“It was an honor to meet you,” I practiced saying into the mirror. I was meeting the dean of the graduate school this weekend and I was working myself into a frenzy. I needed to make a good impression as my department depended on it. My job depended on it.
If we didn’t get the grand and permission we needed, our project was doomed. My project. The reason I was hired and the project I was supervising. The employee who had led the project before me had squandered time and money and we now had our backs against the wall to get things done.
I checked my bank account again to see how long I could survive, in fact, I did get let go. I practiced what I was going to say over and over in the days leading up to my meeting. I felt confident in what I was doing with my career and confident in what I would say to the dean. My nerves waffled as the day of the gala wore on, but for the most part, they waffled in a positive manner. I knew I was good at my job and knew I was taking the department in the right direction.
I showed up to the gala dressed in my finest and walked confidently through the front door. I was mortified to find the gala was actually a black tie even instead of the Hawaiian theme that had been presented to me. I ran out screaming.