The day the ceiling fell in

The media training session in Silicon Valley was going well; the half dozen men around the table, representing the top tiers of the tech company’s sales and marketing wings, were half-way through their practice interviews. The questions had to do with their product lines, their reseller network and their end customers. No generic stuff here! Then, a guy we will call Harry came up to bat, taking the interview seat with the video camera focused on him.

Harry had been a bit cantankerous during the class, asking questions that seemed a bit odd but nothing truly objectionable. He answered the first interview question with some hesitancy but, still, not a bad beginning. At that point, however, the trainer momentarily lost his train of thought. After all, he had boardroombeen talking for two hours and interviewing three other people to this point. The trainer asked a question somewhat similar to the one he had just asked. No attempt to confuse Harry.

Harry’s eyes blazed. He jumped to his feet.  “I know what you’re doing,” he literally screamed. “You’re trying to trick me.” With that outburst, Harry than took off. He ran around the board table in the room – a full circuit, alternatively muttering and yelling about tricks and conspiracies. The rest of the group merely glanced at him and looked away, somewhat bored.

His run took Harry to the door and he burst out of the training room, slamming the door behind him as hard as he could. At least two ceiling tiles fell from above in a shower of dust and crashed to the board table top.

“What the hell?” said the shaken trainer to the rest of the group. “What did I do?”

“That’s just Harry,” said one of the men. The rest of his fellows smiled and nodded.

The class continued and Harry never returned. At its conclusion, the company’s PR women came by to see how the session had gone. They had heard from others about Harry’s flight. “He’s a scary person,” one of the women said.

“Has he got a gun license,” the trainer asked.

The PR ladies looked at each other in confusion. “A what?” asked one.  “Why?” asked the other.

The trainer shook his head, packed up his manuals and camera and left more quickly than usual.