Breaking news, y’all – I am not Beyoncé. But like Kanye, I refuse to give up.
As part of a cultural program to foster collaboration between the unionized shop-floor workers and management, my company has encouraged the creation of a rock band made up of a mishmash of employees & managers to play cover songs of rock’s greatest hits during the 3 scheduled lunch breaks on Fridays in the company cafeteria. These concerts take place every 4-6 weeks. When this was first announced, the overall reaction in the company was one of skepticism. However, everyone was pleasantly surprised at the band’s first concert: they were good!
After the band’s second concert, the band’s leader recruited new members, for guest appearances. My adorable coworkers volunteered me as a singer, despite my voluble protests. Due to my unfortunate habit of singing (loudly) to myself after 5pm, once I believe the finance department to be empty, my coworkers deemed my singing skills to be sufficient to rock on. Publicly.
Of course, all my protests were swept aside and I found myself on the band’s roster for their third concert, in early August. I committed to one song only: Mr. Jones by the Counting Crows.
I had nightmares leading up to the band’s first practice. When it was my turn to sing, my nerves were such that I couldn’t hold up the printed lyrics because my arms were shaking so violently. After a 1 hour practice, I looked like I’d taken a dunk in a swimming pool because I’d sweated so much. Sexy!
My new bandmates were delighted at my (conflicted) willingness to join their quest for musical fun. They encouraged me and enthusiastically promised me I sounded great and boy, the guys on the shop floor were gonna love me and this song!!! With their support, I showed up to the 2nd band practice, and by the 3rd I was enjoying myself.
Then I found out that our concert had been moved from the usual lunch time caf jam to coincide with the big celebration of our company’s half-year results. Production would stop for 2 hours, carnival-like activities were planned and the band would cap off the party with a 8-song set list. Not only that, but the entire senior exec team of our global division would be on site, visiting, and what better way to show them our team spirit than by inviting them to our big party?!
I can think of several better ways, actually. Like all of the ways that don’t include me singing in front of a crowd of 400+ people.
Anyhow, the band didn’t let me quit (“so what if some big shots will be present? You got this!!!”). I put on my brightest red lipstick, my rockstar jewelry and my sexiest shoes. I was ready. There was a minor hiccup when those shoes were deemed a safety hazard on the shop floor. When I protested, I got reminded that, strictly speaking, I should only wear safety shoes on the shop floor, so why not just accept the compromise and change out of my stilts into more reasonable shoes?
Y’all. Everyone knows that art is not reasonable.
We came, we sang, we partied. When it came time for my song, I decided to distract the audience with my dance moves and charm, because Mr. Jones totally moonlights as a dance song. Apparently I got an ovation and raucous cheers, but I was so nervous, I didn’t notice. I was too busy self-fiving myself for not passing out from terror. In the days and weeks that followed, many people stopped me to congratulate me. I became cautiously hopeful that I hadn’t bombed, until a coworker showed me a video of my performance taken on his phone.
Conclusion: I am a gifted entertainer. Not a gifted singer. #ICanRelateToBritneySpears
Somehow, I’ve been roped into performing at the band’s next concert, this Friday. Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason. No dance moves this time, just all of my pent-up angst from my dating life.
Who says accountants are boring?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with blogger/writer Hyperbole and a Half, I highly recommend you check out her work. Her unique drawings have permeated popular culture – you will recognize them, and be delighted to read the original story. The drawing above is an example of her awesomeness. The above picture was taken from Hyperbole and a Half’s post “Expectations vs Reality” – possibly the unauthorized, but entirely accurate biography of my life. I swear, she and I are twinsies.
Furthermore, she has written two posts about her struggle with depression that perfectly describe the sequence of attacks that a depressed mind inflicts on the person afflicted with depression, and the subsequent disjointed behaviour exhibited by the individual. Except, of course, she manages to describe this phenomenon quite amusingly, while not trivializing the subject. I have sent these posts to almost all my friends who did not understand how I, with my priviledged life and successful career, could suffer from depression. Both posts were also trending after Robin Williams’ death last year. Without further ado, I give you: