When I started my day job doing marketing/PR for my city's tourism bureau over a year ago, they knew up front about my life as a romance author.
The first thing they saw when they visited my blog the day I interviewed was a post titled "My hole got plugged, so my jugs aren't full." Suffice it to say, they know what I'm about and they're OK with it.
It didn't take long for me to establish myself as the office pervert. It happened by accident during a discussion about brochures to educate tourists on local activities.
"We could group kayaking, whitewater rafting, standup paddleboarding, and canoeing under the same heading," someone suggested.
"Sure, we could just title it Watersports," another staffer agreed.
I started laughing, assuming she'd said it to be humorous. Everyone turned and stared at me. "What's so funny?"
I stopped laughing. "You're joking, right?"
I cleared my throat. "Watersports? You want to have a brochure in the lobby encouraging people to pee on each other for sexual pleasure?"
They looked at me like I'd just yanked off the boss's underwear and put it on my head. It was then I realized I was the only one familiar with the filthy slang term.
Just to prove I wasn't making it up, I googled "watersports slang" and sent the link to the team. That was my first lesson in, "let's not put anything in office email we wouldn't want appearing in a city audit."
I tried to be good after that, keeping snickers to a minimum even when someone declared in a meeting, "this recession has been hard on all of us."
But I was forced to trot out the pervert card again when I spotted a colleague's Facebook post on the company page promoting a local ice skating rink. "Who wants to snowball with me?" she wrote, obviously trying to add a little personal flair to the post.
I assume snowball is some sort of ice skating trick. I also assume the perverts reading the post would know the other definition of the term. The meaning so filthy, I'm not going to explain it here, nor am I going to encourage you to google it unless you're safe at home and free from risk your loved ones will analyze your browser history.
Let's just say it isn't something my colleague would wish to offer as a service in a public forum.
I tried to explain, but that didn't seem like a conversation we should have in an office environment. "Just go home tonight and google snowball sexual slang," I told her. "And keep an eye on the Facebook post in case the perverts take the bait."
I went a few more months with my pervert card tucked safely in my wallet. I was doing pretty well until our director of sales and sports development announced we're hosting a national fly fishing championship and requested my help with the press release yesterday.
"Tell me a little more about the sport," I emailed. "How is it scored?"
"It's measured, and total inches gives you your ranking," he explained in a reply message. "If you have the highest number of inches on a section, you get first place and/or 1 point."
I couldn't resist. "This is the filthiest email I’ve gotten all week," I wrote back. "Nice work."
When we passed in the hall, he just shook his head. "Only you would think that."
It's safe to say that was my proudest moment at work.
How about you? Do you have particular reputation in your place of business? Is it something you'd be ashamed to tell your mother? Please share!
I'll be busy snickering over another email about fly fishing's measurement-based scoring system. Apparently, it's a hands-on process.