Talk is cheap, isn’t it?

Back in high school, I was a theater kid. I wasn’t much into sports (unless we’re talking Huey Lewis & The News,) and I wasn’t doing any extracurricular activities otherwise. Sometimes, I wasn’t even doing school — especially after falling in with the stoner crowd. By the end of Freshman year, I had gotten into the Spring musical: the Sound of Music. I was some walk-on Nazi hoser; but hey, it was something. In about a half dozen productions all told I performed on stage at my High School — two shows and four musicals, at least. I had lines. I sang. I did the choreography. I caused a little trouble, too.

Then there were communications classes. In high school and college English there were the speeches, the prepared orations I was required to give. I never really had much problem getting up in front of people as long as I had a plan and knew what I was going to say. When it came to working off-the-cuff, however, I have always suffered from lackluster performance. This ended up being an issue in at least one promotional interview, where I racked my brain and floundered to answer many questions. By the time I had interviewed for Corporal the fourth time, I was told I needed to come up with new answers; however, I’m not even sure I want to move up anymore, at that point.

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to be happy where I am, and to serve in the capacity in which I currently serve until I’m otherwise disposed. I don’t think I necessarily need to reinvent myself to fulfill someone else’s idea of success. I enjoy working the floor, and training new officers. I enjoy being able to help the widest range of people under my supervision. I feel that I impress more by doing that than by trying to nail the interview.

But maybe I’ll change my mind again. Who knows? I might want to put myself through the wringer of an interview panel once more. I just don’t know how I’ll wow them like I did at my very first promotional interview — the one where I only really fell short on job experience.

Are you any good at answering impromptu questions under pressure? What advice would you give someone like me if I was going to try again?


  1. Whew. I went on the road with the “Mad as Hell Doctors” in 2009, 2010 and 2011, working for single payer healthcare, Medicare for all. I was put on stage with a microphone and had to say why I was Mad as Hell about the current healthmoneyproducingfor corporations non-health for humans United States non-functioning non-system. I WAS mad as hell. The very first time, I decided that it was just like talking to a new patient, but through a microphone and with cameras and an audience. What really blew me away was APPLAUSE, which I was not used to and not expecting.

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