Professional at Work (Donít Try This at Home)
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Although Iíve done some pretty klutzy things, Iíve never considered myself a true klutzóat least not until today. But if anything crazy and humiliating is going to happen, itíll most definitely happen to meóand usually right when I need to make a good impression.

I recently started a new job taking reservations for a whitewater rafting company located in the Land of the Noonday Sun (Nantahala). With all jobs, it seems, I end up wearing more than one hat. I also have to run the gift shop register when the phones arenít ringing off their hooks. So my days are spent running up and down stairs as I go back and forth between the office and the shop, while doing my best not to give my new boss a reason to fire me.

On one such day, I skipped downstairs and hurried behind the counteróand thatís when crazy and humiliating struck. The toe of my sandal got caught under a tangled bunch of electrical cords and down I went. Headed for a major face plant, I braced myself for a nasty carpet burn that would run from my forehead to my chin. I reached out to catch myself on a chair, which just happened to have wheels. I rode the chair down until it crashed into the cash register, knocking a pile of Nantahala River magnets, a canister of pens and pencils, and a small bag of butterscotch candy on my head. Ióand an oscillating floor fan that hopped on for the rideócame to a bone-cracking stop.

No sooner than Iíd went down, I popped right back up and startled a customer on the other side of the counter who said, ďWhoa! I didnít know anyone was back there.Ē

I blinked at her like a sleepy-eyed toad thinking, didnít you feel the building shake when I splattered the carpet, not to mention hear that god-awful crash back here?

I smiled, rolled my neck from side to side, and shook out the kinks while praying no one witnessed my less-than-graceful entrance. Then I remembered the shoplifting cameras. Theyíre everywhere! And they record everything!

I suddenly had horrible visions of seeing myself on one of those funniest home video TV programs while a not-so-funny host makes colorful commentary on my embarrassing tumble. ďOh! And down she goes! Ooh, look at it from this angle. She has great form in the carpet diving category, Iíll give her that, but I believe an elephant in a glass shop would cause less damage.Ē

However, I smile again and think that in some distant future when Iím no longer an employee (which might be sooner than later if I have too many more days like today) a bunch of newbies will pop a big bowl of popcorn while the boss is gone for the day, prop up their feet in front of the VCR, and have one hell of a laugh at my expense.

Just doing my part to help folks get through another long boring day at work. Gotta keep it fun out there!

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