Sunday, March 20, 2005

Preparation Day

Today is Sunday. A day of rest. Not!

Today is preparation day. My last chance to review all the material and rehearse my prepared questions for Mr. Queen and his witnesses in the unemployment hearing.

D-Day is tomorrow, and H-Hour is 1:30 p.m. I'm taking anothe half-day off from work.

(If you're not a regular here and are wondering what this is all about, please scan through my archives starting with "Another Fight Brewing," posted Feb. 23.)

I've practiced my questions for Mr. Queen using my wife as a surrogate. I'm trying to get just the right tone in my voice to imply disbelief without quite sneering at him. Then, for my questions for Christina, I want to sound empathetic and imply total conviction that she's telling the absolute truth. And she WILL be, but we need to convince the hearing officer.

Christina, meanwhile, told me she would be writing out narrative answers to my questions (which she has seen) and to anticipated questions by others. She'll be careful not to SOUND like she's reading an answer. Her concern is that under the pressure of the moment she'll forget to include something important. Or, worse, she'll be nervous and lose her train of thought. Then, if she stammers around in confusion, she'll sound like she's making it all up.

That's part of the problem with a hearing conducted by telephone. The visual clues when someone is talking are lost. No body language to guage, no nervous tics you can observe, no averted eyes to imply fabrication. All that remains are the words chosen, the tone employed, and the flow of the questions and answers. If the flow sounds strained, it might imply dishonesty.

I know. I'm over-analyzing. (Did you ever notice that the first four letters of "analyze" spell "anal?" Is that fitting or what?)

My final admonition to my daughter is to relax and just try to be herself. That'd be best.

Too bad I can't take my own advice.

1 comment:

Candace said...

Good luck, John!