Monday, October 3, 2011

Inappropriate public behavior...again

I try very hard to conduct myself in a respectable fashion when representing my employer in public. Most of the time, I’m successful. There are even people who believe I’m a mature professional.

But then the risqué romance author inside me can’t help herself. It happened a few times during the two-day conference I attended last week.

The first sign of trouble occurred during a raffle preceding the keynote speaker. As audience members whipped out their tickets and waited for the numbers to be read, the guy behind me began cheering quietly for himself.

“Come on, me!”

Only he didn’t really pause for the comma. I laughed so hard I dropped my raffle ticket in my tea. A colleague watched as I fished it out and licked it.

“What?” I asked. “I have to see if I win.”

She shook her head. “You’re a winner, all right.”

I managed to stay on my good behavior the rest of the day, and was actually feeling pretty proud of myself when I got to the evening cocktail party at a nearby restaurant. There was a lovely buffet table adorned with gourds and other autumn produce, and I wanted to know if it was real. I was stroking an especially large squash when I noticed the guy next to me wearing an odd expression.

“Sorry,” I said, drawing my hand back. “I shouldn’t fondle phallic-looking vegetables in public.”

The guy looked startled. “I wasn't thinking that at all.”

But since I'd introduced the idea and he was obviously thinking it now, it seemed wise for me to step away from the squash, polish off my drink, and make my escape with only one person believing I'm a raging pervert.

The following morning, I attended a presentation on search engine optimization. The room was packed, and everyone scribbled notes as the instructor paced the front of the room.

“For ten dollars,” he said as he held up a bill, “can anyone tell me the number one keyword people search online?”

I shot out of my chair. “Porn!”

Everyone turned and stared. I sat back down, feeling fifty pairs of eyes on me as all my colleagues speculated how I happened to be allowed out in public.

The instructor laughed. “Um, no. Good guess though.”

By the time afternoon rolled around, fatigue started to set in. The advantage of being able to fall asleep anytime, anywhere is that you seldom grapple with insomnia.

The disadvantage is that you end up doing the Jello-neck head bob whenever you find yourself in a warm room with the drone of someone’s voice lulling you to dreamland. When I snapped awake at one point and discovered a puddle of drool on my lap, it seemed like a good time to excuse myself.

My brain needed fuel and my iPhone needed a charge, so I meandered to a nearby restaurant where a good friend was waiting tables. She set me up at the bar with a steaming plate of flatbread and a good glass of wine and plugged in my iPhone charger behind the counter.

I had to eat fast since another presentation was starting soon, so I gobbled the food, paid the bill, and looked around for someone to retrieve my phone.

No one was in sight.

I could see where the cord snaked to the other side of the counter, so I hitched up my dress and boosted myself onto the bar. I was just yanking the plug out of the outlet when my friend and the bartender reappeared.

I slid back across the bar and planted my butt on my stool, trying to look innocent. The bartender’s expression suggested I may have just flashed my underwear at the cluster of unsuspecting businessmen enjoying happy hour behind me. My friend smiled at him.

“It’s OK, she’s a friend of mine,” she offered.

I tugged down the hem of my dress and shoved my iPhone back in my purse. “There are moments you probably don’t want to advertise that.”

Have you done anything to embarrass yourself or your employer in the last week? Please share so I’m not alone.

Oh, and in case you’re still wondering about the top searched keyword, it’s “quote.” As in “insurance quote,” not “porn quote,” though clearly we can all agree the latter would be more interesting.

27 comments :

Claire Dawn said...

Have I told you lately that I love you? LOL!

Linda G. said...

Ha! My blog post today includes a phallic-shaped gourd, too. Great (or should I say dirty?) minds think alike, I guess.

As for embarrassing myself in public...does my blog count? Because there's this phallic-shaped gourd... ;)

Patrick Alan said...

"It's very difficult to fail at pornography"
- Michael Chabon

"I don't like rap anyways, I`m just trying to get my porno career started"
- Eminem

So far these are my favorite.

Also one of my favorite things is making up lies about the internet to make a point in a presentation. Because it is less interesting to find out the most searched keyword is iPad.

Sarah W said...

You mean like last week when I ran out of hands while discarding a stack of books and stuck the marking pen in my bra? And forgot all about it?

And sat at the public desk for two hours without realizing the marker was making an interesting contour under my top?

And when a co-worker asked me if I'd seen the marker (was she blind?), I suddenly remembered and fished it out, just as one of our . . . skeevier patrons stepped off the elevator?

And after my co-worker, looking slightly skeeved herself, went off to find a different marker, the skeevy patron asked if he could use it, with this grin?

Nah, that stuff just par for the course around here.

Laina said...

Well, I dropped a french fry in my bra at DQ on Saturday... but otherwise, I work with kids, so I pretty much get paid to make a fool out of myself.

Jessica Lemmon said...

@Linda, I was going to ask if it was gourd week! Haha!
@Tawna, it wasn't last week, but a few months ago, I set my coworker on fire. Or, well, technically, he sat on my candle on my desk. In related news, I am no longer permitted to have candles on my desk. Lit, anyway. ( and yes, he's fine)

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks for making me think I'm not alone when I crawl over the bar. I used to be a restaurant manager and can't tell you how many times I flashed my tighty whities.

Shain Brown said...

I laughed so hard reading your post I choked as I tried to answer the office phone. Thanks, for making my Monday a fun day you raging pervert.

lynnrush said...

Oh dear. This was funny.
I'm know to--well--stick my phone in my bra. I mean, I have tons of room in there, and I rarely have pockets and don't carry a purse around with me all the time...so, it's the best logical place.
Until my boss saw me take it out. I think I really embarrassed him.

Malin said...

Good god I needed that laugh - the day has been blech.

I so think he just lied about the porn though.

Sierra said...

I totally embarrassed a female friend at lunch the other day when a crouton fell into my bra and I fished it out quickly. What? It was scratchy and crumbly! I couldn't just leave it there.

Also, I'm sure your friend got a great tip from those businessmen for your "show." ;)

Skye said...

I agree that he lied about porn not being the number one search term. I mean, really.

Today's post was particularly hilarious and luckily I wasn't sipping my tea over my keyboard at specific moments!

Your roommates could get a quite useful education if they'd only read your blog. They probably think it's all about shoes and tampons.

Laura Maylene said...

That is the most boring keyword search in the word and I have a really, really hard time believing that more people are searching for various quotes than they are for sex or porn. I call shenanigans.

Geoffrey Cubbage said...

No matter what kind of insurance you search for you're searching for "quotes."

Depending on where your tastes run the keywords your porn search uses could get VERY exotic.

I'd guess that "quote" is winning as number-one search term by virtue of the insurance industry's heterogeneity relative to the porn industry's, not because more people are interested in insurance.

Has anyone Googled "insurance porn" yet? Or "porn insurance," for that matter?

Not it.

Sarah Allen said...

Hee hee :) I hope we get to be real life friends sometime. You are quite hilarious :)

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

My morning just got a billion times brighter. :) So yes, I have embarrassed my friends in public, dozens of times. They put up with me. :)

Mary Kate Leahy said...

I would have guessed porn too. And I don't believe that the guy staring at you stroking vegetables was not thinking that. I certainly would be. You made Secured Transactions bearable this morning, so thank you.

Aaron Brandt said...

Love your style, Tawna - hope you knew I was kidding about the #Twitterclassclown tweet, reply was perfect. Thanks for keeping it entertaining!

Margaret M. Fisk said...

Oh wow, I'd forgotten how much I enjoy visiting your blog because I've been too busy to drop by. Sorry, unlike you, I suppress the memory of any slip ups as soon as I possibly can, but at least they'll remember you, and there's always that old adage of any publicity is good publicity right :).

Matthew MacNish said...

The thing is, he was thinking that, but never would have admitted to it.

Steph Schmidt said...

No way is quote searched for more often than porn. I'd ask for that guy's sources. There's a whole song devoted to the fact the internet is for porn, worse it's sung by puppets.

Hannah Hounshell said...

You know, there's an artist on deviantart you might enjoy for various reasons. One is her goofy, perverted sense of humor that has her drawing pictures like this one....

http://ursulav.deviantart.com/art/Angel-And-Devil-Phalloi-113932187?q=gallery%3Aursulav%2F3399241&qo=167

And this one...

http://ursulav.deviantart.com/art/Compensation-23263399?q=gallery%3Aursulav%2F7872547&qo=33

The other reason is she's a damn fine artist. Honestly though, I have a tendency to stroll through her gallery for the giggle factor if nothing else.

None of this has much to do with your post, but I just had to share. I hope you don't mind :D

Tawna Fenske said...

So glad you guys enjoyed laughing at me. I always write my blog posts knowing anyone from the day job could read them at any time, but this is one I sorta hoped none of them would see :)

I'm cracking up over all your stories, keep 'em coming!

And yeah, I'm skeptical as well about the most searched keyword. "Porn" wasn't even on the list he presented, which seems fishy to me.

Hannah, I wish I could see those drawings, but I get error messages when I try to go there. Alas...

Thanks for reading, guys!
Tawna

khanes said...

Oh man, this really cracked me up!

Hannah Hounshell said...

Try this one then. Its just to her page on deviantart, though. You'll have to browse her gallery to find the stuff I mentioned. The first picture I posted the link to shows up at the bottom of page seven in her gallery. The second one is in the middle of page 18. Between the two of them are a lot of interesting pictures as well.

http://ursulav.deviantart.com/

Enjoy :D


p.s. If the link won't work, just type "ursulav phallio" into google. The first link is her DA gallery.

Hannah Kincade said...

Oh, you are so not alone. Love this story and it makes me feel better about the "foot-in-mouth" situations I get myself into.

There was the time I received B-day card and present from my entire team at work and when they asked for a thank you speech all I could think of was:

Milk milk
Lemonade
Around the corner, fudge is made.

And that's what I said.

Namitha Aunty mobile number is here said...

wow ! super !