Bullet Dodged

When I was leaving my previous life in radio and looking for something new to do in late 2001 and early 2002, a job came up that I really wanted. On a qualification scale of 1 to 10, I probably ranked a 4. In fact the only listing I was less qualified for at the time was business services officer at a bank, a title I didn’t even understand.

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.

Bullet dodged.

What bullets have you dodged?

Note: These ideas come from the digital book, “365 Days of Writing Prompts” found free at dailypost.wordpress.com.


  1. Great story Casey! I can't think of any bullets I have dodged but I am constantly amazed by the serendipitous events that occur in my life; chance meetings with people in completely random places, being in the right place at the right time, etc.

    1. Thanks! I actually wrote that after viewing your most recent photo blog. :)


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