I've been on a ton of job interviews — and quite a few were awful. I've forgotten how to tie a tie, sweated like a stuck pig-whore in church, used the wrong names for my prospective bosses, appeared to have lied on my resume (I didn't) and been completely unprepared for the interview let alone the career.
During one of my last job interviews, I Skyped with a lady at a university in Japan. She turned her camera off, so I didn't really know where to look. She spoke so quietly, I couldn't hear or understand anything, so I asked her to repeat herself constantly. It wasn't an easy one, but I ended up getting the job.
But yesterday, something new happened during an interview. It's not a fun or funny story, but first you need a quick "about me."
You'd probably never guess it, but I have epilepsy. About five years ago, I just started having seizures. I don't know what caused it or what causes it. Flashing lights don't, but being overly stressed might. I've seen plenty of doctors.
Once a year or so, I have a grand mal (big bad) seizure. I fall over, bite my tongue, roll my eyes into the back of my head and twitch on the ground. This is the type of seizure you usually see on TV. If you see somebody having a grand mal seizure, make sure you keep their head safe, don't put anything into their mouth and don't call an ambulance unless the seizure lasts longer than five minutes. Mine are usually a minute long.
Every month or so, I have petit mal (small bad) seizures. I zone out for a minute or two. I just seem like I'm not paying attention, am stoned and/or really stupid. If you see this, don't worry. I'll be back to normal soon.
Afterwards, I get really emotional, tired, frustrated and upset. It takes me a while to restart my brain and remember who I am. For about 15 minutes after the seizure, I sound like Johnny Depp's version of Hunter S. Thompson in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
How does this matter? Well, I had a job interview yesterday. I was all prepared. I read over the website's stories, scribbled down what I could do for them and collected some "Cute Boulder Things" my interviewer (who is a former CU Buff like me) could chitchat about.
We were scheduled for 3 p.m. I ate a quick snack and readied myself around 2:45 p.m. Everything was perfect.
Then I woke up. Confused. I looked at the clock, which said 2:58 p.m. What happened? I didn't recall being drunk or high. I couldn't remember what my name was, which day it was, who the president was or even where I was.
Have you ever snapped awake worrying that you forgot to do something important and thinking you're going to screw it up?
The phone rang. My finger missed the answer button. I accidentally put the caller on hold. I held my phone two-handed and tried to figure out what the hell I was doing.
"Hello, this is Bob. Can I speak with KC, please?"
I wish I could tell you what I said, but at that moment, I could barely make sentences or understand my interviewer, let alone remember what happened during this debacle. My brain literally has to reboot after an absence seizure, so I was in a bad place.
I do know that he talked a lot about himself, which was a godsend. Also, either he didn't know what he wanted me to do with this job, was just awful at explaining what he wanted or I was just too mind-numbed to understand.
If I was 100 percent during this interview, I think I'd have easily taken this job and put it in my pocket. However, I couldn't explain the gap in my work history nor the long pauses in my sentences.
I deal with this every single day and night. I've had seizures at the dinner table with my parents, at bars, on a date, at work and in front of classrooms full of my students.
I'll never drive a car again. I have no idea who or what to blame. To pay for my prescriptions, I need health insurance (which nobody will give me), a load of cash (which I don't have) or to date a pharmacist (know anybody?).
I am not disabled or mentally challenged (maybe a few of my exes will disagree with me). I do not want your pity. I don't want to complain. I just want you to understand a little what I go through.