Most Mortifying Moment EVER!

by Hayley Hofbauer

  • Literary (Genre) Comedy
  • Literary (Genre) Comedy
  • Literary (Genre) Comedy
  • Literary (Length)
  • Literary (Length)
  • Literary (Length)

The title says it all!

Life Lesson: Planning or preparing for an unforeseeable humiliation is futile.

Until yesterday, my most public embarrassment happened about five years ago.

I was at a ‘recall’ for a Television Commercial. As an actor, I had gone on hundreds of auditions over the years and had become a reliable professional. The commercial that I was ‘recalled’ for was a U.S. National, which meant that the job paid between $15,000 – $75,000plus. Getting a U.S National Commercial is basically like winning the lottery.

There were only three of us being considered so my odds were pretty good. The audition room was populated with about eight people who sat behind a long table, consisting of the Casting Director, Assistant, Cameraman, the Advertising Company Representatives who created the ad, and the Clients who are the Executives of the product being marketed.

Wearing a t-shirt and shorts, I was instructed to walk around a square table with sharp corners and read my memorized script. In the midst of my performance, my leg accidentally scraped against the corner of the table and started to bleed. Profusely.

Blood was spilling down my leg as if I had been shot. The look of horror on the faces behind the table were clear to me, but I just kept going. The show must go on, so I ignored the wound and finished the scene.

I didn't get the commercial.

I got stitches.

That was humiliating on both a physical and financial level.

Until yesterday.

I had a real job interview for a stable and somewhat creative position as a Promo Producer for a national broadcasting company with 30 cable channels. I was psyched!

Getting dressed, I wanted to wear jeans as it's a casual atmosphere, but one of my best friends, a Forensic Psychiatrist, urged me to wear a skirt or pants. Sounds like a safe bet right? Respectful but not too formal. I put on a cute flowing blouse with a trendy bow, squeezed into a pair of Spanx, pulled on my favourite baggy striped pants and boots.

I arrived at the lavish marble lobby of the Television Studio about fifteen minutes early trying to stifle the desperation I was surely radiating. In the role of seasoned professional, I checked-in with one of the two Receptionists, and then sat strategically in their eye-line as I waited for the Hiring Manager to come and fetch me.

Fifteen minutes pass, Thirty minutes pass. Forty-five minutes pass. One hour passes.

The Receptionists and Employees kept passing by and looking at me like I'm some weirdo who wandered in off the street. I didn't want to bug the Hiring Manager, as he could be really busy with adult job stuff and I certainly did not didn't want to be perceived as difficult. BUT sensed that there must be something wrong. This was too long a delay.

So I approached the receptionists to confirm that the Hiring Manager was told an hour ago of my arrival. The receptionists looked at each other with a sort of idiotic, 'I didn't. Did you?’, Marcel Marceau style of miming. Turned out they never alerted the Hiring Manager of my presence. You'd think logic would have dictated that one of these
geniuses check on me and inquire as to why I had been loitering in their lobby for an hour.

When one of the brain-dead Receptionist twins reluctantly alerted the Hiring Manager that I was in the building. It was an hour and fifteen minutes past the scheduled interview time. I was livid but repressed it for a later explosion in the safety of my home.

The Hiring Manager rushed to meet me in the lobby and was very kind and understanding about the mix up as he escorted me down a hall surrounded by rows of busy employees hard at work in cubicles that lined our path.

I had my briefcase in-hand, and was prepared and ready to blow his mind with my talent and brilliance!

Suddenly I had a strange sensation. My legs were almost bound keeping me from taking a stride. I joked in my head that my pants must have fallen down, but that was too horrific a reality to consider.

Restricted by my own inertia, I quickly looked around and noticed that the Hiring Manager plus countless surrounding employees' mouths were gaping open as they stared at me.

I reluctantly looked down at my feet and saw my pants bunched around my ankles.

My pants had fallen down all the way to the floor.

I quickly grabbed my pants with my one free hand as the other was holding my briefcase, but I couldn't get them past my knees. I had to drop the briefcase and pull up my pants with both hands.

I looked behind and noticed a guy frozen stiff in his tracks, that reminded me of the Spanx featured slit from lady my vagina up to the top of my ass.

Not only was I 'tardy', but a perverted flasher to boot. Having my pants fall down in front of an entire floor at a job interview surrounded by employees was probably worse than if I had lit the building on fire.

Like the bleeding during the audition moment when I just kept going and pretended that nothing happened, I did the same with the fallen pants episode and proceeded as normal.

The Hiring Manager was visibly having difficult time talking to me and pretending that I did not just flash my lady bits.

This ranks as the #1 most mortifying moment not only in my life, but perhaps in the history of humankind. It was like those nightmares where your teeth are crumbling in your mouth - but actually happening in real life.

As I write this I want to crawl into a cave and become a recluse. I mean, what lesson am I supposed to take from my pants falling down at a job interview? Am I possessed? Am I the joke of the universe? Am I destined for a life of failure and poverty?

I don't know.

Right now I’m feeling so sorry for myself that it’s hard to breathe. I am going to hide in my bedroom curled up in a fetal position, and try to find some way to live with this humiliation which will be a Herculean feat.

Excerpt from “The Single Mother Diaries”
by Hayley Hofbauer

Contact Author

Other Works by Hayley Hofbauer

Poems For the Wry

Burying Frank

Woman with Child


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