I needed to stay close to people who might need my so-called expertise. Since I arrived late today, I thought I would take a walk and let people know I was around.
“Come to me when you have questions. I’ll know how to answer”, I somewhat boasted. And more times than not, I did. But unlike other mornings, I thought I needed to announce this out loud to anyone who would listen.
This morning things seemed different. Instead of the pleasant “Good morning” reply I received most mornings, this morning I got head nods, awkward stares, and quiet whispers when I turned to leave. “They’re hiding something“, I said to only myself.
No matter how long it takes, I knew I would find the answer for all of this. And then all at once I felt it too. I suddenly became very uncomfortable “in my skin” as they say. “What the hell…”, I asked myself rhetorically. And it suddenly dawns on me, the “so-called expert” is naked. Not even a pair of socks for my suddenly cold feet.
But instead of hiding, I choose to walk among the people, cold feet and all, almost challenging anyone to call me on my level of self-preparedness on this day. But nobody does, and instead I walk around, hearing the whispers now, and seeing the shaking heads of condemnation. “What do they know?”, I reasoned. “I must be right, because who would ever doubt my level of expertise?”
And then, one of the few people, capable of making me look very un-expert-like appears, as if from nowhere…making me now feel… extremely uncomfortable. Fran, from Inventory Control. All I heard was…
“Blah, blah, blah, you have no clothes on. Go get dressed, your embarrassing yourself!”
But nothing else mattered after “go get dressed”. Because now people-my people-were openly laughing at me, at my lack of self preparedness, and for some reason, the most important thing, my suddenly challenged, lack of expertise.
And then mercifully, my alarm goes off, and I wake up from my version of, “The Emperor Has No Clothes” dream…
I still miss that job…