What Does Mortification At A Job Interview Have To Do With Writing, Anyway?

I’m going to share a secret:  embarrassment is a close friend of mine.  Okay, it’s not really a secret; anyone who knows me is aware that I have a knack for turning even normal encounters into awkward moments that usually end with my cheeks looking like I overindulged at the Clinique makeup counter.

Digging back into my abundant “embarrassing moments” archive, my first job interview came easily to mind.  I’m going to share it with you for two reasons:  1) it has some application to my writing experience; and 2) you can’t point and laugh at me because we’ll never meet.

I was just a couple months shy of my sixteenth birthday, and I wanted to get a job so I could buy my own stuff.  My parents also wanted me to get a job…so I could buy my own stuff.  It may have been the only thing we agreed on at that time in my life 🙂

My applications to grocery stores, drug stores and anything-but-fast food went ignored.  I couldn’t even get an interview because I had no work experience.  One day, I finally did it.  I did something I told my parents (very indignantly) that I would never do:  I submitted an application to a fast food restaurant.  I expected another dead-end, so I stammered like an idiot when they called me on the phone several days later to set up an interview.  It would be the next day.

I dressed to not impress in my Jordache jeans with the holey knees and zippers on back that ran from my ankle to my calf, neon pink puffy paint L.A. Gear T-shirt and my pink and white high-top tennis shoes.  I can feel your disbelief.  You’re thinking, “Yeah, right.  How does she remember what she wore?”

It’s easy.  I just described my favorite clothes that year.  I wore them ALL the time, so I know that’s what I picked for the interview.  Looking back, I acknowledge that it was a cringe-worthy outfit that I probably shouldn’t have worn anywhere.  I shouldn’t have teased and hair-sprayed my bangs straight up either, but that’s beside the point.

I didn’t have my license yet, so my mom drove me to the interview and sat at a table across the restaurant.  I pretended like we weren’t together.  The manager directed me to a table against the wall.  I succeeded in walking over to it without tripping, so I was pleased with myself.  I set my purse on the floor beside the chair and sat down, reminding myself to breathe because my nerves were threatening to suffocate me.

I don’t remember the questions he asked, or what goofy answers I supplied.  What I do remember is that I had crossed my legs and was nervously swinging my leg back and forth, causing my foot to tap against the table leg as if I kept time to some imaginary song.  I don’t know how long I did this before I finally realized it, but it finally started to annoy me so I uncrossed my legs to make it stop.

Soon after, the interview ended.  I thanked him for his time and bent down to get my purse.  To my horror, I noticed that the table wasn’t on a pedestal like the others in the middle of the restaurant – it was bolted to the wall.  I realized that the object I had been kicking was the manager’s leg, and he didn’t say a word about it.

To my surprise, I was offered the job soon after.  But I was so embarrassed, the thought of seeing the manager again made me physically ill. What do you think I did?

  1. Turned the job down and cried.
  2. Never went to that restaurant again and cried.
  3. Accepted the job, even though I’d probably not be able to make eye contact with him – and cried.

Of course, it was 3., or I wouldn’t have a blog post, would I?  Now, I bet you’re curious about what this has to do with writing (or you’re irritated because I’ve taken so long to get to the point.)  Here it is:

My first job interview was a disaster (this is fact – not opinion.)  I’ve had a few job interviews since then, and most of them have gone smoothly.  (One didn’t – but that’s a different blog post ;))  My interviews are not unlike my writing:  my first attempts at writing were a mess.  My early poetry was very simple and trite.  My first stories were essay-ish, overly descriptive narratives without even a line of dialogue.

I would be embarrassed if others read these works, but I am still pleased with them, because they were the beginnings of practice that allowed me to improve – just like my first interview taught me to always keep my feet on the floor…just like my writing ten years from now will be more precise than it is today.  That is something to not blush about!

Would you like to share any life events that have translated to your writing?  Do you have anything to add?  If so, leave your comment!  Have a fantastic Friday 🙂


255 thoughts on “What Does Mortification At A Job Interview Have To Do With Writing, Anyway?

  1. duke1959 January 14, 2011 / 6:44 AM

    What a Great and delighful post.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 8:38 PM

      Thanks, Duke! I’m glad you liked this one 🙂

  2. Carol Ann Hoel January 14, 2011 / 9:04 AM

    I’m thinking, thinking, uh. My head is empty at this moment but my heart is full. I cross my legs and kick my foot. I’ve kicked a few legs under the table. Being friends and not mere acquaintances, they gently protested. We laughed. What a great post! Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 8:40 PM

      Carol, I smiled at the empty head/full heart statement – cute 🙂

      Kicking a friend, once (or even twice) and apolgizing is okay. It’s the repeated kicking that still makes me cringe to this day! I am glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post.

  3. Mikalee Byerman January 14, 2011 / 9:12 AM

    …but look at it this way: You probably managed to give the manager the most memorable interview of his/her life! Said manager may even have started a blog/business doling out “don’t do” interview tips. You’ve made that manager what he/she is today!



    This is an awesome story. Thank you for sharing. And yes, first drafts can be disasters, but they can also offer gems of inspiration, as yours did to this post.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 8:50 PM

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind words. Do you know what the funny thing is? I can’t even remember the manager’s name or what he looked like. Granted, it’s been a few years (okay, many more than that), but it’s funny how I can still feel the pain from that day 🙂

      The only good thing about first drafts is that they lead to a much better second draft. You have to start somewhere, though.

  4. humanitarikim January 14, 2011 / 9:13 AM

    You shouldn’t be ashamed of Jordache jeans, pink puffy paint, bangs hairsprayed to stand at attention, your first interview experience, or your initial writings. These are all things that make you who you are today! Besides, didn’t we all have a gallon of hairspray in our hair back in the day?

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 9:24 PM

      I am still a bit embarrassed by these things, but you are absolutely right: they all have made me into the person I am today. Because of that, I wouldn’t change these things. Hey, I may be flawed and sometimes a little crazy – but I’m not all that bad 😉

      Oh yeah, everyone I knew used insane amounts of hairspray…that could have been the main reason that I needed the job…

      Thanks for sharing your opinion, humanitarikim!

  5. Amanda Hoving January 14, 2011 / 9:28 AM

    Hee hee…laughing at the leg-kicking visual, Janna. My hurdle jumping (and falling) in track was a big life to writing translation. Running for endurance, too…practice makes perfect, right?

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 9:41 PM

      I still like that post and your recounting of the experience, Amanda. Some of my writing days are so flat, the only thing that keeps me going is the awareness that if I keep up, I will get better. I have to 🙂

  6. runtobefit January 14, 2011 / 9:30 AM

    Sitting here pointing at the screen and laughing…jk…but really, I kind of am…Great story! Thank you for sharing.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 9:43 PM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story. I used to keep my embarrassing encounters to myself, but I’m finding it’s much for fun to share them…even if the laughs are at my expense!

  7. Christy aka Mamarazzi January 14, 2011 / 9:30 AM

    Ha! Too funny, love the picture you painted with the pants & teased hair, ahh how I knew that look myself.

    These embarrassing moments help to humble us all.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 9:51 PM

      It is funny now, Christy. But it took many years for the laughter to overcome the embarrassment. You are so right; these moments are humbling.

      Oh, and the great news is that I routinely embarrass myself, so I don’t expect I will get arrogant any time soon 😉

  8. emjayandthem January 14, 2011 / 9:52 AM

    wonderful story and I was totally transported to the days of awesome Jordache jeans and LA Gear tee-shirts… my Mom always said that “mistakes weren’t mistakes if we learned from them” so there you go. Great post!

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed as well 🙂 MJ

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 8:59 PM

      Thank you, emjayandthem. Freshly Pressed is new for me, but I’ll keep up as best I can! I’m glad you could ‘feel’ the times and enjoyed the post.

      By the way, your mom has a good way of looking at mistakes; I’ll go with that!

  9. J Roycroft January 14, 2011 / 9:55 AM

    Excellent, funny post.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 9:59 PM

      Thank you for reading and commenting! I am glad that my humiliation provides entertainment to others. No, really, I am 😉

  10. Kathryn McCullough January 14, 2011 / 10:06 AM

    Not even my blog is enough to begin sharing the strangeness that has morphed into my writing life. But this is a great post (I relate–I blush easily), and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    Blushing and Blogging from Haiti,

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 10:11 PM

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Kathryn. I’m always curious about how life and writing interact in others’ lives, so maybe one day you’ll decide to share the ‘strangeness’…or not!

      Thanks for your comment. Freshly Pressed has been a pleasant surprise. I’m probably blushing right now 😉

  11. A January 14, 2011 / 10:18 AM

    fun reading;

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 10:24 PM

      I’m sure glad you stopped by and enjoyed the post 🙂

  12. I Made You A Mixtape January 14, 2011 / 10:24 AM

    OMG! That is one of the funniest job interview stories I have ever heard!

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 10:29 PM

      I’m glad you found it entertaining! Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 10:36 PM

      Thank you, Bill. Reading through these comments this evening *almost* make the experience worth it!

  13. tylerckelley January 14, 2011 / 11:00 AM

    haha! this was a great read. and, in the hilarity, truth can be found. Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing!

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 10:42 PM

      Thanks for your comment, Tyler. I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

      At the time, I thought my life was ruined (I was 16 at time, which explains the drama) but thankfully, I managed to carry on….and rack up many more embarrassments to rival this one 🙂

  14. mairzeebp January 14, 2011 / 11:14 AM

    Going forward, I will be keeping my feet planted firmly on the floor for all job interviews. Thank you for the tip and the laugh today!

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 10:50 PM

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad I could help, mairzeebp! Who knew that I could be doling out interview advice? At any rate, both feet on the ground is a good plan to stick to 😉

  15. Susan Elizabeth Ball January 14, 2011 / 11:14 AM

    Enjoyed your post. Glad the manager took a chance of you and gave you the job. Getting your first job is one of the toughest things a teen has to do.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 11:04 PM

      Thanks, Susan. I’m glad I got that job too. I’m still not an allstar in the interview process, but at least I haven’t kicked anyone since then!

  16. writerworks January 14, 2011 / 11:22 AM

    what an interesting experience. you can read “Coinendence” on my blog. it tells of one experience that transformed my life costing me 12 years of becoming a professional writer


    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 11:21 PM

      I appreciate your stopping by and leaving the comment. I tried, but was unable to locate the post you referenced on your blog. I do hope that your writing life is back on track, though!

  17. Aligaeta January 14, 2011 / 11:25 AM

    Congratulations!!!!! Freshly Pressed Friend!!!!!!

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 11:11 PM

      Thanks, Aligaeta! It’s been a freaky Friday, that’s for sure. I am enjoying it, though 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 11:24 PM

      I’m so glad you haven’t done this, Crystal. But on the flip side, it would be nice if someone came forward admitting they had done this themselves 🙂

      I am proud to say that this only happened to me once. Thanks for your comment – it seems I might need all the luck I can get!

  18. suzicate January 14, 2011 / 11:49 AM

    One of my worstinterview ever (and it wasn’t me but the boss who didn’t know how to conduct an interview!) ended up with a job I kept for ten years and the boss refused to accept my resignation and held my job for six months in case he thought I would decide to return….I loved the job, but it was time to start a new chapter in my life.

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 11:28 PM

      You must have made quite an impression, Suzicate. For the boss to keep a position open for you for six months is almost unheard of. It sounds like the job must have gone better than the interview since you stuck around for that long.

      Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

  19. reversepunch January 14, 2011 / 11:56 AM

    That is a great story to tell! I loved rading it!

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 11:32 PM

      Thank you, reversepunch. So glad you enjoyed it!

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 11:53 PM

      Thank you, Ian. I guess this is one of those moments where you can sit back and say, “man, I’m glad I didn’t do that…”

      I followed your link and left a comment in response to your post. Good luck in finding that voice.

  20. TheEverydayMuser January 14, 2011 / 12:28 PM

    I can speak with honesty about the one time I was talking to two people on the phone at the same time. I am a freelance graphic and web designer, and so I get a lot of calls from clients everyday. Once, I was talking to a friend, when a call from a client sprang up. Now as you probably know, people hate it when you keep them waiting. I had to pick up and I had no time to tell the friend that I had another call. The talking came to the point where I had to reply to two people at one time, and it became annoying. Finally, I just broke, and I said what I was going to say to the friend to the client, and now I’m mortified and never want to talk to that guy again. Figures.
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 12:00 AM

      Oh my, that’s not good! If you do have to talk to him again, he may not even remember it, and he almost certainly wouldn’t mention it. At least you didn’t kick him 🙂 I know, that’s not much consolation.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your embarrassing work story!

  21. hmunro January 14, 2011 / 12:32 PM

    Great post … nicely written and funny, to boot. Loved your tags, too: “embarrassing, embarrassment, experience, interview, life, writing.” That pretty much sums up everything, right there.

    Keep writing. You have a wonderful voice.

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 12:04 AM

      Thank you so much for the huge compliment, hmunro! Sadly, the tags pretty much sum up my life – except for “interview”; I avoid those like crazy. I’m glad you stopped by 🙂

  22. writerstoauthors January 14, 2011 / 12:34 PM

    I know exactly what you mean with regards to the writing (Also, I have never kicked my future boss but I can imagine!). When I look back at some of the early things that I wrote I cringe a little- okay a lot. But, it is true that those early pieces do make you into a better writer. It takes some time to gain perspective, but after a few years go back to those pieces and instead of just cringing when you read them see their faults but also their strengths and try and make them into something special. I turned something that was cringe worthy into a great scene in my second novel.
    Congrats on being freshly pressed!
    Emily Harper

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 12:18 AM

      You’re right, Emily- time is good for gaining perspective. Even just a short time away from a piece helps highlight what could use more work.

      I’m so glad that you were able to turn your cringe-worthy piece into a scene that you’re proud of. That’s a big deal!

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughtful comment. Freshly Pressed has been an unexpected event, but certainly a good one 🙂

  23. Deanna January 14, 2011 / 12:44 PM

    I stopped writing twenty years ago because I didn’t think I was original or creative enough, and have always regretted quitting the craft. I finally realized the only thing to be done was to get back on the horse, and so I’ve saddled my mare and have hoisted myself on its back by starting a blog.
    If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again – so simple yet so true.

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 12:32 AM

      I kind of did the same thing; I didn’t write for many years and then it finally hit me that that’s what I really like to do.

      I’m glad you decided to get back to it and start a blog. It’s an excellent place to start. I read your last post, and I really liked the humor.

  24. lifeintheboomerlane January 14, 2011 / 12:51 PM

    Great and fun post. We all have those dreadful kinds of experiences (my was with waitressing). As for what morphs into writing, me thinks there are as many answers as their are writers. And some of the answers would be tragic/loony/hilarious. Congrats on FP!

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 12:38 AM

      Oh, don’t EVEN get me started on waitressing! My four years of waitressing yielded more embarrassing moments than I care to remember 😉

      Thanks for stopping by and congratulating me on FP. It’s been a fun ride, but I know it will be business as usual here very soon.

  25. meowzersmusings January 14, 2011 / 12:57 PM

    Thanks for a really nice reminder that you can and will improve on anything you continue to work at.

    Your post made me think of my first job interview; I wasn’t allowed to dress in my own clothes – Dr Martin boots and band T shirts – so I was made to wear my step mum’s clothes and shoes – which were so large I had to try not to trip over as I walked. I got the job, surprising as I was really uncomfortable and unable to sit still due to the foreign clothes I was wearing. This experience didn’t effect my writing, but it was at that interview that I first met my best friend of 19 years – she was also uncomfortably dressed in her mum’s clothes!

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 7:47 AM

      Thank you for the laugh, meowzermusings. Just picturing you swallowed up by your mother’s clothes and getting the job makes me smile. And the fact you ended up with a best friend out of the experience is even better. I’m so glad it worked out for it you!

  26. Tori January 14, 2011 / 1:14 PM

    Life lessons always seem to happen when you’re wearing Jordache jeans and high-tops! Thanks for the laugh & congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 7:55 AM

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your comment. Freshly pressed has been lots of fun. I haven’t worn Jordache jeans or high-tops for many years, but the life lessons keep on coming. It’s a good thing, because I’d hate to remain just as clueless as I was then 🙂

  27. nancyc1010 January 14, 2011 / 1:22 PM

    I just can’t get over the fact that the manager didn’t mention the kicking in even the gentlest of ways.

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 8:07 AM

      Well, Nancy, I think that’s what makes it worse. If he would’ve said, “Um, you’re kicking my leg.” I could have apologized (and possibly blabbered on like an idiot and created a new embarrassing situation), but at least I could’ve explained myself. Since he didn’t say anything, and I didn’t want to bring it up because maybe he didn’t notice (yeah, right), it just hung out there unresolved.

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 8:08 AM

      Thank you! I’m so glad you stopped by 🙂

  28. thewordmavens January 14, 2011 / 1:53 PM

    very funny! i think i’ll remember not to kick my leg at every interview i have from now on… in my personal essays i always write about my family/my kids and myson always says “You exxagerate so much. I never said that…”
    keep writing and congrats on FP


    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 9:16 AM

      You know, if I can save at least one person from the humilation of kicking the interviewer, then I feel my trauma was worth it 🙂

      Hmmm, kids say some off-the-wall things that need no exaggeration or fictionalizing. I’ll check out your blog and see what they’re talking about 🙂

      P.S. thanks for taking the time to leave your comment; Freshly Pressed is a sweet surprise…

  29. Joe Storm January 14, 2011 / 2:02 PM

    That’s a great read! We all make some mistakes lol

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 9:21 AM

      Thanks for stopping by, Joe. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like my error ratio may be a bit higher than the general population. On the bright side, there would be no shortage of blog topics (if I were bold enough to share them.)

  30. 2blu2btru January 14, 2011 / 2:16 PM

    Congratulations, Janna! I was so excited to see you on Freshly Pressed! I always enjoy your posts, and it’s good to see you get some recognition. 😀

    Life events that have translated into my writing–hmm, not including things I just ended up writing about…I went to three colleges before I graduated, in three distinctly different places, with three different mascots, yet all three had the same school colors. I guess what this could mean is that no matter what techniques and styles I play around with in my writing, I should be faithful to the “true colors” of the work. 😉 Or it could just be the boring, if at first you don’t succeed; I prefer the former.

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 9:25 AM

      Thanks, 2blu2btru. But I’ve read your Freshly Pressed follow up, so I’m prepared for the plummet back to reality that will inevitably come 🙂

      Three different schools with the same colors? That’s strange! I think you have a deep understanding of your own writing; enough so that you stay true to the colors. There could be a little of failing and trying again, but it doesn’t dilute the colors in any way!

  31. Maimoona Rahman January 14, 2011 / 2:39 PM

    Congrats 🙂 Am so happy for you.

    Now let me read your post.

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 9:25 AM

      As always, Maimoona, thank you for your support 🙂

  32. Maimoona Rahman January 14, 2011 / 2:45 PM

    You kicked your manager’s leg and still got hired. I’m thinking about the manager’s moral character 😉

    Interesting how you relate this unrelated experience to your writing experience. That’s why I always say you are one of the best.

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 9:28 AM

      Oh my, let me clarify that I KICKED his leg repeatedly…not RUBBED my foot along his leg. I’m fairly sure he didn’t take my nervous kicks as anything more…if he did, there’s a whole new (previously unexplored) embarrassment that I have to deal with.

      Thank you for your compliment about my writing. I really do appreciate it 🙂

      • realitywatchers January 15, 2011 / 1:11 PM


        Yeah, I am a master at embarrassment, which I must say never leaves you when you remember stupid stuff years later. So in that spirit, I will say “this” is where my mind went. My guess…an oblivious, fresh-faced sixteen year old…a manager’s wet dream. (Do you allow comments that include “wet dream”?)

        Food service turnover is legendary. The manager probably thought, Hey, who knows where this might go? She’ll be gone in a week anyway. That he obviously didn’t come on to you–that you noticed–means he was a decent guy…for a food service manage. (Can you guess I have worked in food service? Ha!)

        As for writing, I’ve always done that, only my generation had no opportunity to “publish” back in the old days without an agent, contacts, and/or blackmail photos. I do love the Internet! Thanks for sharing.

        RealityWatchers Sophie

        • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 1:11 PM

          I’ll let that reference go 🙂 but…ewww!

          I am laughing because, although I didn’t have problems with the hiring manager, I had a major issue with another one. He said things to me that I will never put into print, therefore, it will never be a blog post. This could be a partial explanation for food service turnover.

  33. SAS Fiction Girl January 14, 2011 / 2:49 PM

    I started writing a book when I was around 12, thinking I would be the youngest-published author ever (didn’t happen.) I made sure to have plenty of dialogue, but my idea of drama was near-constant arguing and screaming between all of the characters. Sadly, I never completed the book, but it’s just as well, since I’m certain the characters would have all killed each other by chapter six. I didn’t give up writing, though, and now my characters are much more mature. These days, they’re dying of old age. -Jen

    • jannatwrites January 15, 2011 / 9:32 AM

      Too funny. I think most people have dreams of being the youngest to do something (I know I did.) The great thing about your writings at twelve is that they depicted life as you knew it at that age. It’s been awhile, but I do remember quite a few cat fights that ensued between ‘friends’ during the ages of 11 to 14. (After that, girls just got more devious and less obvious when handling perceived transgressions.)

      I’m glad you didn’t give up writing, and matured so that you could develop mature characters. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I do appreciate it 🙂

  34. Michael January 14, 2011 / 2:53 PM

    I’ve had a couple job interviews so far; curiously, the ones I thought went really well turned out not to have gotten me the job, and the one I thought I did horribly on, I got in. life is weird. I can say, though, I’ve never kicked a manager’s leg or any other managerial body part. 😛
    great post!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 6:50 PM

      I guess it goes to show that our personal perceptions of how we are don’t necesarily match how others see us. At least one of the interviews worked out! Oh, and take it from me, kicking the manager isn’t advised.

      Thanks for stopping by and lending your support, Michael!

  35. whenquiet January 14, 2011 / 2:57 PM

    Oh gosh!!You kicked his leg!! Tooooo funny! My offer.
    On my way to an interview at a bank once in N.C., a bee stung me….right under my right eye…That hurt!!! A quickly purchased icee slush didn’t help one bit to reduce the swelling nor ease the pain.. I went to the interview with my right eye swollen shut! I explained the situation but the female interviewer looked at me like “Right, I know you just got socked in the eye.” That was one job I didn’t get.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 6:57 PM

      That’s just awful! Of all times to have a horrible bee encounter.

      With my eye swollen shut, I would’ve been tempted to mess with the interviewer and tell her something like, “Yeah, my mom always told me not to run with scissors and she was right.” (while pointing to my eye and shrugging.) Obviously I don’t get out much on the interview circut…

      I do hope your subsequent interviews went much better 🙂

  36. acleansurface January 14, 2011 / 3:22 PM

    Oh dear. I can’t believe he didn’t tell you that you were kicking him. I would have said something. He must have seen a lot of nervous kids in his time, and been sympathetic. Or, maybe the other teens just kicked him even harder!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:02 PM

      Maybe that’s why the interview wasn’t all that long. I thought it was because I didn’t have any work history or experience to discuss…

      Maybe others did kick harder, I don’t know! 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment!

  37. anangbakti January 14, 2011 / 3:22 PM

    How long you stand for that job?

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:06 PM

      I stayed there for over two years. Mostly because I didn’t want to go through another interview 🙂

  38. jaredblakedicroce January 14, 2011 / 4:22 PM

    Hilarious. Though i never… had an experience like this one, i’m far too suave 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:08 PM

      Ha! Must be nice to be so smooth. That is something I (obviously) know nothing about 🙂

  39. Samantha Pollack January 14, 2011 / 4:33 PM

    I was waiting tables for a very long time a large Italian restaurant in the city. We had about 6 beers on tap, and whenever I listed them I would say, “Bass, Guinness, Sam Adams, etc. etc.,” always in the same order. You’ve worked in the service industry before (L.A. Gear and high tops notwithstanding), so you know how robotic those things can get. Well, one night a guy about my age asked me the beers on tap, so I began my list, but my tongue twisted and switched the letters, so instead of saying “Bass,” I said, “I have…..Gas….” and then proceeded to stop in mid-sentence and turn beet red while the whole table laughed at me. All night long, I could feel myself blush whenever I went to their table, and they teased me and made really bad flatulence puns the whole time. When they paid their bill they left a note that said, “Thanks, it was a real GAS!” Fortunately, they also left a very nice tip. In all my years in the service industry, this was DEFINITELY my most embarrassing moment. I think it made their night though. And I still have that note.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:15 PM

      That is a good one! I’m glad the people had a good sense of humor (and tipped well for the harrassment!) I also memorized choices in order and my mind refused to let me recite them any other way.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your embarrassing story, Samantha

  40. iafarmwife January 14, 2011 / 5:45 PM

    I can sooooo relate to this!! My first “real” job interview is incredibly similar to yours….except I sat with my legs crossed so long that I put one leg to sleep. I didn’t even realize it until I went to stand up….and…..*boom* fell right to the floor!!! It was horrendously embarassing!!! I so feel your pain! And, I got the job too! I must have made myself memorable!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:23 PM

      Oh, iafarmwife, I’m sorry, but I laughed out loud at your predicament – I bet no one else ever fell at his feet 🙂 That is certainly one way to make an impression, but I don’t think I would recommend it for widespread use!

      I’m glad you stopped by and shared your similar interview story!

  41. leylash January 14, 2011 / 5:49 PM

    This makes me feel much better.
    One of my first interviews, I applied for a job in a private Jewish company. After I spent a good ten minutes telling the Orthodox guy about how I know all rules and customs really well (he wanted to make sure his new employee didn’t offend any customers), I stuck my hand out to shake when I was leaving (which he’s not allowed to do, and which is one of the simplest rules there is to know). He laughed in my face, and, needless to say, I did not get the job.
    What can I say, we live and we learn.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:29 PM

      Ouch. I didn’t know about that custom, but I’m sure I would have tripped up there, too. (I know that’s no consolation because I kick interviewers.)

      Living and learning is a positive way to look at it. Thanks for sharing your interview story, leylash 🙂

  42. newsy1 January 14, 2011 / 6:02 PM

    I was young and arrogant. I worked at a newspaper as a proofreader just to get my foot in the door because I wanted to be a reporter and columnist and all they needed was a proofreader. One day I wrote a column and marched up to the managing editor and laid a column I wrote on his desk and told him I thought it would be good for the paper but if he didn’t think so, I knew another paper that would print it. I can still hardly believe I was such a jerk, I didn’t even know anyone at another paper well enough to print something of mine. I lucked out, he printed it and years later I was the manging editor. I now freelance online but I’ll never forget my humble and arrogant start in the writing biz.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:42 PM

      I can sympathize with what happened, but I am pleased that you were humbled by it. I know some people would look back on it and say, “yeah, I had to do it to get my chance,” and have no regrets.

      But the column must have been good or it wouldn’t have been printed…

      Thanks for sharing your writing learning experience, newsy1 🙂

  43. sparksinshadow January 14, 2011 / 6:03 PM

    The most recent life event that has translated to my writing, is having been let go from my seasonal retail job. For me, selling products that I don’t believe in is exhaustingly soul-killing. Even though I still need the close to minimum wage salary (and part of me wanted to be kept on) I was so illogically happy to be free of the experience that I plunged into revising two of my short stories in the week I’ve allowed myself to take off from the job search. My heart is in my creative pursuits, and it really is about time that I start practicing my “show, don’t tell” skills. A friend is reading the one I want to send to a contest. I know she’ll be honest. I feel like my writing has been somewhat rejuvenated. I just hope it has improved, that it positively reflects my newfound energy!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:52 PM

      I can certainly understand your mixed emotions about the job loss. At least you jumped into writing instead of pints of Haagen Dazs or bottles of wine. You are being productive and you’ve found something that has revived your inner self – that is a positive thing 🙂

      I hope the energy continues to carry through in your writing, Sparksinshadow. Thanks for visiting and sharing your story!

  44. Rick Shaw January 14, 2011 / 6:32 PM

    My first interview was much simpler than yours. It was a laborer’s position where the manager asked me, “Did you bring a hat?” to which I replied, “No, I wasn’t aware I was supposed to.”
    At that point he furrowed his brow and said, “Well you’re gonna be workin’ in the sun, so I’ll get ya one. I guess I’ll get ya a pair of gloves, too.”
    Then he got me a hat and some gloves and put me to work. He didn’t even look at my resume. My how the job market has changed!

    ~Rick Shaw

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 7:57 PM

      Ha! I like that. I wish mine had gone that way!

      I’m not sure why they even do interviews in the fast food industry – all they need to do is check for a pulse and run a drug test and they’ve got a great candidate 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your story, Rick (and making me jealous of your experience!)

      • Rick Shaw January 17, 2011 / 5:46 PM

        Trust me, my next interview wasn’t so easy. Of course my next one consisted of being handed tiles by a Marine Staff Sergeant, about twenty in all. Each one had a different word or words on it; like Patriotism, Travelling the World, Learning Experiences, etc.
        He then told me to pick the 3 I felt strongest about. I don’t even remember for sure which 3 I picked, I just know that a few months later I was standing in front of a much angrier Staff Sergeant who was yelling something about maggots and push-ups.

        ~Rick Shaw

        • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 7:49 PM

          The Marines, huh? That’s brutal. I have a family member in the Marines and I’ve heard a little about that experience. Yelling about maggots and push-ups is always a pleasant experience. The bright side is, that if you can get through that, any other job interview would seem too easy 🙂

  45. brownpaperbaggirl January 14, 2011 / 6:42 PM

    Life and writing…both are about getting messy, learning, and becoming better! 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:05 PM

      Simply put, brownpaperbaggirl. If we can get cleaned up a little and keep going, we’re going to be all right 🙂

  46. Rod January 14, 2011 / 7:51 PM

    I put myself in the shoes of the manager. Was not his eyes wide and glowing at you in the course of the interview? Like he was going to jump at you?

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:12 PM

      My eyes were focused on the table top (I was extremely shy) so I wouldn’t know…but I don’t think his mind was THERE.

  47. Rod January 14, 2011 / 7:52 PM

    I put myself in the shoes of the manager. Was not his eyes wide and glowing at you in the course of the interview? Like he was going to jump at you? 🙂

  48. Rod January 14, 2011 / 7:56 PM

    But I bet he was more embarrassed than you when he realized later that he got it all wrong. ohhhh…

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:14 PM

      I don’t think his mind was anywhere that would have caused him embarrassment. There was nothing about me that would give off that kind of vibe.

  49. Traveling Alchemist January 14, 2011 / 8:11 PM

    I spotted your post on the way to correct a spelling mistake on my blog for today – “speling Punctuation! and gramer”. Thanks for the smiles your post brought. From this blogger to a writer.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:15 PM

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment, I’m glad you did!

  50. beatncakes69 January 14, 2011 / 8:18 PM

    I agree, grammar and spelling mistakes are crucial to correct. I’ve actually started my own site and blog here. Please go help support the blog! http://www.beatncakes.com/

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:23 PM

      I agree that grammar and spelling are important. I visited your site, but I prefer more “PG” rated topics. Thanks for stopping by.

  51. toemailer January 14, 2011 / 8:29 PM

    Excellent post and now I have to cope with the return of the repressed with old job interview thoughts lol.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:27 PM

      Uh-oh. I hope it doesn’t require therapy to recover from the trauma of those returned memories 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, toemailer!

  52. nrhatch January 14, 2011 / 8:41 PM

    Wonderful post, Janna.

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed . . . Enjoy the Ride! {{WOOT}}

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:31 PM

      Thanks for the compliment, Nancy! Freshly Pressed has been a wild ride and I’m holding on tight. I think it’s slowing down now. *Whew*

  53. jesswords10 January 14, 2011 / 9:05 PM

    Yikes, kicking the employer! I’ve been on the other end and tried to lead some scary interviews, but no one has ever physically attacked me. lol. The worst interview I had, involved being an hour late because the cab I scheduled a day ahead never came and got me, I had to beg a roommate to take me, we did the interview standing up in between some shelves, and the whole time he’s looking at me like “Yah, sure you want a job…” I was mortified!

    I completely agree about early writings being wonderful timekeepers of that first voice that said “I want to write!” I love looking through old journ;als sometimes. It’s always a cross between “damn, I was good” and “I was so full of crap!” 😀

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:39 PM

      Ooh, being late for an interview is the worst. Nothing like conveying the incorrect message that you are not a punctual person. I would have been so rattled, I’m not sure I could have gone through with the interview, so I am certainly impressed that you could!

      I love the way you worded your opinion of early writings. Doesn’t it make you wonder what we’ll think of today’s writing in ten years or so?

  54. chlost January 14, 2011 / 9:20 PM

    Wow! Freshly Pressed-congratulations! I feel as though I now know a celebrity. What a great story, great writing, and a wonderful manager.

    Take care.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:51 PM

      Celebrity? That’s funny. I think my fifteen minutes are almost up, anyway! Thank you for your supportive comment, Chlost 🙂

  55. Justin P Lambert January 14, 2011 / 9:26 PM

    Very nice correlation. I always appreciate how an embarrassing story translates life lessons effectively.

    For me, it’s the birth of my son. I passed out in the delivery room and ended up writing a really funny essay about it later on.

    It didn’t necessarily mold my writing in and of itself, but it sparked a desire to write quasi-comedy which I never thought I could do before.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:55 PM

      Oh my, passing out in the delivery room is not good…but the sparked desire to explore writing comedy is GREAT! I hope your wife wasn’t too upset 🙂

      Justin, thanks for sharing your embarrassing life story that impacted your writing. Keep laughing and keep writing!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 8:58 PM

      Thanks for stopping by and yes, we have to keep going!

  56. dorcas January 14, 2011 / 11:56 PM

    Gosh, that must have been real embarrassing. But i like the thought. ‘U’ll never see them again’ 🙂 COOL .

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:01 PM

      Yep, it was awful, but time has allowed me to see the humor. Thanks for your comment, dorcas 🙂

  57. dorcas January 15, 2011 / 12:13 AM

    oooooooooo. just realized you’ve been freshly pressed… congrats on that Janna.

  58. jule1 January 15, 2011 / 12:49 AM

    Har har, excellent! Kicking the manager! And he still offered you a job. I had a nosebleed in an interview once. For some reason my nose had been bleeding earlier in the day and it was a difficult one to stop (wintertime, dry, etc.). But stop it I did. Went into the City on the subway (NYC), got to the interview with 15 mins. to spare, went into the ladies’ room and got the nosebleed again. Used tissue paper to stop the flow, thought I got the job done.

    Went into the interview room. Very nice law firm, very nice person interviewing, I’m sitting across the table. Feel something drop out of my nose onto my lapel. Look down, realize it’s a drop of blood (it was a dark navy suit, but still, I knew). Put my hand up to my nose, reached down with the other hand to my purse, rooted around, found a tissue, used it to stop the blood. Didn’t mention the incident. The person across from me didn’t, either.

    Never got a call back. Hm. I wonder why? Thought I handled it pretty well, but I guess the person didn’t like the interviewee having a nosebleed during the interview. Oh, well.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:11 PM

      Yikes, a nosebleed during an interview is brutal. I’m sooo sorry you had to go through that. If you didn’t break down and cry, I’d say you handled it beautifully 🙂 But then again, I kick interviewers, so maybe it doesn’t mean much coming from me!

      Here’s to finishing the interview and moving on. Thanks for sharing your story, Jule1.

  59. Dr.Iffat Zafar January 15, 2011 / 2:02 AM

    Hi there, i really enjoyed this humorous discription of your first interview and i could just exactly relate to it as i myself have happened to be an extremely clumsy person throughout my life. I got married last year and i thought maybe some sence of responsibility might bring in some changes in me but unfortunately i am still the same ol’ clumsy me. i like your writing style, and i would really appreciate if you pay a visit to my blog i.e, http://www.driffi.wordpress.com

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:22 PM

      Thanks for stopping by my blog and the compliments about my writing, Iffat…and congrats on the marriage.

      I’m sorry that it hasn’t helped your clumsiness, but I have an idea that might work: have children. They are great for strengthening reflexes and increasing agility, which will no doubt help with clumsiness. (You’ll sprint to answer the doorbell while dodging toys left on the floor, leap to steady a toddler before they topple into a table, catch plates of spaghetti tossed off the table before they hit the floor.)

  60. Vanessa January 15, 2011 / 3:41 AM

    Well, it did took a while before you got to the point, but I liked how it ended. And you know what? Now I’m curious to read your first writings and see how you’ve improved!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:26 PM

      I’m glad you liked the ending, Vanessa. I hope it wasn’t just because it was finally over 🙂 I’d love to share with you for the sake of comparison, but that just can’t happen…

      Thanks for stopping by!

  61. Brown Eyed Mystic January 15, 2011 / 5:57 AM


    I didn’t realise; I am soooo sorry but hey, looks like our lil community is finally getting the much-deserved attention 😉

    Congrats on being FP! 😉 It’s quite thrilling, isn’t it?


    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:30 PM

      Thanks for joining the party, BrownEyed (and, as always, thanks for your support)! FP is a thrill, but I’m going to have to take a break soon, so I can write my next post!

  62. edenglenn January 15, 2011 / 6:15 AM

    What a delightful blog. Reminds me of bone headed things I’ve done as well and gave me a good laugh. Writing is a wonderful journey and the best part is the people you meet along the way. Keep writing.

    FB: Eden Glenn

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:32 PM

      You’ve got that right, edenglenn: the best part IS the people we meet. Thanks for stopping by and I’m glad you got a laugh from this experience 🙂

  63. jady19910103 January 15, 2011 / 6:45 AM

    We are working hard life,that in itself is not easy.Well,to give themselves courage.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:35 PM

      Thanks for visiting my blog, Jady. Life can be rough, but we have to keep at it 🙂

  64. pmdello January 15, 2011 / 7:35 AM

    You are right, mortification and writing go together.

    Your resolve to improve will get you through the query process.

    Also, blogging builds strong proposal skills. Keep it up!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:37 PM

      I’m pleased to hear that blogging builds strong proposal skills because I thought I was just goofing off 🙂

      Thanks for your comment and support, pmdello.

  65. The Glee Manifesto January 15, 2011 / 7:38 AM

    Someone once said, any job you can start right after the interview, probably isn’t that great of a job. lol I also had a pretty tramatic job interviw which involved walking long distances in heels, not being able to find the place and mud. Thats all I’m willing to say about that. Suffice it to say I didn’t get it. Shocking, I know.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:44 PM

      The walking in heels is bad enough, but once you mentioned the mud, I shuddered. Great teaser, but I’d love to hear the whole story 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your bad interview experience.

      P.S. – cute shoe you’ve got there in your Gravatar.

  66. skiingsaddler January 15, 2011 / 7:57 AM

    My little brother, at the age of 15, finally decided to take heed of our nagging and get a job. My mother organised the interview. This is what he wore:

    Pyjama bottoms sized for a 10 year old, pulled high up so they sat just below his nipples.
    Wellington Boots
    A towel that was fastened under his neck so it was worn as a cape.

    He was, at the time, obsessed with America Wrestlers (WWF etc)

    The job? A paper round at a local newsagents. Yes, he got it.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:48 PM

      What an outrageous outfit; that took courage to leave the house wearing that!

      I can see how he got the job – because he can get people’s attention wearing that. Brilliant choice, the more I think about it 🙂

      Thanks for relaying the story, skiingsaddler.

  67. Innova January 15, 2011 / 8:55 AM

    I felt that I am reading my own story in the beginning. I do have different kind of experience – in my first interview way back in 1970. Good Post.
    look at me blog

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:50 PM

      From the comments I’ve received, I feel I’m not alone in the ‘awful first interview’ club. Thanks for stopping by, Innova. I’m glad you liked the post.

  68. Addy January 15, 2011 / 9:00 AM

    Congrats on getting Freshly pressed Janna! Kudos on all the hard work and writing over the years that has made you the person you are…

    Best Wishes,
    Addy 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:52 PM

      Thanks, Addy! I appreciate you stopping by and leaving your well-wishes.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 9:55 PM

      Thank you for visiting. I’m glad you liked the post 🙂

  69. Holly January 15, 2011 / 10:13 AM

    Great post, I can relate! I once had an interview where I borrowed my sister’s shoes (half a size too big) and ended up tripping and falling on my face as the manager walked me through the low-walled cubicles to her office. About a hundred of my would-be coworkers witnessed it. I was offered the job, but I declined it. I knew I would forever be that girl who tripped and fell during her interview in front of the entire staff.

    And I can also relate to those first awful writing attempts. Been there! It sort of worries me to imagine what I might think of the writing I do now when I look back at it ten years from now. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 10:05 PM

      Falling in front of coworkers (or future coworkers, in your case) is embarrassing, so I can’t blame you for declining the job. I’ll have to remember this for future interviews…if kicking the interviewer doesn’t work, I can always fall down. Hold on, I’m writing this down 🙂

      I’m glad you stopped by and shared your experience, Holly. I hope we do look back on our writing ten years from now and say, “wow, that wasn’t that great,” because that will mean that we’ve improved enough to recognize it.

  70. Sharoon January 15, 2011 / 10:40 AM

    Congrats on being featured on freshly pressed! Embarrassing moments are one too many to put down…but I definitely agree with you about how the writing has evolved over time. I look back at what I wrote even a year ago, and I gawk :-). You are right. It only gets better with each passing day.


    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 10:16 PM

      Well, Sharoon, we know we are improving when we read our older work and notice the change. And that, is a good thing. I hope we experience this until we write our last words 🙂

      Thank you for visiting, and the congratulations on FP (such a nice surprise.)

  71. The Celebration January 15, 2011 / 10:55 AM

    Loved your story and your writing style. Tell me, do you answer every comment posted on your blog? I don’t know why I never thought of that…great way to connect with your readers. I mentioned you in my blog post today, so hopefully it’ll send a few more readers your way!

    Linda @ The Celebration

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 10:20 PM

      Linda, I do respond to every comment. Freshly Pressed has sent so much traffic that it’s taking me a little longer. But I *will* respond to everyone. I also check out the blogs of commenters because it’s a great way to discover other interesting blogs to read (if they liked my blog enough to comment, there’s a good chance that I will like theirs, also.)

      I do appreciate you mentioning me on your blog. And, a big THANK YOU for the compliment about the story and writing style 🙂

      • The Celebration January 21, 2011 / 4:16 AM

        LOL! You’re welcome… had a similar fast-food job interview, myself. It’s always the humbling moments that get those creative juices flowing.

        Thanks for the blogging tip. We’ve been up for two years now and are looking for ways to grow and reach more readers. Drop by sometime!….


        • jannatwrites January 21, 2011 / 8:20 PM

          Yes, my life is full enough of the “humbling” moments that I am in no danger of getting an overinflated ego, that’s for sure! I hope you continue to reach readers with your blog.

  72. TIm Weaver January 15, 2011 / 11:11 AM

    Wow, Janna, if you start attracting any more readers, you’ll have to stop answering each and every comment or you won’t have any time to write. What an awesome problem for a blogger to have. 🙂

    Now, to your post:

    “2) you can’t point and laugh at me because we’ll never meet.”


    “I dressed to not impress in my Jordache jeans with the holey knees and zippers on back that ran from my ankle to my calf, neon pink puffy paint L.A. Gear T-shirt and my pink and white high-top tennis shoes. I can feel your disbelief. ”

    What’s funnier is that I HAVE met you, and I can easily imagine your younger self wearing said attire. Very 1980s, even if it was the end of that decade.

    But the bangs? Yeah, too much. I have another comment, but this *is* a family-friendly blog. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 1:17 PM

      Well, many of the readers may get bored with me, but even if they don’t, I will continue to reply to all comments. It’s just what I do 🙂 I’m a little behind because of my weekend plans, but I will catch up.

      *Most* people who read this have not met, nor will ever meet me, so I can enjoy a sense of annonymity. The bangs were something to behold and defied all laws of physics thanks to gel, hairspray and hair dryer! (Now that I think of it, people didn’t make eye contact with me, their eyes were focused about seven inches higher.)

      Thanks for the virtual point and laugh.

      • Tim Weaver January 17, 2011 / 11:01 AM

        “people didn’t make eye contact with me, their eyes were focused about seven inches higher.”

        Be thankful. Most female friends and acquaintances indicate it’s usually the opposite. 😉

        • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 11:46 AM

          Well, without getting too humiliating (haven’t I already said enough?) there wasn’t much to see there. The bangs had it going on!

  73. lisa January 15, 2011 / 11:34 AM

    AWESOME!! thanks for making me smile today.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 10:26 PM

      Thank you, Lisa. If my humiliation can make others smile, then it’s worth it (but not enough to do it again!)

  74. Ashley January 15, 2011 / 2:08 PM

    I completely understand about the wardrobe embarrassment. I applied for a job at a kids clothing store wearing a Vans t-shirt that I thought had camoflauge on it. It wasn’t until a month later that I realized the pattern was marijuana! Apparently I was a highly naive teenager. To make things even better, I slipped on a highlighter someone had dropped on the floor as I left. When the manager called me in for an interview she admitted that the only reason I was contacted is because I had the sense of humor to laugh at myself when I nearly faceplanted– I got the job and worked there for three years. Great post!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 10:36 PM

      I’m snickering about the marijuana leaf on the t-shirt. I wouldn’t have recognized it either (still wouldn’t).

      Here’s another embarrassing reveal related to marijuana: during an episode of Cops, maybe twelve years ago, my husband broke it to me that the ‘roach’ in the ashtray wasn’t the same type of roach that had invaded my apartment’s kitchen several years prior.

      Yours is a great story about how we can turn a bad situation into a positive. I’m glad you didn’t take yourself too seriously and could laugh about it (it obviously worked in your favor.) Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Ashley!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 10:44 PM

      Thanks for the visit and comment, Jonathan. I’m glad you liked the story 🙂

  75. Chris Shaw January 15, 2011 / 5:36 PM


    I want to thank you for your post. I was paying attention to it because you were talking about interviews.

    This may not be the direction you were going in, but I have been teaching Tech people for years about interviews, and I tell them when I hire someone I hire based man aspects not just tech skills. In short, it sounds like the person that did the interview saw something in you. And your writing shows it.

    Chris Shaw

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:02 PM

      Thanks for your comment, Chris. Maybe they hired me because they figured with my interview skills I’d stick around for a while (I did.) In any industry, it’s good to base the decision on skils and the person’s characteristics.

  76. connie robinson January 15, 2011 / 5:51 PM

    Oh well, here we grow again!!! lol delightful story! btw, I bet the outfit was “rocking!”

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:04 PM

      Thanks, Connie. I’m glad you enjoyed the story 🙂

      I don’t know if the outfit was ‘rocking’ or not, but I sure *thought* it was!

  77. mashappiness January 15, 2011 / 7:11 PM

    Janna, your post comes at a perfect time. I tried something today for the first time and it did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. I was a bit blue but feeling so much better after these wise words from you. Great Post and Great writing. Thanks!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:08 PM

      I’m sorry you were down about how it turned out. The first time you do something rarely turns out well. That’s what practice is for 🙂

      Thanks for visiting, mashappines.

  78. kerrycharacters January 15, 2011 / 7:21 PM

    So funny. Thanks for an amusing end to the day. I’ll have a look at your other posts.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:10 PM

      Thanks for visiting, kerrycharacters. I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  79. pattyabr January 15, 2011 / 8:21 PM

    My first job was at a Dairy Queen at the end of the season. I never got it straight with the soft serve and all. I was a hot, horrible mess. Lucky for me they never asked me back for the following spring and summer season. I was grateful. Love your post. Visit me at The Patty Beat blog…if you wish.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:15 PM

      Mmmm…I love DQ. I’m assuming you found another job more suited to your talents?

      Thanks for stopping by, Patty.

  80. zephyrliving January 15, 2011 / 9:33 PM

    Great read, Janna! It’s lovely to get to the point where we can laugh at ourselves, it removes so much pressure. I know well the blowing-oneself-up-at-an-interview-scenario! And mine was recent! I don’t know what possessed me, but I was applying for a position at a non-profit that helps behaviorally/psychologically challenged children coordinate services. The interviewer was asking me if I would have a problem asking her for guidance on jobs, rather than carrying on as though I knew how she wanted it done. And do you know what I said? I said, “I wouldn’t ask a stupid question.” What I meant by that was, I wouldn’t ask you a question you’d already told me the answer to if I’d just paid attention. But I didn’t clarify, and I truly believe the only “stupid” question is that which is unasked! Ha!

    I never had my bangs stand straight up, but I did crimp my voluminous hair until it I looked like a lioness/Tina Turner when she had that look. I had much more and longer hair though.

    Congratulations on a richly-deserved spotlight!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:25 PM

      That’s almost a trick question because it’s so easy to sound like you either refuse to ask for help, or you’ll be bugging them constantly because you can’t make a decision.

      Ha! Crimping…I remember that one (never did it though – only because it would’ve been a nightmare with my curly hair. Not that the bangs weren’t or anything.)

      Thanks for sharing your interview trauma, zephyrliving.

  81. Laurie Holman January 15, 2011 / 10:20 PM

    Great post, Janna! Your story reminds me of an interview I had during which I realized that I was moving my foot back and forth in the chair, causing it to squeak continuously. I wasn’t doing it for the entire interview, but probably long enough to be irritating. We all have our nervous habits!

    Congrats on getting Freshly Pressed!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:30 PM

      Thanks for the congrats, Laurie. It’s been great fun!

      I suppose the squeaky chair would get annoying after a bit. It’s good to know I’m not the only one with nervous habits.

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:31 PM

      Thanks for stopping by, I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  82. Nicole January 16, 2011 / 7:39 AM

    I did go to a job interview once and whilst I was sat down, they ran through the job profile and then asked me my first question, I suddenly realised that I had gum in my mouth.

    I could see them waiting for me to answer the question but I couldn’t open my mouth or they would have seen the white blob of gum. Three thoughts came into my mind. 1. swallow it. 2. ask if they had a bin so that I could get rid of it. 3. speak anyway and hope they wouldn’t notice. I chose 2. I didn’t get the job and regret to this day not choosing number 1.

    Oh well…you live and learn! 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 1:31 AM

      I don’t know, Nicole. Had you swallowed it, it could have been lodged in your throat, causing you to choke. I don’t know if the interviewer giving you the Heimlich maneuver is the impression you want to leave. I’m not trying to be negative, I’m hoping it will help you let go of the regret 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your interview mishap.

  83. call guy January 16, 2011 / 7:41 AM

    I try to use my everyday life as inspiration for my writing. At the moment I’m working in a call-centre so I’m doing a lot of writing about that. My modest aim is to entertain and enlighten!

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 1:38 AM

      Oh boy. I bet you get some interesting material about that, call guy. I’m sure it’s both entertaining and enllightening. Good luck in using life in your writing.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  84. Tonya Jordan January 16, 2011 / 7:45 AM

    It is beautiful how you are able to laugh at yourself! I agree writing is an art that gets better the more we do it. I have been writing a few years now and have seen improvement and more confidence. I’ve never worn fluffed hair or LaGear to an interview but I have done some other embarrassing things in my life. Great how you can make light of this. The things we’ll do as teenagers and young adults!

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 1:45 AM

      Thanks for adding your thoughts, Tonya! I have to laugh at myself because I’m too ridiculous not to 🙂

      Seeing improvement in your writing is good thing. Worrying begins when we don’t see improvement.

  85. bildebussy January 16, 2011 / 7:54 AM

    nice piece! enjoyed reading it

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 1:47 AM

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and thought to let me know 🙂

  86. PriJosh January 16, 2011 / 7:56 AM

    I didn’t interview before for getting me a job since jobs always find me. Until I went to a company to have my first interview in my life. I almost pass out. The group interview is the part killing me. Since my work experience isn’t related to this one , and the others are experienced, I hardly speak any opinion of the work. And because of you remind me many stuff of how to interview . thz

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 1:50 AM

      I’m glad you visited my blog, PriJosh. The interview process can be difficult, but I’m sure you’ll get through the group interview just fine (as long as you keep both feet on the floor.) Try not to psych yourself out on what you lack or what others have on you. Good luck!

  87. stacia222 January 16, 2011 / 8:47 AM

    Too funny! I love your description of your favorite ’80s outfit, I think I had the same one! I also teased my bangs straight up in the air. I remember saying “I’ll NEVER wear my hair straight and boring, I can’t imagine not having bangs.” How things change. LOL. Great post.

    http://stacia222.wordpress.com – 150 of the Healthiest Foods on Earth Challenge


    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 1:53 AM

      Thanks, Stacy. I think the hair was the craziest part, because the side view is just so wrong! This just goes to show that sometimes change is good 🙂

      I’m glad you stopped by to commiserate about the attire of our youth!

  88. brainfumble January 16, 2011 / 9:05 AM

    Im so glad this type of thing doesn’t just happen to me. That was a doozy though, kicking him repeatedly. Hilarious.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 1:56 AM

      Thanks for visiting, brainfumble.

      I’m happy this doesn’t happen to you, but I have to admit that it would be nice just to have one person tell me they did this, too 🙂

  89. bookjunkie January 16, 2011 / 9:32 AM

    I rated this with 5 stars…though you deserve 6.

    You are such an incredible writer and had me engaged at the very first sentence when you introduced embarrassment as a close friend. I wish I could write as well as you and I’ll be working towards it 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:03 AM

      Thank you for your compliments, you’re very flattering. (You do realize that I don’t compensate for positive comments, right?) Your comment makes me wish I had the funds to do so 😉

      I’m glad you stopped by and made me blush with your flattery, bookjunkie.

  90. Artswebshow January 16, 2011 / 9:55 AM

    Lol. too funny, the manager probably understood you were nervous

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:10 AM

      I’m sure he did, but it was still embarrassing 🙂

  91. Brown Road Chronicles January 16, 2011 / 10:41 AM

    Good story, I run a small retail business and although I now have an employee that does our hiring I have done my share of interviewing kids that have little or no work experience. We hire mostly college students, and its fulfilling to see these kids come in as inexperienced freshman, shy and struggling, to become hard-working seniors and our best, most reliable employees. It’s these jobs in retail, fast-food, etc. that most people begin their working careers in, the ones that can nail it and stick with it are the people that ultimately go on to successful careers in whatever they choose. Nice post and congrats on being “pressed”!

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:17 AM

      Thanks for visiting and commenting…and for the congrats on Freshly Pressed – I appreciate it.

      You are right, many people do start careers in retail/fast food. The work was done long ago, but I haven’t forgotten it. When I hear co-workers make snarky comments about a botched drive-thru order and ‘how difficult can it be to shove food in a bag’ I explain it to the ones who I think will listen. The others, I just secretly hope they will have to work that type of job one day. I know that’s not nice, but I can’t help it 🙂

  92. Mark Kaplowitz January 16, 2011 / 1:11 PM

    Great post – that’s a funny story. My most embarrassing moment at a job interview…I was interviewing for a leading investment bank. The interviewer asked me if I knew how to use Microsoft Excel. I had used the program once or twice. “Yes, I know it well…very well,” I said. I figured the interviewer would take me at my word. Then the interviewer asked me how to use the V-Lookup function. I said, “It’s, um, the function where you look up things.” I actually thought I would get away with it. I did not get the job.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:26 AM

      Oops 🙂 I use Excel quite often and I don’t know what that is. That was obviously an interviewer who had been burned before. I’m sorry it didn’t work out.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your embarrassing interview moment.

  93. Alfie January 16, 2011 / 1:16 PM

    Nice post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    My favorite interview experience was 10 years ago when I went for my first I.T. job aged 46. I’d been getting a lot of “ageist” rejections so when the Manager (aged 28) began the interview by telling me my age I just snapped!

    “Only on the outside” I fumed, “Inside I’m probably younger than you are!”

    Drove home thinking I’d blown it but when I got there a message was on the machine asking if I could start the next Monday!

    Sometimes it pays to just be YOU!

    Alfie (http://littlealfie.wordpress.com)

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:34 AM

      Well, that could’ve easily gone the other way, but I’m glad it worked out for you! I think the being you part is a great message to remember in all aspects of life.

      I’m glad you shared your story – and thanks for the congrats on FP. It has been a great experience.

  94. kristin konvolinka January 16, 2011 / 2:13 PM

    What a great story, not just for writers but for all of us humans who have stumbled and even failed along our chosen path. I appreciate the honesty and the humor. I naturally gravitate to people who can laugh at themselves (you know, not take themselves too seriously); I think it’s because I hope they will recognize themselves in me and give me a break. Thanks for the delightful post.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:40 AM

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, Kristin. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and could laugh with me (yes, enough time has passed, I can laugh without hesitation) as you read the story.

      A life taken seriously is a life that needs more fun 🙂

  95. bmeyer44 January 16, 2011 / 3:57 PM

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog, I love it! I’m hooked!! Brooke

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:42 AM

      Brooke, I’m glad you decided to visit, and I do hope you come back 🙂

  96. duke1959 January 16, 2011 / 5:51 PM

    Rule #1 about following this blog. Bumping up the ego of the blogger needs to be carefully controlled!

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 1:26 AM

      Duke, my personal assistant will respond to your comment shortly. I’ve gotta go, another comment needs my attention. You’ll need to schedule an appointment if you need responses directly from me.

      Ego? What ego?

  97. halfwayto50 January 16, 2011 / 7:22 PM

    I totally remember my first job interview at a grocery store. I wanted to bag groceries so, like you, I could buy my own clothes and get my parents off my back. You described your non-interview worthy attire. Guess what I wore? My soccer uniform, complete with shin guards and flip flops. I was on my way to my game and didn’t even think twice about it. Amazingly I got the job and stayed there for years, but looking back I cringe about that whole interview.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:48 AM

      The soccer uniform at an interview is hilarious. The flip flops make it even better! I sure am glad it worked out for you. But now I’m wondering if the grocery store would have given me a chance if I had played a sport and wore a uniform?

      Thanks for sharing your interview story, I enjoyed it 🙂

  98. Damyanti January 16, 2011 / 7:43 PM

    This post made me smile. I’ve done this kind of thing both in life and in my writing, so I can completely identify. I agree with your attitude. The winners are those who just get up after they’ve fallen, dust themselves, and keep running.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:50 AM

      I like the way you look at things, Damyanti. And I’m glad I’m not alone in the life and writing mishaps. Here’s to falling and managing to get back up!

  99. 1hpb January 16, 2011 / 7:53 PM

    I just did something pretty stupid in a relationship and am feeling like crap. Time gives us such perspective. I’m impressed you accepted the job! way to go. Keep writing. and let’s keep improving.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 2:58 AM

      Don’t beat yourself up over a mistake – learn and grow from it. Don’t be too impressed; I think the main reason I accepted it was so I wouldn’t have to go through another interview 🙂

      Thanks for visiting, and I agree: let’s keep improving!

  100. duke1959 January 16, 2011 / 8:20 PM

    First of all we all do stupid stuff. its called being human. We have all done even dumber stuff in relationships. This to shall pass.

  101. duke1959 January 16, 2011 / 8:44 PM

    My sister did pre-interviews of Medical Personal for years ( now she own her own company) and she with all things being equal it is the first 30 seconds that matter. The rest of it it just chatter.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 3:00 AM

      Thanks for that insight, Duke. Maybe I didn’t start kicking him until after thirty seconds had passed. First impressions are important, that’s for sure!

  102. Fire Crystals January 16, 2011 / 9:37 PM

    I completely agree with you Jannatwrites. I have often felt the same way about writing…my initial attempts were ( or maybe I should say that they still are) infantile.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 3:03 AM

      Well, Fire Crystals, we have to start somewhere. Your use of the word ‘infantile’ made me think of infants (I know, not very original), which made me think of how infants grow and learn. We may master all of the big tasks as adults, but every new thing we encounter requires us to go through the same learning process.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts – I’m glad you stopped by!

  103. Carla January 17, 2011 / 2:37 AM

    Lovely post. Thanks for sharing and spreading hope! After all, we only get better at anything we do the more we do it, right? 😀

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 3:06 AM

      You’re absolutely right, Carla. The only way to get better is to not get discouraged and give up.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  104. thehappywaitress January 17, 2011 / 3:39 AM

    This post made me laugh alot! I have this weird fear of kicking the foot of whoever is sitting across from me whenever I go out to eat, to the point that if I happen to kick something I try to find a subtle way to look under the table and make sure it’s not the person’s foot!

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 8:12 AM

      Happy Waitress, I’m glad you got a laugh out of my post. I was ready for others to laugh at my misfortune 🙂 I also kick people under the table often (I think it’s because the tables are so small) but since it’s usually with friends, I have no problem asking them if I just kicked them. If they say yes, I can say, “so sorry, I’m not sending you signals.” If they say no, I can say, “I’m sorry, I’ll try harder next time.”

      I can just picture you dropping something on the floor so you could check out the under-the-table-situation. Nice 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and understanding and sharing the kicking problem (though your case is much milder than mine.)

  105. Katie January 17, 2011 / 4:28 AM

    September last year, I started my first creative writing course. I was the youngest in the class before and my writing was significantly worse. At first I hated reading out my work, but, having to read my work out every week made me able to receive criticism about my writing. It’s such a juvenile thing to get past but we all need to be brave, read out our work to an audience and be ready to take on the constructive criticism. My work has improved so much, and when I did get compliments, I knew they were sincere and I could actually be proud of my work, instead of wondering whether my class mates were just being polite.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 8:22 AM

      I admire you, Katie. I took a Creative Writing course when I was nineteen and the criticisms got to me to the point I quit writing for many, many years. Looking back, I could kick my younger self for being such a wimp and giving up. I console myself with the fact that things happened how they were supposed to and I’m who I am because of it. And though I’m an embarrassment to myself at times, I’m okay with who I am 😉

      I am so happy that you were able to digest the constructive criticism and improve without the fifteen year cooling off period. You are a stronger writer than I am.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.

  106. rohitmaiya January 17, 2011 / 5:26 AM

    Very nice and brief description of your first interview. It was a nice read.

    It reminded me of my first blog and my first interview. I don’t know how many drafts I made before posting it and I dont know if it is perfect.

    Great. I will go through our other blogs.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 10:04 AM

      I’m glad you enjoyed the story, rohitmaiya. It it was a post you were proud of, then it was good enough 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

  107. brufortune January 17, 2011 / 7:24 AM

    Hi janna.Your post is fascinating,i put myself in your shoes and really felt for you. Anyway it is nice that all is now behind you.I have to read your other posts on a similar subject as i did a related post on interviews for a job as well. Check out my post and let me know your views.
    Regards. brufortune.

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 10:37 AM

      Brufortune, the good thing about embarrassment is that it does eventually pass (if we allow it to.) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  108. bree0509 January 17, 2011 / 7:47 AM

    that is brilliant however am surprised you got the job 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 17, 2011 / 10:44 AM

      Thank you, bree0509. I’m happy that you liked the post. I was surprised, too. I think he just felt bad for me. If that had happened in the business/office world, I don’t think I would have been hired. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

  109. J. P. Cabit January 18, 2011 / 5:26 PM

    Your post made me laugh!!!! 😀 Awesomely done! The legless table was a great touch. 🙂 It gave the story a nice kick. (Ha ha, bad pun, I know.)

    An aside: Aagh, I am lost in a sea of 245 comments!!! 😮 Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

    • jannatwrites January 18, 2011 / 7:21 PM

      Glad you liked it, Seph! I liked your bad pun, also. You’re just one “bad” dude…first bad poetry, now this.

      Yeah, can you believe the number of comments! It was great, but I’m glad I’m not that popular every day (I’d have to quit my job to keep up!)

      • J. P. Cabit January 18, 2011 / 9:46 PM

        😀 But all these extraneous, foreign visitors’ comments make me feel all the more special for being a (somewhat…) devoted reader! 🙂

        I have yet to be freshly pressed, but I know maybe one or two other people (besides yourself) who has been. Good job! Keep up the good work! And I don’t mean that in an I’m-so-shallow,-I’m-leaving-a-comment-to-get-more-traffic-to-my-blog way! 😉

        • jannatwrites January 18, 2011 / 10:04 PM

          What? You aren’t a devoted reader? I’m hurt 🙂

          Okay, I can’t be hurt because I’m smiling. But really, you comment here fairly often, so I don’t think you’re shallow. But hey, if you do get a couple visits from it, no biggie!

        • J. P. Cabit January 20, 2011 / 9:47 AM


          I guess I’m a lot more devoted to the 200+ people up there. 🙂

  110. Keshav Ram Narla January 21, 2011 / 1:24 AM

    This made me laugh. I love the way you narrated this. I remember my first blog post ever..it looks stupid and little bit funny. But its mine.

    I believe my writing has also improved meanwhile. Thanks for the insight.

    • jannatwrites January 21, 2011 / 8:08 PM

      Thank you so much, Keshav! The good thing about the first of anything, is that it’s great practice for a better second 🙂

  111. nrhatch August 18, 2011 / 9:38 AM

    So funny that this post got Freshly Pressed . . . it’s like someone advertising one of our most embarrassing moments on a billboard. 😉

    • jannatwrites August 18, 2011 / 8:35 PM

      It figures that this would be the post that randomly got selected. It’s okay though, because it seems a lot of people can relate to my awkwardness. (If nothing else, they can feel better because it didn’t happen to them!)

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