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Pumuckl!

There are things in life that we just simply don’t wanna believe. But I just believe that “nothing happens just by coincidence”. Things fall into right pieces.

It was 1998 or 1999. I had just started living alone again and moved into a little tiny apartment as I could not effort better. I did not have my own account in the bank yet.- my boyfriend took care of me for a while- he even did not even want me to work. – he made enough, he said always- The last drop that made me to leave him was telling me: “Dear, we gotta clean the toilets”!!

And told me after a pleasant breakfast to clean the toilets with the finest rhetoric that one can ever use: WE – form.

Yeap, there it was. I simply ticked out.

And told him with the finest rhetoric back – that was ever possible in that situation; – as plain as he played the ball to me:

“Hun, you know what? I am moving out and you simply do that all on your own.”

—-

I left him after this very situation as I thought: I could get my own life straight. And I had just the guts to do that.

So I did and collected my rent by giving English trainings to people who wanted to improve their English from my tiny home office. My license (psychology) would not be accepted in Germany and I had to pass billions of exams and learn German very well to exercise my profession.

So I had to bear with the situation…

On the way to straighten things in my life; god / universe had showed its face a few times…

Even the dramas can be turned the way around. This is what I believe.

Anyways.

I could not effort much at that time. The only thing that I had was my belief in me and the private belief that I had.

I had given little adverts on the local newspaper, so that people could call me to get some training with me.

After one of those adverts on the paper a company called me and asked if could come for an interview and train their personnel.

I was trilled.

Before the interview I decided to have a different look and decided to dye my hair. I had gone to the shops one day before and bought a hair color for a lot of money for my pocket.

In those days, what gave me lots of power was the sports and clear head that I had.

I was going jogging every single day. With some music, and was just motivating myself to be a good one, at living and doing the thing I do for a living.

Big day, the interview day:

I woke up as in most days at 6.30 again, and I went jogging for an hour.

After coming to my little place, which was as tiny as 52 sqm, it was time to dye my hair this time I was going to go for red. (I am blond)

I put the color in my hair, I was good in time; the color needed to stay for an hour… this was more than enough time.

After washing the hair, I could not believe what I saw: my hair was orange! It was orange! Oh my gosh!

Never ever and ever dye red on blond!

I even did not have the time to change the color I had an appointment at 11 am. Gosh, I simply looked like Pumuckl!

Who would give me a job with that orange hair??

After getting rid of the shock and accepting the situation with my new “look”, I decided to put my act together and move on.

How do you say in German again? “Augen zu und durch.”

This is exactly what i did.   I got dressed and went to the interview. It was a very big company, with about 3600 employees. This was my chance. I had to show the interviewer what I can do and distract him from my orange hair.

There I was: in their large impressive waiting room. – hating my hair –

Personnel department manager’s PA (personal assistant) picked me up.

Very friendly, no sign of surprise to my orange hair… – thank god. –

We were upstairs.

Gosh, I was nervous. Very little self confidence due to my Pumuckl hair.

The personnel manager took me to his room and the nice lady who picked me up downstairs was in the room with us. They had both set opposite me and there were water and some juice on the table. Making a natural barrier between me and them. Normal hair people and the orange hair people.

And started asking questions about who I was and how long I was training people and who were my clients etc.

I think I was doing ok, but not really sure. – now and then right in the middle of the interview I remembered the look I had when I had left my apartment- remembering my orange hair-   and stuttering.

Me and stuttering! Yeap, it happens.

Once upon a sudden, the harsh questions about my training style and if I had a system that I followed and how come I ended up doing something like that as a psychologist, etc came up.

I saw the skeptic in their eyes…

I simply could not help but suddenly interrupted the personnel manager of 3600 employees:

“Sir, do you drink wine?” he took a look at me with thrilled eyes…and wondering why I would ask such a question right in the middle of his interview.

He hesitated, smiled and asked back: “Yes, but why are you asking?”

I took a deep breath and stared at the glass that was on the table.

“Let’s say this glass of water is a glass of wine, Sir. How would you know if it is a good or bad glass of wine?”

He answered “I would not know.” I went ahead_ “What would you have to do Sir?”

He replied with an obvious gesture, looking annoyed: “I would have to taste it.” And chuckled.

I replied: “I am that glass of wine Sir. Before you “test / taste” it, you would not know.”

The rest of the interview went really open & communicative.  We talked about the USA and Germany, talks were so good that I simply forgot my orange / Pumuckl hair.

He took me downstairs personally this time.

When I was walking back to the train station of this tiny German town, I had a big big smile on my face. Wondering if my orange hair was good or bad.

I began with ONE single manager in that company.  And at the end of the 2nd year I was responsible for 3500 employees’ training.

How was that song again? “You can get it if you really want.”

 

Text: Eveline Goodman.

„Eveline Goodman ist Geschäftsführerin von EforP – English for Professionals, einem Sprachinstitut, das sich auf maßgeschneiderte Trainings – auf „Integrated Trainings“ sowie auf Sprachtrainings – für Unternehmer und deren Mitarbeiter spezialisiert hat.

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