birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

I Just Know

I finally learned to listen to my gut, my heart, that feeling I get when I just know whatever it is that I need to know. In the moment, usually. Sometimes there's a lag, but not often.

For example, I was on a job interview (that's when my intuition is really strongest), a lunch interview and this man was telling me about my duties, blah, blah, blah. As he is talking, I'm thinking, "Wow, I would not like to work with this man every day." Why? Can't really explain it. I just knew I would be bored before the week was over. I finished my salad and politely left the restaurant.

An early morning interview (so I could get back to the job I already had) was short and sweet. The interviewers fingernails were caked with something black. Paint? Oil from working on his car all weekend? Who doesn't wash their hands after doing whatever it was he'd been doing? Not a good sign.

On the way up the escalator and then to a bank of elevators to get to the 30th floor for an interview, I realized the hem had come out of my suit skirt. No pins. No scotch tape. Oh, well. Mention it to the person interviewing me? I think I said something like "You may notice my hem drooping. Just happened on the way up." Something to that effect. We had the interview and during it, I realized--knew--she was a decent human being. She was pleasant, funny, real. Just as I was thinking how much I'd like to work with her she said, "I like you." And I replied, "I like you too." Stayed there six years and she's still the best boss I've ever had. I just knew.

I trust first impressions. They've never let me down. It's not a judgement. But it is a sense of whether I ever want to be around that person in life or maybe that person is a "lunch" person, or an office buddy. First impressions have led me to lifelong friendships, great bosses, and steered me clear of driftwood, the people that float through your life or those that you wish would.

Danny Sue

Blue Jean Baby Queen—(Thanks Elton)