Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Public Display of Professionalism

Remember that time I told you the story about how I threw up at Five Guys and it was really gross?  Well, there was this other time that something equally embarrassing happened and my husband,Cap’n Coupon says I should share it because it’s been a while since I publicly humiliated myself.  So here goes.

This woman is professional. Lydia is "professional".
Before I had my third little terror suspect, I was a working mom with a lovely job and co-workers and a truly amazing boss and an office with a door that closed (even though it used to be a closet) and for eight hours a day I could do things without small people screaming at me.  I could even go to the bathroom all by myself
Moving on.  My job was in local government and occasionally I had to represent the agency I worked for in public meetings.  It was at one of these meetings where the story takes place.  It was a special meeting for three reasons:  (1) very important people were going to be there; (2) I had to make a presentation to them; and (3) it was a meeting at night

I drove to the meeting in the dark with music blaring.  I felt free!  Almost like I was going to a party or a bar or out to meet the Cap’n for a date. WOO HOO!!!  I thought there was a pretty good chance that I was going to be able to hit the grocery store by myself on the way home, and I felt practically giddy at the prospect. 

It occurred to me that I should get focused.  I had to deliver some bad news to the Very Important People; we were delaying a project for six months.  And one of those people had a reputation for yelling at staff when she thought they weren’t doing their jobs right.  Even if it was in front of a room full of people.  She’d also been known to speak to your supervisor if she didn’t like the quality of your work.  She was very tough.  We’d always gotten along swimmingly, but I was constantly terrified that she’d yell at me.

I pulled into a parking space with two minutes to spare.  I quickly brushed my hair, ate an Altoid, and put on some Chapstick while checking my appearance in the rear view mirror, music still blasting.  Then I locked up my car and sprinted into the meeting room – right on time.

Walking in, I took my seat and perused the agenda. Oh good. I was third.  Maybe that meant I could give my stupid talkitty talk and leave.  I noticed sitting directly across from me were the two people I found most intimidating -- the lady who might yell at me and a distinguished gentlemen who was my boss’s boss’s boss.  All of a sudden I got a little nervous.

Oh dear. The boss-man was looking at me.  I smiled.  He didn’t smile back.  In fact, he looked as alarmed as a prison warden just before a riot.

That was weird.

Then I noticed the Maybe Would Yell lady was staring at me, too.  She looked equal parts worried and like she smelled something bad.  She didn’t smile either.

I then nervously sat through the first two parts of the meeting, running through my talking points in my head and focusing on making everyone understand why the project had to be delayed.  They weren’t going to like it, but hopefully I could make them understand that we didn’t have a choice.  And hopefully they wouldn’t blame me.

It was my turn!  I stood up and passed out my attractive and colorful PowerPoint presentation.  I spoke for about fifteen minutes.  I’m not trying to brag or anything, but they were riveted.  I’m not saying that the subject wasn’t fascinating (community-based public health planning modalities is sexy stuff).  But it was all me.  They couldn’t take their eyes off me.  Especially the bossy boss man.  He was looking at me like I was made of magic.  The longer I spoke, the more entranced they became and the cockier I got.

I wrapped it up and asked if anyone had any questions.  They didn’t.  But they couldn’t stop staring at me.  There was a long awkward pause, and they moved onto the next agenda item.  I sat there feeling smug and awesome.  I had rocked this like a hurricane.  Had he been there, Ricky Bobby would have given me a fist bump and told me how I made that presentation my bitch.  And my office had been worried about how the Board would react.  COME ON!  Lydia’s here.  I got this.  Bossy boss man was still looking at me.  That dude wanted to have my baby because I was so awesome at public speaking.  I smirked and scratched the side of my smirky mouth that all those bad ass words had just come out of. 

Wait. Whuck?

Why was there red all over my finger nail?  It was like I had gotten into a catfight with Ronald McDonald.  OH DEAR GOD.  I discreetly pulled my cell phone out of my briefcase and looked at the reflective surface.  My worst fears were confirmed.  It wasn’t Chapstick that I’d spread all over my mouth in the car in the parking lot, with music blaring, in the dark.  It was bright red lipstick.  A tube of red lipstick that in the dark was almost identical to the clear Chapstick I thought I was putting on.

This looks just like
chap stick when you're
in the dark. And
you're an idiot.
I looked like a crazy person with 43 cats and a tartan lap blanket.  I looked like I took the wrong medication and was in need of immediate medical assistance.  I looked like I could start screaming deeply bizarre and disturbing things at any second like: "WHO TOOK MY KNITTING NEEDLES? I KNOW IT WAS YOU!"  I looked like a crazy hooker who might actually cause Charlie Sheen to think twice.   

No wonder they couldn’t stop looking at me. They were afraid.  No wonder they didn’t question the six month delay – they were hoping that would be enough time for me to take a nice, long trip to the Nervous Hospital.

The Maybe Would Yell lady suggested everyone take a five minute break. Then she walked over to me, a funny look on her face.  She said very kindly and softly, “Lydia, you probably had to get a baby sitter tonight.  Why don’t you head home to your children? That is, if you want to…” 

Oh this is fantastic.  She clearly thought she needed to get me the hell out of there as fast as possible.  She glanced quickly at my briefcase, as if she were afraid there was an ice pick in it.  And helped me out of my chair and gently pushed me out the door.

I didn’t even bother to look in the mirror in the ladies room.  I just drove home.  I walked in the house and walked right up to my husband and was like “Hi there. Notice anything?”

He looked amused. “What is all over your face? Were there clowns at your meeting?”

There was only one clown at that meeting.  It was me.

 Oh and also?
Suck it, haters.  I stay at home now. And it's not even court ordered.
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

37 comments:

  1. Ahhhh, that was a belly laugh you heard. Thank you for that. Sorry that happened, but good grief, that was funny!!!

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  2. On the bright side, you rocked the meeting! I'm glad that the conclusion wasn't a breastfeeding mishap...they're much worse to recover from! You're awesome!

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  3. Oh ... my ... gosh! You had me laughing so hard I was in tears! Thank you so much for sharing ... I needed a pick-me-up this morning. :o)

    As always, love your blog!

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  4. I am laughing so hard I'm crying! Thanks for sharing your embarrassing story. :'-D

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  5. Oh.My.God. That was FANTASTIC!! I'm sorry but I can't stop laughing! Thank you so much for recreating your humiliation and taking pictures. You've made my night :D

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  6. That is hilarious! I once showed up for work (running late as usual) to find out that I had worn my slippers. I had put them on after getting dressed because I didn't want to wake up my still sleeping family with the clomp clomp of my high heels. I meant to change just before I left the house - guess I forgot. I chose to believe everyone was staring at me out of jealousy.

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  7. Really, really funny. But Lord doG, I''m glad it happened to you and not to me.

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  8. I have been a reader here for a few months but this the first time I have decided I'd laughed so hard I needed to comment. That was priceless. I have tears streaming down my cheeks.

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  9. Excellent! It takes a whole butt-load of awesome to retell that story on the internet! Well done!

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  10. Ah, the bright red lipstick. Classy! Like a hooker calling card. This story is super, duper awesome! It reminds me that one cool part about the SAHM gig is that no one gives a poo what you look like each day. Usually because you are actually covered in the poo, but whatever.

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  11. That was awesome! Thanks for starting my morning off right with that story. I feel a little less bad that my child wiped her snotty nose all across the chest of my shirt just as I dropped her off this morning.

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  12. Thanks for the great post to start my morning! (And my almost 3 year old was sitting next to me when I got to the pictures... she wants to know, "What happened to that mommy?")

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  13. Hilarious! I work in community-based public health too, so as you might imagine, I needed a laugh in my day!

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  14. OMG, seriously lost my shiz reading this at the office. PERFECT START to my work day!

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  15. That was awesome!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!!!!! So sorry to laugh at your embarrassing moments but really... too funny!!!!!! What i want to know was what happened the next time you saw them?!?!?!

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  16. "Suck it, haters." That and the photos really made me lose it. Thanks for the laugh! BTW my French teacher in high school looked like that EVERY DAY. We didn't giver her any lip either (no pun intended).

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  17. That was hilarious!!!! My 3 yr old sitting next me was laughing at me because I was laughing so hard. Were you ever able to live that one down at work?

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  18. Sometimes a Mom's gotta do, what a Mom's gotta do. Epic win - you didn't get yelled at, you had EVERYONE's attention, and you got to go home early. I say SCORE!!! I may just do that the next time I have to present. ROCK IT LYDIA!!!
    Oh, and I should have known better, but I laughed so hard my abs are killing me from my "strength training" yesterday. oiy! Totally worth it!!

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  19. I laugh only because I, too, have done this. Terra Tints and Burts Bees colored chapsticks are forbidden in my house for this very reason.

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  20. oh that story has cheered me up no end, it is so funny!

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  21. Oh, I love when one of your posts makes me *actually* LOL! Back in the day, I went to work with two totally different shoes on one time...and this was pre-LTS. I can't imagine how big a mess I'd make of myself if I still had a job AND my kids!

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  22. Laughing out Freaking Loud!! I LOVE this post, makes me feel better about the awesome things I've done (both home and at work). Thanks for the laugh!

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  23. oh this was one of the funniest things i have read in a very long time. *thank you* for sharing this gem.

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  24. When I was pregnant (which you know makes you dumb) I handed out a presentation to a room full of 50 physicians, and instead of reading "Quality Data: what does the public see" it said "Quality Data: what does the PUBIC see." Loved it when the OB/GYN in the room loudly pointed out my error..........

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  25. I just have to wonder why if there was a woman staring at you all that time she couldn't lean over and tell you to check a mirror. Or even hand you one! It was pretty funny.

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  26. That was fantastically awesome. And something I would totally do.

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  27. omg! I did that a month ago at the local story hour. I mistook my wet and wild naturals bright red lip "tint" (tint, my ass. more like lacquer!)for cherry chapstick and piled it on before hoping out of the van. 3 y/o said I looked "fancy" but I thought he was talking about my freshly dyed hair...didn't know any different until a friend said that she "wished she had the courage to wear red lipstick in the day" to me. I was all "whuck?" and she handed me a mirror. expletives followed, and I might have been sent to mommy time out for cursing at the preschool story hour and scaring the kids with clown issues....

    in short, btdt. Thank you for affirming that I may be normal :)

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  28. Oh my.. The pics did me in, I scared my 9 month old awake by laughing so loud.
    But thank you for the laugh though, I needed it this morning!

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  29. O.M.G. tears are falling! Falling I tell you! I love love love the hooker shots! YOU ROCK THAT LOOK by the way. Only you...or me...but that's another story! o.m.g. I do love you girls. I think I just peed. Again.

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  30. Hahahahahahahaha(gasps for breath)hahahahahaha (whipes tears from face)hahahahaahahaa

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  31. OMG That was HILARIOUS! I too have done this only I ended up putting on my lily white girlfriends hot pink lipstick aaaaaall over my generous lips in the dark. Which went awesomely with my dark chocolate complection btw.Did anyone tell me I looked like I had a monkeys a$$hole on my face?Nope.

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  32. I don't know how I'm just discovering this blog now, but good lord you ladies are hilarious. I have to stifle my laughing so I don't wake my Little Terror Suspect from his naps.

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  33. I laughed a lot with this...but i bet you knew it
    You ladies are wonderful

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  34. Thanks for sharing, that was awesome! And thanks for the picture!! I love your blog!

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