Published in the Daily Monitor: http://www.monitor.co.ug
As a bushy tailed twenty year old in job interviews, I used to grin brightly and say, “Really well. I’m really good at handling stress. You can throw any amount of stress at me and I’m your gal!”
It was true. You see, I was too young to understand what stress is.
Schoolwork stressful? Body image issues stressful? Your insignificant dreams not coming true stressful? If this constitutes stress for you, take some time to stand up and laugh at yourself. Laugh now ‘coz the real stress is being mailed to you from the outer galaxy as I write.
The first time I let my stress get the better of me, I walked into my then boss’s office and screamed bloody murder. I then fired myself. But innocent me still thought the following few months of unemployment were stressful. I wish I could go back in time and enjoy those benefits of youth and time. I mean, most of us can afford to be jobless at twenty-three, really.
You can use the time to ‘discover yourself’. You know those sweet lies from Hollywood movies and Tony Robbins. Discover yourself. You have potential. You can be anything you want. Follow your passions. Fist bump oyee.
I learned life had passions of its own in store for me. I got a few more jobs and the stress piled up as responsibilities grew. I shouted at a few more bosses but by the time I got to boss number – nope, not saying – I’d learned to keep my expletives civil.
By job number – nope again – I’d stopped lying in interviews.
“So, Lindsey, how do you handle stress?”
“Badly, guys. Very badly indeed”.
Eventually, I was asking for favours.
“Banange, please don’t stress me. Life is hard enough”.
Soon I was volunteering stories of how badly I handle stress.
“There was this one event I organized and no one was respecting queues and the people were backward villagers who were pouring sodas in jerrycans and I just lost it and started beating everyone”.
I still remember the stares of wonder one panel of interviewers gave me (Nanti I told this story to three). One of them asked:
“Wasn’t there anything else you could have done in that scenario?”