Today was the first day of my summer internship at a large news organization in Kansas City. I’ve had an internship before, but this is definitely my biggest market, so I hoped to make a good impression.
And, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.
For that reason, I planned out my outfit well in advance, got a good amount of sleep, built in enough time to my morning so that I could have breakfast and even made sure I had printed directions.
Everything was going well all the way through my breakfast of oatmeal with peanut butter and dried berries.
Then, as I would say, “shoot” hit the fan.
First, as I pulled onto the main street near my house, I noticed something fly off the back of my car. I looked in the review mirror only to see one of my North Face sandals bouncing down the road. I realized that I must have left on my car’s trunk last night. Carefully, I slowed down and prepared to turn around as soon as I could. Somewhere before that point, the second sandal flew off the back of my trunk.
Eventually, I was able to pull off the road and park. Then, business-clothes clad and barefoot, I ran up the side of the road, hoping I could salvage the sandals. No such luck.
After a few minutes of searching, I decided it was a lost cause. I would be better off keeping on schedule and getting to the internship on time. So, I trucked on… Only to miss my exit, get turned around and have to stop at a gas station to ask for directions. In a frenzy, I arrived at the place of my internship right before the morning meeting.
Crisis averted. Temporarily.
I even called my mom to complain. She reassured me by saying, “At least it won’t get any worse…”
The rest of the morning went pretty smoothly as I got acquainted with the place I will be working. Shortly after eating my packed lunch of a bar and orange (<< I didn’t have any food in my fridge!), I stood up to go to the restroom.
There, as I walked past the full-length mirror, I realized something was wrong: The slit on my brand new Banana Republic skirt was cut a
little lot too high.
“Oh yeah,” I thought. “That’s what color underwear I am wearing…”
Fortunately, one of the higher-ups from my workplace walked in. I tried to play lighthearted as I told her about my little “situation.” She handed me a few safety pins and volunteered to look for someone with a needle and thread.
A few minutes later, a woman returned with a spool of black thread, scissors and a needle. It was basically a blessing.
I spent the next ten minutes, crouched in a bathroom stall, mending my skirt. It wasn’t perfect, but it did the job and my skirt held up the for rest of the day. (Even though I made double sure by checking it every time I stood up!)
I am very happy to say that the rest of the day went much more smoothly. But, you know what? Even if my skirt had torn totally off and all the shoes in my closet were lost on the side of the road, I still couldn’t complain.
That’s because, I spent my whole day at the news organization hearing accounts of the tragedy in nearby Joplin, Missouri.
With the death toll greater than 120 and sure to rise, I can’t complain. My friends and family members are safe.
With one-quarter of the town’s buildings obliterated, I can’t complain. My home is safe.
With an extreme shortage of fresh water and food, I can’t complain. My grocery store is full.
So, even though a pair of shoes were blown away and I made an all-too-intimate first impression, I can’t complain. My life is good.
If you are interested in donating to recovery efforts for the Joplin Tornado, check out the Red Cross’ website. The organization is currently encouraging donations of money and non-perishable items. However, if you are interested in donating blood, the Red Cross spokesperson suggests waiting a few days. The need for blood is steady, but the supplies are perishable.