went to dinner parties, but I could imagine being at one and really hitting it out of the park with that job title.
I wanted it.
So I got a suit.
The interview had three parts. The first leg was a one-on-one with Vicki Wilkinson, the events coordinator for the city in an office next door to the convention center itself. Then there was a panel interview (to be my first and only) at the new city hall, followed by a written exam at the same location.
I arrived early for my interview with Vicki. She was friendly and I think we hit it off right away. I actually started to believe I might be in the running for this gig. In fact, it went so well we both lost track of time. At some point I realized I was ten minutes late for my panel interview… to take place in another building… five miles away.
By the time I arrived at city hall and sprinted up to the second floor, I was out of breath, sweaty in my new suit, panicked beyond anything I’d known before and probably reeking of and wild-eyed with defeat.
The panel had been waiting for twenty minutes. It was nice of them to go through the motions for a guy who obviously lacked the basic ability to look at his watch and now seemed to have forgotten how to breathe. They even let me take the written exam. I think there was an essay involved. I probably wrote something like, “I don’t think a football is a very good Christmas present.”
I didn’t get the job.
The guy who got it lasted, I think, a year. And the one after him about the same length of time. After that, I lost track. That job I wanted so much, turned out, was not the paradise I had imagined. And as I look back now, thirteen years into a truly serendipitous career in banking, I realize how different my life might have been if either Vicki or I had paid closer attention to the time.
What bullets have you dodged?
Note: These ideas come from the digital book, “365 Days of Writing Prompts” found free at dailypost.wordpress.com.