Once a month, my employer has a company meeting to discuss everyone's status from the previous month. So each of the 20 or so employees takes a turn giving their numbers and doing a little justifiable bragging. But it's nerve-racking for me because of my crippling fear of public speaking. Especially when I can see my turn coming in advance. I just sit there and countdown (6 people until I have to talk, 5 people until I have to talk), and I drive myself crazy while my angst crescendos into a mountainous stomachache of nervous apprehension (yes, it's that bad). I hate talking in front of people, even people I know. I'm terrified that I'll say something stupid or my eyes will start watering due to the stress (some people might call that crying).
So yesterday we had that meeting. And I got that horrifying feeling again as my turn approached. But then, just as the coworker next to me finished up her summary, there was a crash across the room. One of our managers had passed out and fallen out of his chair by the back wall. And then he started shaking. And after the longest 15 seconds I've ever had at work, he was helped up to a sitting position and asked the people around him what had happened.
Apparently he'd worked out yesterday morning for an hour and skipped breakfast. And instead of drinking water, he drank coffee. So he was dehydrated and his body just shut down on him. It was very scary.
And since I'm self-absorbed and this is my blog, I'd like to make this story about me now. And you aren't allowed to get upset because a) you don't know him, b) he's fine, and c) I'll delete your negative comments if I have to. Anyway, I realized something about myself as he was being helped up. I realized that I have matured as a person. Because I thought of at least four jokes I could have said to break the tension ("Tricky dismount, but he really nailed the landing."), but I didn't say any of them. I consciously made the decision to let someone else make the first joke. And someone else did. It was lame ("That's one way to get out of a meeting."), but it wasn't me who said it. That's personal growth, people!