By Amanda Smyth Connor
I always get nervous when new interns start. I want them to like me and respect me and the resulting fear that they will hate me turns me into a babbling idiot every time I am around them for the first few days.
My newest intern started yesterday. While I was training him, my mouth began to produce more saliva than any human seemed capable of producing, thus leading to my spitting on him several times during the course of our conversation. We both did our best to pretend not to notice. I continued to stammer my way toward an awkward conclusion to this training session, when my nose began to tickle. I innocently used my index finger to rub the tip of my nose and, no lie, a huge booger fell out – right onto my lap – where it proudly lived until I could regroup from the mental spasms I was having long enough to excuse myself in order to make a run for the bathroom to hide. The look of horror on my intern’s face will forever remain seared into my brain.
I spent the next 20-minutes in the bathroom wondering “if I just went home now and didn’t return to work, would they notice?”
Well, yes. In a company of five people, they might notice if 20% of their workforce went home and hid under her bed.
I regrouped, went back to my desk, acting as though everything was completely fine. I opened my inbox to catch up on the latest only to find an email from a writer asking for an extension on a project. To preface this, this is a new writer who I have only worked with once before and have not yet formed a solid relationship with.
And because I was feeling demoralized in the aftermath of Boogergate, I proceeded to verbally tear this writer apart in an effort to quell the embarrassment I was feeling. Was this act completely unjustified and thoroughly uncalled for? Yes. Did I hit the send button harder than I needed to? Quite.
An hour after I sent this email, I pulled it up from the sent box and gave it another read through.
Oh the horror I felt. This was indeed a day of horrors. I felt so much regret for having sent this email and for punishing someone who completely did not deserve punishment. And to make things worse, her reply email was so nice and apologetic that it made me want to dig a hole in the backyard to hide my evil, miserable, quick-tempered, boogery self in.
What is the moral of this long-winded, spit-inducing tale? Do not let the actions of your day negatively influence your work. Whether you are writing a children’s book or creating inspiration prose for your HVAC client, do your best to keep control over your emotional channels. Often enough I have spent a day writing only to read over my work the next day and realize that the writing was too emotionally driven and did not reflect my best efforts as a writer.
Whether you find yourself prone to the occasional rage stroke, or you like to vent your frustrations on unsuspecting emails, do yourself and everyone else around you a favor and step out of your head before approaching a professional situation. Put the emotions aside as best you can and remain level headed in the face of adversity lest you find yourself in the midst of a GREAT MOMENT OF REGRET! (echo….echo…echo….)