Day 10 of the "Blog Every Day in May" challenge:
"Most embarrassing moment..."
Geez, there are so many horribly embarrassing stories to choose from, but this one jumps out as pretty mortifying. OK. Picture this, I'm an eager-beaver law student, half-way through my first year of law school and going on my VERY FIRST call-back interview for a major law firm here in St. Louis. My grades were good first semester, which is how I score this nearly unheard of opportunity to be interviewing for a summer associate position after my first year! This would be great money, a great opportunity and possibly lead to a full-time position after graduation Needless to say, I was pumped.
I was dressed in my brand new Ann Taylor plain-ass boring black skirt suit with a plain white button-up, plain black patent leather pumps and pantyhose (standard law student interview attire). I was excited and nervous, but handling myself with confidence, as I was told to do. The way law firm interviews work is you start off with HR, then move around the firm to the offices of a few different attorneys, getting the tour of the place as you go. I think I had four attorney interviews that day. The first one was going well. I felt like I was hitting it off with the attorney and felt comfortable. I liked the firm. I had a reign on my nerves. At the end of the 20 minutes it was time to move on to the next office. One down, three to go.
The next interview was one floor down. We took the internal staircase that the lawyers use that lead down a flight into the firm library. I was looking around, taking it all in, trying to maintain eye contact with my interviewer/tour guide, trying to appear impressed, but not overly so. I'm sure you can all see where this is going. With about 6 steps left, I lost my footing and tumbled down, down, down to the bottom of the stairs. In the middle of the library. With a bunch of attorneys watching me. Cringing.
I fell pretty hard. It hurt. I was freaked out. I didn't know what to do. So I stood up quickly, brushed my hair out of my face, stuck my arms out, smiled and said, "TAA DAA!" And bowed.
No one laughed. No one cracked a smile. Three people ran up to me to make sure I was ok. They made me sit down and brought me a glass of water. The found my shoes, which went flying off my feet during my fall from grace and the folder of resumes and references I was holding. Thank God I didn't impale myself with the pen in my hand. I'm sure they were terrified that I was going to sue or something. I was MORTIFIED.
After a few minutes of trying to laugh it off and let everyone know I was ok (which I wasn't), they took me to the next interview. Both the knees of my pantyhose were ripped open. I was a dishelved wreck. I had to tell the story of what happened three more times to everyone I saw to explain my appearance. My nerves were SHOT. The rest of the interviews sucked. I left as fast as I could and spent 30 minutes in my car bawling, praying that I would never ever ever ever see any of those attorneys again. That firm would be checked off my list of potential jobs.
Needless to say, I didn't get an offer from them. :) I can't say that I wasn't surprised.
The next year, I didn't even apply to interview at that firm. I just couldn't face them. Everyone assured me that I was overreacting and that there was no way anyone would remember that a year later.
Until a friend of mine interviewed there and her interviewer made her take the elevator down 1 level and said (with annoyance in his voice), "I'd take you down the internal staircase, but some girl fell down a whole flight of stairs last year and we've been instructed to use the elevator from now on." Of course, she piped up with, "that was my friend Sara!"
And my legend lives on.