Call me the master of impressions

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Posted 11/28/17 (Tue)

What A Joke
By John Bayer

I’ve heard you never get a second chance to make a first impression. I’ve found that I rarely make a first impression at all. People usually have to be introduced to me three times before they even remember having met me. 
My therapist says that I “display an inability to assert in new situations.” I was afraid to ask what he meant by that, but basically I think he’s saying that I’m a piece of milquetoast. In new situations, I try to blend in with the furniture, for fear of meeting new people and being judged by them.
My therapist thinks my lack of assertion is a bad thing, but it has its plusses. For example, my first two therapy sessions were free. He didn’t charge me, because he had no memory of us having had a session.
Still, it’s possible for nonassertive people to make a lasting first impression. It happened to me recently on the first day of my new job.
The boss gave me a brief tour around the office, then I was taken to my cubicle and invited to “make the place your own.”
The last employee had left the cubicle a bit unorganized. I straightened paperwork. I swept up stray paper clips.
I saw some folders on the floor. From my chair, I leaned down to pick them up. I couldn’t quite reach, so I used my body weight to lift the back legs of the chair.
I lowered enough to reach the folders. . . then kept on going. The chair rolled out from under me, sending me crashing to the ground with the chair landing on top of me.
And I mean crash! With my body hitting the floor, my arm hitting the desk and the chair rolling into cubicle wall, it sounded like a stampede of rhinos.
I couldn’t rise. I was pinned under the chair. The chair butted up against the cubicle wall; it wouldn’t budge. 
By this time, several of my coworkers had arrived to watch the show . . . I mean, see if I was OK. With some effort, I crawled out from underneath the chair and strained to stand.
I could feel the redness in my face as I assured these total strangers that I was all right. For once, I had succeeded in making a lasting first impression.
Note: I said it was possible to make a “lasting” impression, not a “good” impression.