Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Do I measure up?

I eventually received a call from Dr G. He explains to me that the members of the men's kung fu group interview prospective members. I am to go meet these men, be interviewed, then something further will happen. I am nervous. I have never been asked to do something like this before. It all sounds quite officious and quite serious.

I receive a call from a man named Jeff. He tells me that he is a member of the men's group. I am to meet them at such and such a day and place for the interview. We exchanges some small talk and end the call. The more I hear about this, the more the anticipation builds, the more I wonder what is going on. I wanted to learn how to correct my health problems. Now I am being interviewed for suitability by total strangers.

The interview was in the apartment of one of the members of the group. They were all there when I arrived. The apartment was small, the living room was cozy. I shook hands and introduced myself to the 4 or 5 men there. I took off my jacket and we prepared for the interview.

It was as officious as it sounds. Or perhaps I treated it that way. The group of men all sat on one side of a low table while I sat on the other side. We all sat on the ground. Some people chose to use cushions to sit on the ground. The owner of the apartment brought out some tea and placed it on the table. The tea was the traditional chinese kind of tea in a small pot with small cups. The cups were filled for everyone and the interview began.

Honestly, I hardly remember the interview. I was so anxious that I think the blood to my head was being cut off. The men all seemed friendly. I had no bad feelings from any of them. They were a mixed group. A smaller asian guy, a smaller white guy, a medium sized white guy and 2 larger sized white guys.

The questioned me about my previous kung fu experience. I told them I had practiced martial arts off and on for 10 years. I had taken many different styles, never staying with a specific one. They asked about my reason for wanting to join their group. I explained that I had been involved in a martial art where I felt I had learned to do things wrong. This had severely affected my health. It was my hope that by joining their group, I would learn a way to correct the health problems.

In general I was an anxious and abrupt person at that time. It was an effect of doing the kung fu wrong. I was not outgoing in an easy and friendly way. I was very....mechanistic and literal. The men had questions for me, I provided the answers. I do not recall any friendly banter during the interview. It was very serious and goal related.

After a short time, the questions had been exhausted. They thanked me for attending. I was anxiously awaiting some kind of sign of a decision. I was truly desperate to join because I was convinced they held the answer to my health problems. They let me know that they had to consider what had taken place, let Dr G know what had happened and consult with him, then they would let me know something.

Boy was I disappointed.

When I look back on the interview, I wonder at the impression I made. As I said, my speech was short and clipped. I was not overtly friendly, involving myself in easy banter. Because of practicing kung fu incorrectly, my posture was also distorted. At the time, I was unaware of this. Looking back I can see that I must indeed have looked to be in poor health. I was hunched over at the shoulders, my head was bent downwards, I was twisted slightly to one side.

My attitude during the interview now that I think about it would have been one of desperation. I was desperate for relief from my health problems. I was looking at them as doctors or medical people and presenting myself as a sick patient. I am sitting here thinking I felt as if I had to sell my health problems in order for them to accept me.

That bothered me. I felt that a doctor should help anyone who needs help. To have to go thru an interview to "prove" the severity or reality of the illness did not sit well with me. It was not something I actively thought about. What was uppermost in my mind was "Did I measure up?"