If I had to use a story to adequately depict my life, it would be the one about the time I was in high school and had a huge crush on a guy named Albert who was super popular and a star varsity basketball player but had to settle for his twin brother who was the chubbier version of him and played JV basketball. Or, the time I wanted Rainbow Brite for Christmas but got Murky and Lurky (the villains – typical) instead. Things are always a bit B-team for me.
Take my job. After deciding that I needed a job that would help me pay the bills while I write, I landed a marketing/admin position with a company that basically serves as the Ask Jeeves of the Medicaid world: instead of Googling how to get Medicaid we do it for them.
Yet, I take it seriously. Or at least I dress like I do. However, on Thursday I learned that’s not what gets you ahead at this place.
So I’m sitting at my desk doing actual work for once when my overly-caffeinated chain-smoking boss walks in with a guy he introduces as James – a confusing moment for the guy because he recalled introducing himself to my boss as Chad. His name wasn’t important (to me or my boss, apparently); what I couldn’t help but notice was his appearance.
Chames (mashup because who knows what his real name is) walked in wearing a t-shirt, cargo shorts (the kin with an elastic waistband), a haircut that would make the 90s jealous, and plain white tube socks. If I sound like an asshole I do not care – this guy was in the office for an INTERVIEW.
Chames and my boss walked into the conference room – which is 2 steps away from where I sit – and their meeting commenced at hushed volumes. I was being so judgmental that it never occurred to me that Chames was probably just undercover or that this was probably his schtick.
As I continued to judge his attire and wonder what the hell was so secretive that they had to talk in a high school girl whisper, I officially quit what I was doing and started thinking about the other time I was in a situation similar to this one.
Back in the day, I did marketing for a motorcycle dealership and one of our annual events was a bikini contest. In the event’s sophomore year we made the rookie mistake of hosting it during a national holiday so our entry list was pretty minimal. In an attempt to conjure up some contestants I was sent to the local strip clubs to try and entice strippers to participate.
OK, we held the contest at 7PM. There was no way we were going to get A-team strippers to compete in a bikini contest where the prize was probably a fraction of what they usually make. 2nd string strippers (you know the kind) was our best case scenario.
Regardless, I went strip club to strip club speaking to club managers and building my immunities by posting flyers in the stripper’s dressing rooms. While waiting for the manager at my last stop, a girl walked in wearing sweats, her orange/blonde with black roots hair up in a messy pony tail, and no make-up.
At first I thought, “oh shit, she’s looking for a stripper and it’s about to go down.”
Then she opened her mouth.
“How do you become a stripper?”, she asked with a twinkle in her blood shot eyes.
There’s no fucking way she’s serious, my expression said. This is just a cover. She’s trying to find an in and then she’s going to beat up the stripper that her boyfriend used their beer money on.
No. She was 100% (as the kids say) serious. The hostess was a true professional; she was even dressed like a strip club hostess (or dressed for success the way I saw it) and politely explained that the girl needed to come in looking presentable and ready to audition for the club owner.
“You handled that very well,” I said to the hostess, to which she replied “that happens all day long.”
That day I thought 2 things. 1) I did not realize there were that many aspiring strippers out there and, 2) “dress for the job you want, not the one you have” is very good advice.
Or at least it was in 2010 when this happened. In 2020, nothing means anything anymore, and I have proof.
The day after my boss’s top secret meeting, he let me go. And you know who’s replacing me?
Ol’ tube socks. Chames is a salesman (clearly) and my boss needed to free up money to hire him.
The moral of the story is this: like the girl inquiring about stripping (who I gave a bikini flyer to BTW because I was desperate), we’re all just trying to figure things out. My ex-boss (who pulled a ‘me’ because he is also desperate) is trying to figure out how to keep his company afloat, and I’m trying to figure out who used my credit card to try and buy a hooker on OurTime.com and bullshit on Vista Print a couple of days after I used my card to pay for my MacBook on my work computer.
Yeah. My ex-boss fancies himself an IT pro so I found it interesting and not the least bit coincidental that a couple of days after I used the work computer for my purchase, my card got hacked. Could it have been him? I don’t know but I’m in the process of figuring it out.
Yup, in 2020 we’re all just figuring it out. Update coming soon.