The most important thing I learned from Inspector Clouseau is that being inept and incompetent does not mean that you can’t succeed. I just had to try harder. In fact I still try every day.
I was introduced to Inspector Clouseau in the movie “A Shot in the Dark”, and I identified with his character immediately.
Dreyfus: “Give me ten men like Clouseau and I could destroy the world”. I like to think 10 women like me would make people dizzy in a good way.
Those of you who never saw Inspector Clouseau in action – rent the movies and have a marathon and be ready to laugh. Peter Sellers played in 5 movies and he is the only Inspector Clouseau for me. In The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976), an attempt to interview witnesses leads to him falling down stairs, getting his hand caught in a medieval knight’s gauntlet, then a vase; knocking a witness senseless, destroying a priceless piano, and accidentally shooting another officer. Nevertheless, Clouseau successfully solves his cases and finds the correct culprits, entirely by accident.
While I truly know I am not inept and incompetent there were times in my life when I felt I was, but the beauty of being me is that I have never minded looking silly, I don’t embarrass easily, and I can laugh at myself freely. I also have been known to trip over invisible objects. I have gotten my hand stuck in a container that I had no business putting my hand inside. I have fallen down flights of stairs and landed on my feet so I could stand immediately and look as if it never happened. I have tucked my skirt into my pantyhose (twice) and walked through a crowded restaurant both times. I had breakfast with a man I did not know at LaGuardia and in conversation I told him that I thought George Steinbrenner had really screwed the economy of Lorain, Ohio by shutting American Shipbuilding down and you guessed it, I was eating breakdast with Steinbrenner.
That time I was a little embarrassed! Oh and I never shot anyone.
Jacques Clouseau did not embarrass, so I decided I would follow in his footsteps. I also decided to make people laugh whenever possible even if that meant at my expense. I also see Inspector Clouseau as a character who still got the job done even in his most bumbling crazy way.
When I decided to start my social media business 4 years ago I bumbled around a lot. There were many moments of trial and error, and crazy moments too. I kept going. There were times when I felt inept and there are still times when I feel incompetent but I quickly learned to surround myself with those that are competent and I do not fake it till I make it. I know how to say let me get an answer for you.
Inspector Clouseau taught me it is OKAY to be me and that is really the most important thing I learned from that wonderful character.
From “A Shot in the Dark”:
Dreyfus: What about the maid?
Clouseau: The maid?
Dreyfus: Was he jealous of her too? He strangled her.
Clouseau: It is possible that his intended victim was a man and that he made a mistake.
Dreyfus: A mistake?… in a nudist camp?
Clouseau: Nobody’s perfect.
Dreyfus: Idiot nincompoop lunatic!