Out of pocket can mean more than when money leaves your wallet. Let me tell you about Heidi*.
Heidi is a friend of mine and a fantastic teacher. When she taught high school, her students loved her teaching style and her ability to make them feel valued. She didn’t have classroom discipline issues. And, she made algebra and trigonometry interesting for her students; someone needed to.
One day she was lecturing in front of a class. Like many people, my friend uses her hands to help herself talk. She would use hand sweeps to emphasize her points. This particular day she had turned her back on the class which was ok because where other students in other classes might talk or throw things behind the teacher’s back, her students did not.
At one point, she wrote with her right hand an equation on the board and stuffed her left hand in her pant pocket. When she was finished, she turned back to an attentive class to explain the mathematical problem on the board.
It was at that moment that she pulled her left hand out of her pocket and began a grand sweep. Little did she know that stuffed deep inside her pocket was the biggest string of lint you’ve ever seen. Somehow that stringy, ugly, gagging type of lint attached itself to a minute flaw of jagged nail and followed her hand to the outside world.
It was as if that lint had waited a lifetime to make its debut. Her hand had become—a kite and the lint a tail. She lectured; the lint flopped and flailed in the air.
The students didn’t giggle, no—no. The students went hysterical. Heidi became confused and was clueless until one of her students pointed to her hand and the long string of lint.
Out of pocket— and at her expense. But at least she didn’t have to pay out the nose. You know what I mean?
What’s in your pocket?