I started a new job, it was my first day and my hands were a little shaky as I entered the glass doors of my new bosses office. During our initial discussion I revealed that I was from Missouri, a fact I wish I would have left out.
“Humm” he said lifting his head and rubbing his chin, “I think I know how Nebraska got started, when settlers got to ‘Misery’ they hated it so much they turned around and went back to Nebraska.”
He paused as if he was waiting for me to chuckle. I just stared at him with my mouth hanging open. He had a puzzled look on his face and an awkward smile.
“Sir, are you talking about the settlers that began in the eastern United States and moved west?” I asked realizing my mouth was hanging open, I quickly closed it, trying to keep myself together.
“Yes” he replied.
Wow, I thought, I gave him a chance to change his answer, change the subject, anything. I couldn’t hold back “You’re telling me you are an executive here managing branches around the country and you don’t know where Nebraska is? In fact,” I continued, my voice getting louder “In my panel interview you are the one that asked if my ‘online’ education would be enough for me to keep up. I am sure that comment was a real riot while you and your ring knocking buddies were grab assing in the steam room.” I said as I stood up, my right hand formed into a blade, all four fingers pointing at his face. “The answer is yes, my online degree can hold up, you just proved that! Nebraska is West of Missouri; you would have had to use Illinois or Kentucky to make your stupid fu…” I stopped, realizing I would soon be back at the VA telling ‘funny stories’, that is what my councilor calls my failures, explaining why I can’t keep a job after they paid for my education. I withdrew my hand, straightened my tie and walked right back out the glass doors I came in, shaking again.