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This is a question Biggest opportunity I've blown

Not Alan Partridge tells us: "I was once offered the chance to co-present a programme on national radio. Audience of millions, but blew up spectacularly, my entire contribution being the rustling of paper in the background. I was that bad, I have since burned my copy of the pilot show." Tell us about your big break, and how you messed it up.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:22)
Pages: Popular, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

I have a nasty habit of accidentally passing up opportunities.
By that I mean I regularly look back on things and think "Oooohhhhhh... crap. That's what I should have done". It's best highlighted by how utterly atrocious I was at wooing the opposite sex at University.

- Cue wavy lines -

2003. I was in my first year of University - a beautiful little place in a town called Egham, and at the time held the accolade for supposedly hosting 75% female students. Having only had the odd kiss and fumble with girls at School, it was like a whole other world - Union nights in particular were an astonishing sight to behold. Manys tight dress, such flesh, wow, and all that.

And of course, there was "Jess". (Name changed, to protect... well, her dignity rather than anything else).

Jess was stunning. Tall, slim, funny, a remarkably sexy american accent (okay, I'm odd like that) - she even seemed genuinely interested in our geeky nights of staying in playing Street Fighter or watching Anime. It's fair to say I was utterly smitten. However, my former shy and retiring self believed staunchly that she was totally and utterly out of my league. Looking back now, if I had a chance to tell my younger self one thing, it would be a rabid scream of "MY GOD SHE WANTS YOU, YOU GOON"...

The first "Blown Opportunity" was after a particularly drunken night out, we ended up back at my room, with a few friends. As everyone else seemed to retire to their own beds and halls of residence, it ended up with just me and Jess. As soon as I had closed the door from my best friend leaving, I saw jess removing her hoodie, clambering on to my bed, patting next to her, with beckoning eyes, asking "So, looks like we're all alone now... but I'm not tired. What should we do?". I swear it's not just my rose-tinted memory - she actually gave a proper full-on hollywood style wink. Thinking "Don't overevaluate it - she's definitely not in to you", I said "I know!" and put on a DVD.

A DVD of Fight Club. Sodding Fight Club. And then sat on the bed next to her, half lusting over her, half wondering why she suddenly seemed so quiet and upset.

Fast forward another couple of weeks - it was the regular "Sexual Health Week", culminating in an event in the Union where they practically threw buckets of prophylactics over the ebbing crowd. My friends and I were there of course - and that meant Jess was there too. The whole night I had been "dancing" with her (for that, read "standing around like a roman column in an earthquake, while she gyrated slowly in front"), trying not to feel guilty for sneaking peeks at her overly revealing top. Come leaving time, she turned to me and while holding a fistful of the free condoms littering the event, said, and I quote verbatim - "Wanna help me put these to good use?". "You're reading into this" said my inner-self, the cretin that it is. "She clearly has other stuff in mind - don't be creepy towards her". So, trying to act all cool, I responded with the idea "Yeah! Let's wrap everything in [best friend]'s room in them! Best prank ever!". At this point, she suddenly became inexplicably tired and wandered home.

The worst though was still to come. A few weeks after that, we were yet again out in the union - this time for a pub quiz, and were all really quite tipsy. What should have tipped me off was when she explained "Hey - let me crash at yours - I can't walk all the way home", even though her place was considerably closer than my halls of residence. So, off we trudged, along the way holding hands. "No, she's just doing it because she's a good friend" told my moron inner-self, yet again. Once we got back, we chatted for a bit, and decided it was time for bed. "Do you need anything to wear?" I asked. She replied - I kid you not - "No, that's okay, I don't wear anything in bed", and proceeded to disrobe. Catching a glimpse at what she was doing, I turned my back to give her some dignity, and turned back as I heard her getting into my single bed.

"Oh, there's not much room in here..." she purred. Of course, my ludicrously shy brain took over at this point yet again. "Oh, that's okay, I can sleep on the floor - you have the bed, you're the guest!" (All the while with my much frustrated other inner self screaming "FOR GODS SAKE! PROCREATION! INTIMACY! COITUS! WHY U NO?!", but being drowned out by my self-annihilative qualities. "Oh, no, it's fine - I insist, I won't have you sleeping on the floor!" she said, pulling the covers up to indicate I should just sodding well get in.

Did I get in? Nope.

For some reason, my inner mind told me "Ahh, this is clearly a test, to see if I respect her. If I do the gentlemanly thing here, she'll clearly want me to be her boyfriend!". So, I pulled two wheely desk chairs together, facing one another, draped a blanket over them, and used them as the worst bed conceivable. I stayed awake that entire night, not for the thoughts swimming through my mind, but for the sheer terror of falling to the floor, lest I fail to keep the chairs together.

TL;DR - A girl I was totally smitten with literally got into my bed totally naked, invited me in, and I was so shy I slept on two Staples-brand office chairs.

Apologies for length? I never got the chance to, unfortunately.
(, Wed 9 Apr 2014, 20:43, 15 replies)
Drink! Girls! Feck!
My naïve eighteen year old self: Would you like to come up for a coffee?
Cute blonde occupational therapy student: I'd like to come up but [small pause, eyes lower] not for a coffee.
MNEYS: Oh, sorry. I've only got coffee. Another time?
CBOTS: Yes. Maybe. See you.

Twenty years later, signals from my penis finally make it through to what I laughingly refer to as my brain

(, Fri 4 Apr 2014, 13:43, 2 replies)
In hindsight, when the kiwi girl told me her boyfriend was out for an hour and I offered her a beer, I probably shouldn't have gone to the bottle shop after she replied she would like to to have six with me

(, Mon 7 Apr 2014, 11:58, 3 replies)
The Crank.
I was formally the Assistant Head of Town Planning for my city council. I sat in on a meeting where demarcation was raised as a pressing concern. They were basically worried at the rate that land was being purchased, carved up and built on to meet the present needs of commercial expansion irrespective of whether this may be appropriate 10 or 15 years down the line. They were waffling away until I shouted as loud as I could that it was simple and I would solve it over the weekend, so they sent me away to draft a white paper outlining our approach to this.

When I got home and had more time to think it over I decided that things normally sort themselves out and that I wasn't going to bother doing the report. But then I became worried that when the meeting reconvened on Monday they would all be sad that there was no report or presentation. I couldn't let them down so I got to work on a better report - How to Carry Out the Perfect Cry-Wank.

It was a masterpiece. I won't go too in depth into it but here are some key points -

* rig up two TVs side by side. On one have Schindlers List playing, the other - some sexporn
* start off focussing solely on whichever of the two you find saddest (normally Schindler's List) and work yourself up into a sobbing squall.
* phase 3: generate an erection. This is tricky. You now need to eyeball the tv showing porn for long enough to arouse your peenus/penis but not so long that your sadness subsides. My report suggested reaching a semi and then making sporadic glances between the two TVs to create a happy medium between arousal and despair. I refer to this as "Crank Biting Point".
* once phase 3 has been attained you're almost there. You simply frottage away until ejaculation. You will find that your glances at Schindlers List become less frequent now as usually at this point the realisation that you're cracking one off over The Holocaust hits you and this perpetuates and reinforces your sadness levels without the need for visual stimulus. Word of warning - don't get complacent! If at the time of spunking there isn't any eyeball liquidity present - you have failed.

So anyway, I presented my weekends worth of research on the Monday morning. It took about an hour. Once I had finished the room was silent. For a moment I worried to myself that they may have preferred the Town Planning thing after all. But then The Chief Planning Officer slowly started to clap. Others joined in. Pretty soon, like in the films, they were all standing and applauding! They carried me out on to the street on their shoulders and we started dancing. Someone produced a 'boom box' or 'midi hifi system' and 'I've Got a Feeling' by The Black Eyed Peas featuring William started playing.

The only downside is I now have a mild Pavlovian arousal every time I see or hear something about the Hocaust, but I always did find it a bit sexy anyway.
(, Sun 6 Apr 2014, 14:42, 11 replies)
When I was younger a local neighbourhood kid had caught autism. This manifested itself in him being terrified of dogs. He was loathe to trust them and found them abhorrent.

One summer day he was out playing with a broom when a Greyfriars Bobby wandered over. The boy became energetically unusual. Crying. Spinning round and round. Slapping his head Babbitt style. Hilarious.

His mum decided this was the perfect chance to cure him of autism and told him "don't be scared. He's harmless. Stroke him."

With the old autism instantly fixed he confidently ruffled the dogs hair and called it a good lad.
The dog wasn't having that and bit him on the guts.

Disaster. It cranked the autism back up to eleven. Instantly lousing up the kids chance of ever going to a normal school. Sensing this, the young chap hit back. By hitting back. He punched the dog right in the heart, embarrassing it in front of all of us.

So autistic children and dogs. There is good and bad on both sides but it's rarely ever the children that get put down. Fuck you John Major.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 15:19, 4 replies)
I once had an offer to appear on Jim'll Fix It.

(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 15:06, 2 replies)
I missed the opportunity to cut Peaches skag even thinner.
Now my best customer's gone.
(, Mon 7 Apr 2014, 18:37, 10 replies)
I had a bath, but didn't take the opportunity to piss in my own mouth.

(, Fri 4 Apr 2014, 14:21, 1 reply)
Tch! Typical!!
I missed the opportunity to be the retired owner of an extraordinarily successful bricklaying empire, when one fateful day near the end of term I was asked by the school career advisor what I was going to do when I leave school.

“I’m going to be a bricklayer” I said. “Oh no you’re not, not with six ‘o’ levels” she said. Within half an hour I was enrolled on a local tech course feeding into the Quantity Surveying racket.

So here we are n years later, I’m a very averagely paid and overworked wage slave whilst all the bricklayers who had even the slightest bit of financial nous about them (admittedly there weren’t that many) formed a company, cleaned up in the housing booms of the 80’s and had retired to the South of France before the 90’s were done.

Meanwhile, I still have to argue over how to calculate the area of a fucking triangle to subcontractors who rock up to the office in Humvees or Bentleys and park next to my Focus.
(, Fri 4 Apr 2014, 3:18, 5 replies)
I missed the opportunity to win heaps of money at the bookies and on the stock market because I didn't have any knowledge of future events.
If I could do it all over again it would be very different.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 18:10, 2 replies)
She wanted to have sex with a girl. She wanted me to watch.
She wanted to have sex with the girl, and then she and I could have sex. I could not, however, have sex with the other girl.

I thought that was a bit unfair.

So I refused.
(, Tue 8 Apr 2014, 10:17, 12 replies)
I had a great answer to this QOTW
but I pressed enter too
(, Tue 8 Apr 2014, 6:43, Reply)
Internet dating pioneer
It was about 1997 and the internet was a wonderful place full of discovery and geocities with 33k modems and Yahoo was our master.
Being around 17 at the time I was not old enough to goto pubs and this new virtual world was a great place to escape to and that is when I discovered Yahoo chat rooms. It was innocent times and being able to talk to someone in real time who was hundreds of miles away was new to us all. I would talk to anyone who would talk back (when I wasn't harassing the Christians) and one day I met her. She was called Kim and from Belgium. We just clicked instantly. I was fighting the feelings for ages which I knew were there as it was online and how stupid was that eh? Finding love online was something no one had ever thought of before and didn't want to scare her away by sounding crazy.
I remember the moment. I was sitting on a bench outside a super drug with some college friends when it all came together. I loved that girl more than anything even though I only had one pic of her which took a hour to download! One evening before I could say anything she beat me to it and confessed love for me! From there on we would spend as much time talking online as we could and everything was going to work out.

Anyway to wrap it up, I never met her as I worried what people would think of me going all the way to meet up with someone online. She was the love of my life and I missed the chance big. Fast forward a few years and people proudly announce they met online while it is fast becoming the norm.
I am confident we would have met, married and be living happily ever after by now had I not been such a scared little goon. After realising I blew it I fell into a deep depression for years to come.


Sorry for length with no pun or hulk hogan related joke but you know, B3TA has helped me! Maybe next week I will lighten up?
(, Mon 7 Apr 2014, 0:24, 18 replies)
I could've Nailed it.
In the early 1990s I had an audition to review films alongside Johnny Vaughan on the telly. All I had to do was be filmed talking about the last movie I saw. The last film I had seen was Evita starring Madonna.

But I was so nervous my mind went completely blank. My opening line of my review was "it's got Jimmy Nail in it."
I then went on to repeat this random line "It's got Jimmy Nail in it" a further 8 times. Each time I delivered the line in slightly different speech patterns. Finally I ended the review by holding up a board with 4 stars on it.

The producers looked shocked and stunned. I left in silence and funnily enough didn't hear from them again.
And I fucking hate Evita now.
I'm still a Jimmy Nail fan though.
(, Fri 4 Apr 2014, 18:51, 5 replies)
£25 for that?
In the final year of sixth form, a friend asks if I'd like to go to a gig. It'll be great, he says; it's in London.
"Who's playing?" I ask.
"Well they haven't really announced that yet."
"Hmmmm," says I. "And how much is it?"
"HOW MUCH!!!???"
"...but that includes coach travel from Shropshire!" he reassured me.
To cut a long story short, I baulked at paying that astronomical fee for a gig in the 80s, even if it was all for charity. I believe Bob Geldof and his showbiz mates put on a good show though.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 23:21, 11 replies)
I still don't understand how he managed this one.
The friend who first taught me to photoshop had a long standing desire to emigrate to New Zealand with his family. He also wanted to do what he did best, and mess around with pictures all day long.

So when he was offered a job in New Zealand working for a new film company who were rumoured to be planning a remake of King Kong, I was quite surprised when he said to me that he'd only accept the job if they were definitely doing King Kong. When they told him they couldn't disclose what film they'd be making next, he turned them down.

He's regretted it ever since, as he's always been a big Lord of the Rings geek. Poor bloke.

I ended up working with him a few years later and he was not a happy individual...
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 21:55, 14 replies)
I was offered the opportunity to produce 'Gangnam Style'
but thinking that the lyrics were bollocks, and knowing that fish are popular with Asians, wanted to change the name of the song to tuna tea. As it was thought to be a bit racist, the job of producer went elsewhere.

A very big blown opa tuna tea.

No, YOU fuck off.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 14:52, 2 replies)
Near Amsterdam is a small dockyard area called Bigge.
(I'm getting embarrassed already and I haven't thought it through to the end yet!)
Because it was adjacent to the bulb fields a group of beekeepers wanted to take advantage of the site to produce honey.
After much discussion they failed to come to an agreement so that was the Bigge stop port unity 'ive blown.
Ok I'll kill myself.
(, Wed 9 Apr 2014, 19:52, 4 replies)
if only
If I had any talent and had practiced all the time and if I was lucky enough to be "spotted" at a young age and signed up to a top club and if I had any interest in football whatsoever and if my talent was nurtured in the right way and if I had a good agent with my best interests at heart who guided me through the best transfers I could have really been a contender.
And there's a fairly good chance I could get these damn rape charges dropped.
(, Sun 6 Apr 2014, 12:21, Reply)
Lottery Laughs
When the first National Lottery draw happened way back in 1994, I was a student living in halls.

The hype about the lottery was huge and we all trooped off to buy our tickets at the local newsagent. Come the night of the big first draw, we huddled round the rented TV, desperately clutching our tickets out of that shithole.

But there's always one - one idiot who'll try as hard as they can to spoil everyone's fun. In this case it was an oddball called Sam Regis, who carefully calculated his paltry student loan / grant payments on a spreadsheet and loudly declared that he would not be playing the lottery as he couldn't afford to lose 10p, let alone a whole pound.

After listening to Sam Regis moan for far too long, one of the rugby club jumped him, sat on him and threatened to piss in his mouth if he didn't chose six numbers from 1-49 immediately and join in. Poor old Sam rattled of a series of digits relating to birthdays and significant dates and soon the rugger bugger left him alone.

Come the draw - yes, you've guessed it! Sam Regis' numbers came in - and if he'd bought a ticket, he would have won nearly a grand. Ha! How we laughed.

I'm sure if he saw this qotw, he'd be posting this story from his own point of view. If he were still alive, that is.
(, Fri 4 Apr 2014, 17:09, 41 replies)
Missed opportunity to win ££££££££££££££
When I was a student my housemates were the sort of blokes who place bets on things, including the Grand National. I'm the sort of bloke who's never even stepped foot in a bookies. They were trying to convince me to place a bet on the Grand National and I said, "Nah. I reckon it probably won't even happen this year, the IRA will probably phone in a bomb threat or something".

And that's exactly what happened. If I'd placed a bet on the Grand National not going ahead, I could've won a shit-ton of money. But I'd also probably have ended up being interviewed by the police about what exactly I knew.
(, Fri 4 Apr 2014, 16:04, Reply)
Someone once asked if I'd like to accompany him to the bookies,
And I politely declined, thus blowing my opportunity to be one of those sad fucks that gambles, and who then wonders bitterly why people they know are millionaires when their own life has turned to shit.
(, Fri 4 Apr 2014, 11:18, 21 replies)
New gambling career
In a previous life as a bookmaker, I was employed by a company and loving it. Being paid to watch sport, getting tips, free tickets to most sporting events on days off.

But as most people do, you read the industry paper for better, bigger jobs.

I applied for two. One was for a small betting firm of 10 people who wanted to revolutionise gambling by removing the bookie. The other was for a stats company of about 4 people. Having done statistics at uni, I thought this could be great. Both gave me interviews, one at 10 am, the other at 5pm on the same day.

I needed to stay in London, so a mate offered to put me up. And of course we went for a pint. Which turned into 2, then into about 6 and off clubbing in London.

Didn't make it to the first one, still asleep. They eventually wore me up about lunchtime and asked if I'd like to come in that afternoon. I said no thanks and went back to sleep.

Went to the second and had to rush to the loo to throw up. They wanted me to stay, I did and must have impressed as they still offered me the job as assistant Statistician, but I felt that bad I apologised and turned it down, then left.

Well, the first firm became Betfair, and are the biggest betting exchange company in the world. The second became OPTA stats, and I eventually got to know the bloke who got the job I went for and he's now rich.

TL:DR, getting hammered once cost me 2 great jobs.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 21:23, 4 replies)
So I went round to Dennis Hopper's house for tea
and we were having tuna - lot's of it, fresh from the insanely hot griddle.

Blah blah, I blew the biggest Hopper's Tuna Tea or something, I can't be arsed making it work properly.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 19:41, 3 replies)
I saw ITV Newscaster Lucy Meacock
out shopping in Chester one time. I, still to this day regret not pointing to my crotch and shouting "LUCY! Me COCK?"
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 19:34, 5 replies)
The world's stupidest idea.
An ex-colleague emailed me to ask if I wanted to join him on to work on a new e-commerce application he was involved in. The client was a once trendy tech company that had seen better days. In the post dot-com crash I was interested in any work that was happening even if the clients finances were distinctly wobbly. But this wasn't any e-commerce system, it would only sell you stuff if you had the right hardware. If you didn't have an approved device it wouldn't let you connect, so you couldn't even see what was for sale let alone purchase anything.

I thought it the stupidest idea ever. What was the point of a system that purposefully turned away the vast majority of potential customers? Shaking my head in disbelief at another daft idea dreamed up by a clueless MBA,I declined the offer. And that is how I managed not to become a lead developer on the project that would become iTunes and managed not to join Apple when it was at its lowest ebb.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 18:27, 4 replies)
Fairground Ride Terror
In a bid to prove to my friends I wasn't scared of being thrown around at great velocities, I boarded a platform ride that swirled around on one axis. It was the tamest ride in the amusement park, and it's maximum height was 3 metres. With approximately 30 onlookers (mostly parents of the content young children sitting either side of me) I screamed instantly. Loudly. 20seconds later the operator stopped the ride and told me to get off because I was scaring the other kids.
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 16:34, 2 replies)
[sensational title]
[lies which say that I'm excellent enough to have had an absurdly good opportunity presented to me, but unfortunate enough that circumstances forced me to have to miss out through no fault of my own]

[some final sentence which will make everyone flatter and commiserate me]
(, Thu 3 Apr 2014, 15:18, 7 replies)

This question is now closed.

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