I’m thankful to have reached a point in my career when I’m sometimes asked by journalists and podcasters to give interviews. Occasionally they are in person, such as a studio interview I’m giving next week. But usually they are phone or video interviews from the comfort of my home.
I had a Skype interview with a reporter I know scheduled late this afternoon. With my 2-year-old toddler not always sleeping through the night and my 37-week-pregnant body interrupting my sleep, I've been feeling exhausted. I didn't know if a video interview was a good idea. But thankfully, my toddler slept through the night and we had a mother-daughter early afternoon nap, so I felt well rested and ready for the interview.
Twenty minutes before the interview, I refreshed my make-up. I had already done my face up after my nap, so freshening up only took a minute. I put on jewelry and a blazer. I looked every bit of a professional from the chest up. From the chest down, my baby bump bulged in my casual dress and red sparkles shone from my barefooted Christmas-themed painted toes.
I set up my laptop in my “home office”, a room I use more for storage than for work. I prefer to set up my laptop on the family room couch most of the time, but that doesn't look professional. So I set up a nice backdrop in the home office with work-related things on a desk behind me for video opportunities such as this one.
The moment I stepped into the room, I remembered the overhead light had recently burned out. No problem, I had time to replace the light bulb. I had just bought a new pack of bulbs and knew exactly where they were. But they weren't there! My husband must have moved them. But where did he move them to? I searched for a couple minutes, but time was too short. A strategically placed desk lamp would have to do as my only lighting for the video interview.
Five minutes to interview time, I peaked in on my toddler who was watching Sesame Street in the family room. Clearly through her pants I could see she needed a new diaper. I had just enough time. I grabbed a new diaper and started to change her right on the carpet. Until, to my horror, I realized my mistake: Poop! Diarrhea! I didn't have time for this, but I couldn't leave her like that, either.
I raced to the nursery to clean her up on the changing table. Poop gone, new diaper on, new pants on – done in record time! Not ideal, but I left the trash on the changing table to throw away after the interview. It wouldn't be long enough to smell up the room.
But what was that wetness I felt? Diarrhea – on my leg! So gross! I cleaned myself up with a wet wipe and raced back to the family room. Suspicion confirmed: there was diarrhea on the carpet where I had begun to change her. And I had leaned on it. I did a quick carpet clean-up with more wet wipes, vowing to do a better job later. With no time to wash my hands, I was glad I wasn't going to be shaking anyone’s hand over Skype.
Back to the home office and to my laptop, a minute late to the interview. The reporter was none the wiser. The lighting was good enough. The interview went well. No one watching the interview video will ever know that this working mom had a poopy diaper to deal with minutes before her professional appearance.