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This is a question Out of my depth

As a schoolkid, I signed up for a public speaking contest purely as a ruse to meet girls. It haunts me still: in front of 300 people, I started to speak, dried up, stood there for what felt like half an hour staring at the floor and then slowly walked back to my seat. Oh, and the girl I liked laughed.

Have you ever been utterly, completely, devastatingly out of your depth?

(, Thu 14 Oct 2004, 15:07)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Fresh from the deep end...
It's Friday at 16:00. My boss has just left for the weekend and he's off all next week on holiday. Everyone (about 7 or eight people) is wishing him a good holiday, but there's something else they all know but I don't. I can sense it, but I go on regardless.

In a very informal way I say 'hey - have a good one'. Everyone sniggers and he replies with a 'Whey Heeeey'. Then heads out the door.

Once he's gone I ask what everyone else knows that I don't.

"Oh - he's going for the snip this weekend"

I'll get me coat - monkeyphuqers
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 16:11, Reply)
Seems winging it is a popular theme
One of the first jobs I applied for whilst at university to get some extra cash was at the local car accessories shop. Mainly because it was less than a minutes walk from my flat.

Dressed up in a lovely suit, sat down looking confident and happy.... rattled off how I had regularly fixed up cars as a teenager with my dad(I once watched him test the oil).
Interviewer seemed very very impressed with my attitude and abilities.

Then he asked me, quite out of the blue, "What does a clutch do and how does it work?"


I sat for about 30 seconds in silence before deciding to reply, "I have no idea. I'll get my coat."
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 14:56, Reply)
Kenny Dalglish
Years ago my brother was playing junior footy in the North Merseyside leagues... His team was playing against a team that had Paul Dalglish (King Kenny's Son). Anyway the match was well under way and I thought I'd go down and check out the match and see my brother play... As I approached the pitch I saw my old man on the touchline bangin on to some fella in a sheepskin coat.. as I got nearer I realised my Dad was talking to Kenny Dalglish, one of the greatest Liverpool players ever, championship winning manager (he had just won the league with Blackburn about a week before). As I got on within earshot of them both... the first thing I heard from the old man was "Your'e talking shite Kenny, they should be playing 5 in midfield..."
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 14:55, Reply)
must agree with former post. I spent a year in Australia and decided to become a tanned and expert surf machine. Unfortunately i had a lot more bottle than skill or sense and so on about my third attempt went out in overhead surf conditions.

I've never come closer to death. I spent about half an hour trying to get "out back" past the line of breaking waves. Every time i made a few meters the next wave would crash on my head, drag me under and push me back towards the beach. I was pretty much exhausted so i started to back in.... which turned out to be just as difficult as i was now caught in some kind of evil rip current / eddy that kept me firmly in position for the largest waves to come crashing down on me.

I was really terrified but luckily for me the life guards in australia are terrific, on the ball and completely unsympathetic. I got hauled out of the water by one who told me that

"we pull about 20 of you fucking poms out of here every day. When will you silly bastards learn?"
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 13:52, Reply)
More Military Humiliation
To "boost" morale for the troops stationed in the middle of the desert with a ratio of 6,000 men to 1 woman, the Commanding General was fond of throwing impromptu competitions on Fridays and having each unit hand select a team for said competition.

Due to equal equality and minority rules and all that, I was usually the "token female" for each and every blasted event, no matter what that event might be.

So along comes Friday, my Captain calls me into his office and announces that I will be taking part in a base-wide swim meet.

Two problems - #1 I am a horrid swimmer, adept only at flailing and floating but not necessarily moving. #2 The only bathing suit I own is a racy two-piece number, clearly not suitable for a General Sponsored Event.

I borrowed a swimsuit from my dippy roomate, a blonde from Iowa who walked with a permanent limp, caused, no doubt, by the aforementioned men to woman ration. She was hungover, and waved towards her wall-locker and indicated that I help myself.

So there I am, getting ready to swim the 100 Meter Butterfly. I don't even quite know what that is but I'm a sport, right, so I watch other people and practice on the side by trying to imitate their arm and leg movements. A General's aide asked me if I was all right. I scowled at him. Clearly, as a US Marine, I was invincible and destined for winning.

I hit the water, begin flailing and flailing for all I am worth, sending up mighty spouts of water and large waves to my lane partners. I was clearly on fire, I was going to somehow win this thing, even without knowing the damn swim stroke because I WAS THAT GOOD.

Cut to the next scene. I come up to the end, gasping and gulping, grab the side of the pool and look around. There is no one around me. I'm thinking that victory is mine, I have finished first. No such luck. Everyone is already done and out of the pool, drying off and laughing at me.

Dejected but not completely defeated, I try to drag my exhausted carcass out of the pool. This results in a very unattractive posture wherein one foot is up and I am hanging on with one arm, splayed open for all the world to see.

That's when the collective gasp goes up from the crowd.

It turns out that the bathing suit I am wearing is a Tanning Swimsuit, the kind you can get a Tan through, if you are into that sort of thing.

It isn't meant to get wet.

When it does get wet -

It becomes totally see-through.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 13:49, Reply)
Hockey? No thanks
Somehow, the games teacher decided it would be a good idea to put me in goal, for the top team, for one hockey match. There were 4 games groups in our year- I was in the 3rd group, which was one above the asthmatics, the epileptics and the girl with the metal hand. Because I wasn't actually disabled you see, just very very bad at sport.

Somehow, even though I knew the levels of my incompetence, I constructed a Girls of St Clares-esque fantasy where I would become a hockey champion, become extremely popular and successful, and would be lauded by the school and beyond. This was not to be.

1) We were playing the extremely posh (and talented) girls school from up the road

2) Much of the regular team were also not there, meaning that much more ball action actually reached me than I had imagined

3) I was disgustingly hungover, having got drunk for one of the first times in my life the night before.

We lost. 11-0. I slunk home.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 13:31, Reply)
everytime i speak!
i have a speach impediment that i'm 100% sure has cost me employment! its not my fault no one can understand a word i say!
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 13:24, Reply)
Gods Teeth!
I've never told anyone this and thinking of it now still makes me cringe.

I was an Alter boy (no i never got fondled!) at my local parish church till I was about 7. I had no interest in it I just seemed to get roped into it.
Anyway I'd been doing this for about a year and I had to be the worst alter boy ever, I had no clue what I was meant to be doing I just copied everyone else.
This one day the organist chap who runs the altar boys services comes to me and asks me to do a special mid week service, "okay why not" says I.
I get dropped off on the day by my parents at which point I realise I'm the only one there.. as in the only alter boy.
All of a sudden I have no one to copy off.. Fear grips me! I don't know what the shit to do.
So I follow the priest out and sort of kneel.. I seemed to remember I was meant to do this..
What followed was a shambles of me droppping things and falling over.
There was also one point where I leaned over to the priest and explained "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!"
Sadly the father was microphoned and it was broadcast throughout the church.

I quit that very same day..
I still shudder on the very rare occasions that I enter a church.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 12:20, Reply)
Bsc Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at Sussex University
I think it was the Algorithmics exam - I sat for 45 minutes doing nothing, opened the answer booklet drew a small circle, two dots for eyes and a downturned mouth, then got up and left.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 12:03, Reply)
there are some things that are best forgotten
but when it's question of the week....

when i was a kid, about 12 i learnt how to moonwalk and at every family event i was instructed to dance like michael jackson a la smooth criminal complete with hat. after i would flip the hat off and collect about a fiver. great job! but then came a holiday in spain at a huge community bbq. where my parents forced me on stage infront of about 500 people. the usual confident McFly was a bit nervous but i thought fuck it. i started well. everyone was clapping and cheering until i tried to jump onto a raised platform. my jelly legs didn't make the 2' jump. i landed chest first followed by chin, nose, forehead. everyone laughed at me like i was a cunt but my humiliation had not finished. totally embarassed i thought it best to run off. i jumped down and ran outside only to step on a wet mat, land on my bony arse and fall into the outdoor pool. fuckbolloxcunt.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 12:00, Reply)
embarrassment magnet
somebody pulled my pants down when i was in kindy and everybody laughed. is that not utterly humiliating enough?? Well i've remembered to this day even though i am WELL into adulthood!

oh. and to make matters worse, it was grandparents day.

yeah, ha bloody ha

mental scarring is evil.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 11:57, Reply)
Not being funny
Age 11, Pontins holiday camp. Young me decides out of boredom to enter 'talent' contest. Incredibly my ill-prepared naff impressions and thievery of the routines of Andrew O'Connor off TV's On The Waterfront is enough to see me victorious against my nearest rivals, two skinhead brothers who do 'acrobatics' (forward rolls) and a girl who 'sang' 'Nothing's Gonna Change (My Love For You)' by Glen Medeiros.

Anyway, as well as getting a medal and a lovely photo I get to go to the FINAL which is at a big Pontins in October - meaning I have to take A DAY OFF SCHOOL. My entire family come with me to 'support' and I assure them that I've worked out an hilarious routine, when I clearly haven't, even to the extent of asking my dad to acquire some bizarre props for me which I have pretty much no intention of ever using.

Having done absolutely no preparation whatsoever, I get there and DIE ON MY 11 YEAR OLD ARSE in front of 300 people including my Parents and Brother, and to this day, we never speak of this. In my memories, a baby even starts crying during a silence following one of my 'jokes'.

Ironically, I now make a living from comedy.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 11:51, Reply)
Ages ago at the Scottish Schools Althetics Championships...
...I was taking part in the triple jump and I had to ask the organisers to move the take-off line forward because I knew that I wouldn't even reach the sandpit.

I didn't win.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 11:47, Reply)
At the opening party of Cardiff's Toucan club
I was introduced to a hairy man in a vest. He mentioned he was in a band, and I basically said "really? Oh, I'm in a band too, we're really good..." and drunkenly banged on for ages about my band.

As I staggered away, I realised it was Griff from the Super Furries and I'd just spent several minutes banging on about my student band.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 11:17, Reply)
I was 14
and somehow a 18 year old girl I knew liked me. One day she was bored and wanted to take my virginity I was so vigoriously protecting.

That alone should be enough ,but in her infinite wisdom decided to call one of her girlfriends to join her in her quest.

Needless to say I have never been so scared in my life. Nothing happened ofcourse as I was as limp as a deflated balloon.

I wonder what those 2 are doing now?

/starts looking up phonenumbers.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 11:15, Reply)
Just a girl, stood in front of a boy.....
I was madly in love with a boy at work. One night working late, it's just him and me in the office.

I decide to tell him of my undying love. He looks scared.

I physically restrain him by wrapping both my legs around his waist when he doesnt seem to return my affection. This doesnt work either, strangely.

Cue him muttering something about meeting a girl in Hull and then running out to his car. I see him on the CCTV camera dropping his keys before speeding out of the carpark like Jenson Button.

Don't know what's worst. Being rejected or being rejected for a girl from Hull. HULL FOR CHUFF SAKE.

(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 11:14, Reply)
oooh. exams
exams=winging it.

Practical Maths AS level. I'd done nothing but mess around during the course, and I'd only taken it to support another subject which I'd been forced to drop due to evil benefits people. After 5 minutes I put me hand up and asked to go early. When asked why I said that it might as well be written in heiroglyphics, got up and went.

Religious Studies AS Level Being a Bible-believing Christian, my answer to the essay question "Why did the early church talk about the virgin birth?" was simple "because it happened". Wonder why I failed?

Music theory level 3 wierd one this - my tutor accidentally entered me for the wrong level (level 2 would have been pushing it). I didn't study or actually know anything about the subject, yet I passed with distinction. wierd.

New Testament Greek The tutor had gone on about how learning a language like this was a bit like a layer cake - you had to get all the layers even or it'd slump. For my exam I answered question 1 and drew a picture of a collapsed cake.

I like exams.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 11:08, Reply)
as an unemployed 18-year old
i decided to go for a job at our price (now defunct music shop). being a massive music fan at the time it was one of the few jobs i actually wanted. i got an interview, dressed up in my smartest suit (well, my only suit) and turned up. first of all there was a music test, where you had to answer questions about the top 40 and things like that, i got 34 out of 35, and the woman doing the interview said it was the highest score anyone had ever got in that store.

but then i had to go and fuck it up.

she asked me loads of those psychometrically-induced questions about what i thought of the store in terms of appearence, price, quality, selection, friendliness etc.

her: "so what do you think distinguishes our price from other record stores?"

me: "well...um...it smells a lot better than the other shops..."

it was at that point that i realised i'd totally blown any chances of even stepping foot in that shop again. suffice to say, i didn't get the job.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 11:07, Reply)
I wanted a few days off school when I was about 10...
Someone at school had got appendicitis a few months ago, and I'd been sitting next to her for most of the day, so I watched her, and got a fair idea of how to fake it (ie it hurts whenever you stand up or sit down, and it hurts more when the doctor takes their hand off your stomach than when they push down).

Long story short, I was getting wheeled into operating theatre telling them there was nothing wrong with me, while my mother and a nurse were telling me to hush, and that everything would be ok.

I had a hernia when I was 22 and it was just under my scar.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 10:48, Reply)
I went to a very religious school...
...which is unsurprising when you take into consideration that it was run by nuns (erk!), anyway part of our normal school day was the repetition of a prayer at the start of every lesson (and, as testament to just *how* well this mindless religious indoctrination worked, I can't remember what prayer it was...nor can I remember what religion the school was...I know it was one of the ones that begins with a 'C'!) and this happened every day for the many years I went to school there.

Now, what with me being a rebellious young upstart and all, this prayer at the start of every lesson provided a perfect moment for arsing about, changing the words to *hilarious* dirty versions, trying to make other people laugh etc...which was great...it wasn't great when I got caught, however, and made to stand at the front of the class and say this prayer by myself! "Ha!...that's easy!" I thought initially...until I realised that, without the safe drone of everyone repeating the same thing, I had absolutely no idea how any of this prayer went...so I stood there, for what felt like an eternity, reciting the first 4 words and then looking very puzzled over and over again...*sigh*...compared to that I reckon crucifixion was a doddle ;)
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 10:35, Reply)
'Winging' It
Many moons ago I had been working for about 4 years in the City and had had just about enough of it so decided to get a lovely local job (so I could spend an extra hour in bed in the mornings if nothing else). So I applied for a job at a pretty large company that made the interiors for aeroplanes. As the interview was lined up by an agency I had no info on the company whatsoever (recruitment people get off my back I did the job myself for 4 years) so blindly went into it thinking I could 'wing' it. However, it appears that just saying 'Yes I know lots about planes - I've been on them on holiday' and 'oh yes - my best friend is a pilot' really doesn't get you that far. Out of my depth? If I had actually been on an plane I probably would've flung myself out of it minus the parachute............ Piss it
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 10:33, Reply)
Are you an honest bidder?
This is a bit of a long 'un, so I'll try and judo chop straight to it.
Three teenage lads out for a day of nonsense in London. Years ago down Oxford Street you used to find open shop fronts were some hookie macmurphy with a microphone was selling all manner of electrical finery for knock down prices. The shop would fill up and keen bargain hunters who had to bid for some random gizmo. People were walking away with gameboys, stereos and the like for twenty notes. The whole thing was a fiddle but we were young and deeply ignorant of the wickedness of capitalism.
Naturally, we were drawn in by the smell of a bargain. Bidding began for a top of the range camera, easily two hundred quids worth, yours for fifty sunshine. People put up their hands, the sales fella asks, 'Are you an honest bidder?', 'Yes' replies the bidder. 'Put your money away, give him a camera', bosh. My eyes glazed over and suddenly everyone in the room faded away, suddenly my hand was in the air, the banter was exchanged and suddenly I had a brand new camera that I couldn't possibly afford in front of me. Then the money began to be collected. The fog cleared. My friends had edged nervously away, and suddenly the open shop front was closed and and big fellas with blunt instruments were on the doors. The world fell out of my arse. Mumbling an excuse that I was a wee bit short of funds and was just popping out to the cash point, I left the camera, circumvented the door monkeys and ran like a dog botherer caught by the park keeper.

Thankfully, now I'm a communist and I've never looked back.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 10:25, Reply)
the poop chute

i play in a band. a rather successful one where i'm from, and we rehearse often, especially weekends. one saturdat aft, after a heavy night of debauchery i proceeded to catch the bus to our space ( my singers house). as soon as i got on the bus i had to take a wicked poop. guts were churning and control was slim at best. i made it to the space but no one was home. i was desperate. so... i broke into his garage and proceeded to shite in a plastic bag that was laying around, spilling sewage everywhere (think melted choco ice cream but warm). pissed off and mystified as to what to do with said article of evidence, i trotted down the alley to hand it off to the neighbors trash can... only to find an old woman doing yardwork and staring bullets into me as i lobbed it and ran off... haven't seen her since. smell u later...
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 10:14, Reply)
Medical drama
Most of the nerves that supply your body come off from your spinal cord, except for 12 which just sprout out from the brain. A few of these come out through the front of your skull. The boss handed me a scalpel and asked me to follow them from the brainstem outwards. Unfortunately, I knew bugger all about this area, but the problems didn't stop there: I was holding the scalpel wrong, I couldn't separate the membranes, I even cut through some of the nerve fibres. After half an hour of faffing about getting nowhere, I had to get help.

Luckily, I'm a medical student and this wasn't a real operation. The person on the table had been dead for 2 months and their brain was lying on a box next to me, so it was probably a little late to do much.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 10:00, Reply)
Fucked outta my mind..
..sitting in the front room of a well known DJ surrounded by "cool" music celebs watching their well known faces morph and change into all sorts of scary shit, not knowing any of them well enough to say "My god, I am fucking desperate for a huge shite!"

And then holding it in for 3 hours.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 9:53, Reply)
now I'm not actually stupid but..
In college I did nothing but mess about with my mates. The pinnacle of me doing nothing was the final Maths exam. My paper literally had 'x=' written at the top and absolutely nothing else. I bloody well sat there for the whole time though, which is even sadder as I was trying. I'm much smarter now though, promise.

Oh yeah I used to studder worse than Ronnie Barker on Open all hours. So the most dreaded moment is the regular reading out loud in class moments. Fuck that sucked, cruel bastards. Funny thing was once I'd had enough of taking ages to get through a sentence and said 'look do I have to do this, it's pointless' in perfect non-stutter speak. See I stopped stuttering the moment I truly stopped caring about anything, which works to this day.

Ballroom dancing + ultra geek with glasses + braces + bowl cut + stutter * making the girls choose the guys = Remaining girls refusing to pick from the last of the boys which was always me and small group of outcasts. Once I walked out after numerous minutes of agonising inevitability as the other boys got picked one by one and had to write a page on why I did it. I let them have it in writing. I'm mean ballroom fucking dancing for 12 year olds? are they mad?
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 8:18, Reply)
Physics, I was pretty good at science in school and enjoyed GCSE physics (got a grade B).

/starts to rock back and forth.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 7:29, Reply)
yer staines swimming pool the deep end was over 8ft deep
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 7:24, Reply)
I can't remember. I think they've all been opressed.
(, Fri 15 Oct 2004, 7:21, Reply)

This question is now closed.

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