I recently was able to re-experience a level of humiliation that I haven’t felt since I was a teenager. I hated that feeling then, and I still hate it. But maybe public humiliation is underrated. I was a “fill in” traffic reporter last month. If you’re a
radio listener, you know the guy I replaced – he gives traffic updates to five radio stations and one television station.

Picture a wall covered with 50+ camera monitors. Each monitor shows a different road, and the monitors are constantly flipping between cameras. At 5:10 pm, I reviewed my mental checklist for a 5:12 pm report

1.  Lipstick on – check.

2.  Powder so I don’t shine – check.

3.  What were the anchors’ names?

4.  What’s my outcue?

5.  How’s my hair?

6.  Why can’t I hear them?

7.  Is my microphone on?

8.  What will I say? Uhhh ohhh.

At 5:11pm and 33 seconds a voice comes through the radio, “…And now let’s have a look at what’s happening on the streets with Melisa Uchida.”

I was stunned. I thought I still had 27 precious seconds to get my thoughts together and he wants a report now!

I must have mumbled something because when I looked up, all I saw on the monitor in front of me was – me. Panic shot through me and I froze like a deer in headlights. Somehow I caught my breath and managed to stumble though a traffic report of Downtown, Aiea and Pearl City. I forgot to say my name. I forgot to say goodbye. I forgot a lot of things.

How could I have panicked like that? I prayed no one saw me. What could I do but go home, stuff my face and replay it over and over in my mind. When my wonderful roommate came home, we had a long laugh about it and instead of crying all night, I looked at all the benefits of public humiliation:

1.  It keeps you humble.

2.  To laugh at yourself is a good thing!

3.  If we started out perfect, what would we strive for?

4.  Getting knocked down is a part of life. The tough ones get back up and do it again.

5.  The first time is always a flop – expect it, embrace it, learn from it.

6.  Everyone bombs! Just ask the person next to you.

7.  It makes a good after work story. Some people come home with nothing to say.

8.  Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s only TV.

9.  It provides a challenge. Tomorrow, I will do it better.

10. Like J Lo’s mom said, “Don’t call me up crying. Go out there and make it happen.”

And you know what? I saw the tape. It wasn’t that bad. It just gives me plenty of room to improve!

Melisa Uchida can be reached at melisa@oahuislandnews.com