Don’t watch, you’re making me nervous

Since I’ve been at my job for a year and three months and three weeks (but who’s counting anyway?) I don’t really get nervous before going out and hunting down sources or making cold phone calls. It’s just part of my job now. Interviewing people is fun because I get to meet and talk to people who will either become important sources later down the line (or, I will never see again!)

Today after an interview, the businesswoman told me she was really nervous before our interview because she had never talked to anyone from a newspaper before. It caught me by surprise. I never thought other people would be intimidated by me. I didn’t think accomplished 39-year-olds would even admit to being nervous talking to me. I told her that she did a fine job but she said it was thanks for me making the situation comfortable. I was easy to talk to, she said.

In fact — she was so scared, or just thought it would be amusing to bring someone along — she had her business friend with her. At the end of the interview her friend asked if it would be OK if her husband emailed me because he was interested in maybe pursuing a career in journalism. “Do you ever have people shadow you?” she asked.

I smirked and said “no” and that having someone follow me around would probably make me nervous. None the less, I told her that I would be happy to answer any questions her husband may have on my job.

It’s like when you can parallel park perfectly when you’re alone but if there’s someone in the passenger seat, you can never seem to park at all. Don’t watch, you’re making me nervous.


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