Tuesday, 12 February 2008

The Shampoo Attack


I presented to Sanyo yesterday morning.

I didn't have much time to prepare for it as I spent most of last week feeling sorry for myself. It's not the first time I haven't prepared for a presentation. I usually slip into a professional mode and I somehow manage to pull it off.

Not this time.

My audience were three women. For some reason Women are much more difficult to present to. They look for mistakes. They compete with each other to ask the most complicated questions. If anything is going to go wrong in a presentation it normal happens at the end during the discussion.

I messed up right at the beginning.

"As Sony have a large range of products, catering for different consumer groups..."

Gay Boss went red in the face. What did I do wrong?

Shit! I'm presenting to Sanyo not Sony!

I felt a wave of hysteria erupt as I realised my mistake. I had to fight to keep myself from laughing out loud. The three witches stared at me in silence. One of them was writing something down on her notepad.

That's it. I've fucked it up.

I somehow got through the rest of the presentation without any further hiccups. I doubt we'll hear from them anytime soon.

Gay Boss was livid. He had a "chat" with me when they left.

"What the fuck is wrong with you? I can't believe you could be so fucking stupid. You completely fucked up!"

He tends to swear a lot when he's angry.

Logically I knew how serious this was but I still couldn't repress my laughter. I buried my face in my hands and silently shook while Gay Boss stalked up and down my office ranting and raving.

I decided to stay put in my office for the rest of the day to "reflect on my current issues".

At 5:30 on the dot I picked up my bag and locked up my office. For some odd reason I was happy. I'd completely messed up a potentially great deal but I was happy.

I got to the bottom of the stairs when I sudden rush of pain enveloped my head. I gripped the banister to keep my balance. I stayed still. The pain disappeared as quickly as it came. I took a deep breath.

Another pain rush. It felt like my brain cells were exploding.

I sank down onto the first step and cradled my head. I couldn't breath. What was happening to me?

"Oh my God! Elise!"

Bimbo came running down the stairs and sat down beside me.

Another rush of pain.

I gripped her hand.

"I think I'm dying."

I honestly did. You read about these things all the time. A perfectly healthy person dying on the spot with an intense headache.

Bimbo panicked. She burst into tears. Her panic had a huge effect on me. The pain suddenly got blindingly worse. I couldn't speak.

Bimbo called Stoner from her phone while she held me. He was there within a minute. The two of them walked me to Bimbo's car. Stoner sat in the back with me. My head seemed to get worse. Shooting pains running through my brain. I had to remind myself to breath.

"She's having a brain haemorrhage!" Bimbo sobbed from the drivers seat. "I love you Elise. I haven't told you this before but I really do."

"She's not having a brain haemorrhage!" Stoner shouted back. "She's experiencing an allergy attack. Did you use a new shampoo?"

....

"You've experienced an anxiety attack."

The doctor at the hospital was very definite about it. The waves of pain had slowly diluted by the time he saw me. I was left with a dull headache.

"But I'm happy!" I cried out. Honestly, the doctor didn't know what he was talking about. Doctors make mistakes all the time. Remember that surgeon that left his forceps in a patient and sewed him up? The headache was not an anxiety attack. I'm not anxious about anything.

He smiled kindly and squeezed my shoulder.

"These things happen. The next time you experience it remember to take a deep breath and relax as much as you can. It will pass. Would you like me to prescribe some medication?"

This was embarrassing. I shook my head.

I told Bimbo and Stoner that it was an allergy attack. Bimbo freaked out and asked what shampoo I had used.

"Um... it was Morrison's own brand."

Sorry Morrison's, it just came out! I'm sure your product range is very safe.

35 comments:

Glugster said...

A panic attack? I didn't know you get a blinding headache when you have a panic attack.

Hope things starts getting better soon.

Grilled Pizza said...

I have never heard headaches connected to panic attacks before either, well you learn something new...
Hope you're ok! Am sure the delectable solicitor is looking after you, you lucky thing!
GP xxx

The Divine Miss M said...

I deal with stress really badly, I tend to do exactly what you did and push it all down and pretend that all is fine and dandy. I don't even feel stressed.

However it also does the exact same thing to me - I get panic attacks. Not usually so soon after the incident that stressed me out though!

I was recently on a train late Saturday morning heading to climbing when all of a sudden the world went completely black, I couldn't breath properly and I was having heart palpatations.

Panic attack deluxe.

Apparently I need to deal better with stress.

Peter Mc said...

I use to have panick attacks and every now and again would get a blinding pain at the back of my head! Not knowing what it was made me more anxious and have more panic attacks! It got so much better once someone told me what they where and I did a little research myself and the next time I had one I felt more in control! They might not go straight away but they will go if you find a good way of staying calm and I know it sounds wierd, but letting the attack happen and almost accepting it for what it is! That's the only way I can describe how I got over them but it's important that you do your own research and know the signs of your attacks! Here's hoping you dont have any more though!!

Poetikat said...

Ha ha ha! You've just got to love Bimbo, don't you?
Panic attacks are no fun, but thank goodness it wasn't a brain aneurysm or something lethal!
I would love to have been a fly on the wall when those women had their follow-up meeting.
Kat

The Chronicles of a Fashionista in PDX said...

wow! I never knee panic attacks gives headaches, but that makes sense if it was suppressed from the Sanyo meeting :-/ I hope you feel better.

hayley-emsley said...

Geez girl you're not having a good time at the moment are ya!

Take it easy, why not have a week off with that hunk of a solicitor and not get out bed for 7 days!

H x

Elise said...

Miss M: Its true. I didn't feel stressed at all either. A panic attack on a train must have been scary. I glad you're okay.

Peter: You're right. The thing that scared me the most was that I didn't know what was happening. After I found out I was fine!

Someone needs to write down all the symptoms. It would save a lot of people from freaking out and embarrassing themselves!

KaB said...

My girl...you need a week off or something! You need to feel the ocean on your feet, run in a field of flowers & lie down on a hammock while reading a book!

You just need to get away, happy as you may be, & get back to grips with things!

Well, that's what I'd do & take that gorgeous beau of yours with!

I do hope things get better :)

KaB said...

And Bimbo is divine...she's a great one that girl!

Kitty said...

The head pains could be related to the hideous amount of stress you were under last week, couldn't they? It's hardly surprising hun ... you've had a bad time.

Panic attacks are the pits - I hope you feel much better soon. x

Peter Mc said...

Try these websites - http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/womens_health/mind_anxiety.shtml

http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/mosby_factsheets/anxiety.html

Particaluarly the part on the second website about reaction disorders! There's loads more of info out there so I'd check a few for help for the future!

Elise said...

Thanks Peter. I'll check out the sites.

Peter Mc said...

Oops! Seems the don't fit on! ha!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/womens _health/mind_anxiety.shtml

http://hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact _sheets/mosby_factsheets/anxiety. html

Hope it works this time (obviously without the spaces) but you get the jist!

Trée said...

Elise, you write with an elegant grace. The words flow like warmed honey from wood to tongue leaving the reader smiling and wanting more and feeling turned on and sticky all at the same time. Your prose has an energy, subtle, yet powerful. In short, you write beautifully in a wickedly naughty parochial girl sort of way. :-D

Elise said...

Trée, I think I love you!

Michelle Hix said...

"The words flow like warmed honey from wood to tongue leaving the reader smiling and wanting more and feeling turned on and sticky all at the same time."

Um....Elise...I'll be right back...I think I need a cold shower...but first I need to check out this guy's blog!!!!

jennifer said...

Oh my gosh. I shouldn't laugh at your pain but HAH. The way you described what was (a humiliating experience in front of these awful Sony, I mean Sanyo business babes? HAH) a not so great experience, your reaction, and the hidden undying love of the Bimbo? Pure gold, m'dear, pure gold!
Relax. Breathe. Don't ever get stresses again. I really hope you never hurt like that again though, I really do. See Ya! Jennifer

jennifer said...

Ahem, "stressed again". Funky Finger Syndrome.

B.E. Earl said...

If it makes you feel any better, I confuse Sanyo with Sony all the time.

What do they expect? They share like, um, 4 letters! ;)

Malach the Merciless said...

Yeah it sounds like an anxiety attacks, my brother gets them on occasion. You don't even need to be anxious for them to happen, he generally gets them after work. If it starts happening more consistently, get it checked out

Slyde said...

Thats ok... last month my boss and i were giving a presentation to our NYC office about our new voice system, built by Periphonics, and he called it the Panasonic system 2 different times.. ugh!

lotus07 said...

If you had said Toshiba instead of Sony, your head would have probably exploded on the spot.....count your blessings.

Christopher Gehler said...

Panic attacks seem like the worst thing in the world. Everyone feels like they're dying. Thankfully you weren't having an aneurism burst.

I'm out of jail! And I turned 20 this last sunday! And I'm still not linked on your blog! ........ It wasn't even worth getting out of jail. *sobs accompanied by the pouty lip*

KaB said...

You've been tagged!

angel said...

ah HAH! so it was hysteria- not ahppiness...?

Getty72 said...

Awwww my goodness, you are really going through the wars at the moment. I do hope you are well and fully recovered.

Anywayz, what are we going to do with you? eh? Sony?...lol!!!! You are too funny hun.

I spend most of my days presenting to my Japanese MD and DMD. They tend to have their eyes closed when I present. Apparently, it is customary in Japan to do this as it means they focus on listening to the content rather than watching the images. However, it is bloody annoying for me as I usually spend hours preparng the powerpoint package....lol! Still, I am sure that they are a walk in the park, compared to having three female evaluators.... I shudder just thinking about that situation...lol!

Once again, I do hope you are okay and keep up that lovely smile :D

Bye for now ~ Graham xxx

MidniteGem said...

Panic attacks are def known to occur far removed from any stressful situation. It is almost like your mind and body have relaxed and then it realises how stressed you were and panics.

I got them for a period of time and it is most def not fun - your lucky that you had people how care close by when it happened, and I mostly never did. Just remember to consentrate on breathing next time and tell yourself that it will be over soon and it will.

good luck
xx

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