And with a thunderclap, it was gone

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January 8, 2011 by jessperriam

One of the recent postaday2011 writing prompts was: “Write about your most memorable job interview.”

Well, I have a corker. And it all starts with corniest of corny writing cliches:

It was a dark and stormy day in Orange, New South Wales…

No, you don’t understand, it really was a dark and stormy day in Orange, New South Wales. It was a late afternoon summertime storm and the dark clouds were brewing around the Central West. These are storms we just don’t get in Western Australia (don’t see this storm and raise me a Great Storm of Perth 2010… just don’t.)

But anyway, the storm clouds were gathering and so too my nerves. I was scheduled to do a phone interview for a job back in Western Australia, producing a radio program.

The storm was hitting its crescendo just as the interview began. I was nervous because… well, you get nervous for job interviews – you’re expected to know things and not sound petrified.

The interview panel was introduced (one of them reads this blog: hello!) and we were starting on the questions.

“So Jess, what’s been your experience of producing radio programs?”

“Well, I’ve been producing the odd shift here in Orange and ARGH!”

Silence. Tumbleweed. Phone line crackling.

“Jess? Are you alright? What just happened?”

Heart thumping, I explained what turned me from somewhat composed interview candidate to screamer.

“Uh, yeah. I’m alright. We just had a bit of lightning strike really close to the building. It was just a bit of a surprise, backpedal, backpedal, backpedal.”

“Ok… so are you right to carry on?”

“Yes… I guess so.”

The interview carried on, but I was distracted. In truth, the electricity was affected, we went onto our backup generator. Our network connection for the Internet and Intranet went down and the news journalist was in a flap.

And me, trying to carry on with the interview.

Suffice to say, it wasn’t one of the better interviews of my career and I didn’t get the gig.

But when I emerged from the office after the interview, I found that I had good reason to squeal, regardless of how odd it would have sounded to those on the other end of the line.

Our previously flawless bottle green generator box outside our kitchen window now had a delightful scorch mark on the top.

Yes, lightning had struck our office about five metres from where I was sitting.

It was not a lucky thing, but it was a memorable thing.

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