So I went on my first business trip. I don't mean to get all Aspie's on you, but I've been anxious for weeks about this trip. It's no secret that I don't like my co-workers, so going on a three-day romantic getaway to NYC with them sounded pretty god-awful to me. But I went; I didn't fake sick and lie my way out of it. I owned up to the fact that I'm a big girl now so it's time to put on my big girl pants and go on a business trip. So, how was it? Take how bad I thought it was going to be, multiply it by a thousand and then punch yourself in the face because you're still no where close.
Allow me to give you the play-by-play:
Day 1: Monday
I arrived at Union Station at 7 o'clock in the morning to meet my co-workers and catch the train. In order to pack, shower, primp etc. and get there at 7, I had to wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning. That's a big deal for me. If you were to wake me up at 5 o'clock in the morning and say, "Hey Meg, there's a giant pot of gold waiting for you down the street! You just have to physically get up and get it and it's all yours!" I would honestly mull it over for about thirty seconds and go back to bed. But, by the grace of god, I managed to pull myself together and get there on time at 7. We took the 7:30 Acela train to New York, business class. Sexy, right? Boss #1, Boss #2, Russell-The-Homophobic-Co-Worker and I sat down at a 4-seater with a table between us and embarked on our journey. Shenanigans started almost immediately. Boss #1 decided to get a bagel with cream cheese and offered Russell-The-Homophobic-Co-Worker half. He declined saying "it tastes like mumble, mumble." Excuse me? What did you just say? He repeated, "it tastes like ____" And then he said what I thought was sperm. But no, he couldn't have possibly said that. Because Russell is a raging homophob! And he loves Jesus! People who love Jesus don't say sperm! Boss #1 asked, "Did you just say it tastes like sperm?!" "Yea! I don't eat cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, any of that stuff; because it all tastes like sperm!" At this point I thought I was going to vomit, cry and die of laughter simultaneously. Because 1.) you are Russell-The-Homophobic-Co-Worker, not Russell-the-Jizz-Wizzard-Co-worker; how the hell do you know what sperm tastes like?! 2.) What sperm have you been tasting that tastes like cream cheese? 3.) What would move you to tell us this and not just say "No, thank you." Just another chapter in my book, Interesting Decisions and the People Who Make Them.
Once we arrived in New York, we went straight to the conference and had a welcome reception and welcome lunch. This was way too much time spent awkwardly standing around eating finger foods, contemplating whether or not it would be too shameful to hide out in the bathroom until our meeting started.
Then, from 1-5:30, we conferenced. Presentation after presentation after presentation about god knows what. And here's my question: why do all power-point presentations start with a motivational quote slide, which the presenter reads in a meaningful tone and then asks "who said it?" For some reason this really, really gets my goat. For example:
"Winning is not a sometime thing. It's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while. You don't do things right once in a while. You do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing." ANYBODY? ANYBODY? WHO SAID IT? ANYBODY KNOW?......ANYBODY...COME ON GUYS...Anybody? Vince Lombardi. Ok moving on.
What's the point of this? We're not 13-year-old girls with motivational butterfly quote journals. We don't know who said it. Just ask once (if at all) and then move on. We have four and half hours to get through here. Christ.
Four and a half hours later, we made it back to our hotel. We had a half an hour before we had to be at our team dinner and I was looking forward to flopping on my bed and not talking to anyone. Alas, that much needed personal time was not in the cards. Marriott fucked up and I had to share a room with Boss #1. Upon hearing this Boss #1 looked at me and said, "well, hope you're comfortable with me because I sleep bare ass," and then walked away. She sleeps "bare ass." Let me just jump ahead a bit and answer the question I know you're asking—yes, I have seen Boss #1 very, very naked.
After dropping off our luggage in our hotel rooms, we convened outside the hotel and waited for our car to come and take us to dinner. Our car came. But it wasn't a car. It was a prom-style stretch limousine blasting Madonna's Vogue at full volume.
Dreamy star-studded limo ceiling:
Classy fake limo crystal stemware:
My co-workers squealed with delight. I died a little on the inside and prayed to god I wouldn't see anyone I knew. We piled into the limo (prompting a delightful flashback to Senior Prom, tripping balls on pot brownies) and suddenly it was like Girls Gone Wild: 40-Something Divorcée Edition. Everyone was taking shots, flashing their bras and taking pictures. I sat quietly with my hands folded in my lap. Honestly, I am not a prude at all, but I just can't quiet that little voice in my head that says, "THIS IS HORRIBLY INAPPROPRIATE!!!" Finally we got to the restaurant and headed to the bar for pre-dinner happy hour. Where of course the pregnant woman from our NYC division was pouding beers. And no, it was not non-alcoholic beer:
At that moment, I sat myself down and thought, "Meggles, you have two options here: you can go through the next three hours feeling awkward as sin, ruminating to yourself about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or you can chug this beer and get rull friendly." I chose the latter. So I put in the effort and mingled with my co-workers. I have heard about more children's softball leagues than I ever knew existed. But I was inquisitive and polite, so good for me. Mid dinner I glanced down at my iphone and guess what wireless network popped up? Dr. Dre.
A high-pitched squealing noise flew out of my mouth and the table went silent. I looked up and everyone was staring at me waiting for an explanation. And let me tell you, it's not as easy as you'd think to explain to a table full of strangers that Dr. Dre is your soul mate and you're totally all up in his wifi right now.
As dinner winded down I couldn't wait to go back to the hotel. I was pooped. I wandered over to a (drunk) Boss #1 and told her I was heading back, to which she slurred, "Aw hell, does this mean I have to go too?" "No, no; I have my own room key." "GOOD. Cuz I wasn't done partyin'!" Hahaha awkward polite laughter you're a drunk and you make me uncomfortable gotta go. By the way: you people are all married and 46-years-old. Why are you getting freaky with each other like inner-city children at a school dance? Seriously, I have never seen so much drunken ass-grabbing and shameless sexual innuendo swapping in all of my days. Growing up my dad was always away on business; is this what he was doing that whole time?! Is this normal business trip behavior?? You have children and loving spouses! Stop sitting on each other's laps!
When I got back to the hotel I felt like the biggest loser ever. It was 10:30, I was exhausted, and everyone else was out partying. As I sat on my bed in my Jack Daniel's pajamas (that I was in no way prepared for Boss #1 to see,) I called my mom and had a total flashback to freshman orientation. Freshman orientation was a disaster for me. I hadn't met one person I thought I could be friends with and my over-night roommate answered the door completely topless and made me feel like a loser when I didn't want to go "watch the boys play Frisbee." I called my mom in tears all "I HATE COLLEGE! Everyone is topless and from Long Island and this was a huge mistake and I don't want to be here anymore!!!!!" Bless her heart, she stayed on the phone with me until I fell asleep. This time I called her up tear-free, said "these people are bit-shit crazy" had a good LOL and curled up in bed to watch Dead Like Me on my laptop.
A few hours later Boss #1 poured herself home. She was drunk. She stripped down to her bra and underoos, grabbed a pair of tweezers, perched herself on the sink and with the door open proceeded to drunkenly pick her zits in the mirror while gossiping about our co-workers. The night actually turned out to be kind of fun because we both got into our respective beds and stayed up for hours giggling and talking shit, slumber party style. It turns out she hates Mark The Big-Gay-Co-Worker maybe even more than I do! That was a special moment. A special, naked moment.
Day 2: Tuesday
The next morning I got up and hopped into the shower, ready to face a 9 hour day of meetings. As I stood in the shower, Boss #1 barged in—"MEGHAN! I just got my period! Do you have any tampons?" Now, the shower of course had a shower curtain, but it was semi-transparent...which made things semi-awkward. I said "no" as I awkwardly tried to hide my entire person behind a six-inch square of washcloth. "Aw hell. I'm bleeding out my snatch. Guess I'll just have to shove some toilet paper up there until we can find a CVS." So I stood there. Naked. As inches away from me my boss shoved toilet paper up her "bleeding snatch." Nothing will ever be the same in my world again.
To make matters worse, Boss #1 later walked out of the bathroom and caught me changing my underoos. I grabbed my skirt and covered myself. Boss #1 clearly didn't notice what I was doing and kept talking to me about God knows what. Finally I squeaked out, "Um, would you mind turning around, I'm sort of, um, changing my bottoms." CHANGING MY BOTTOMS? Who the fuck am I??? I might have well said my "fanny" was showing.
A few hours later, we arrived back at the conference and dived into nine straight hours of meetings. I got through these nine hours by playing many a round of "99 bottles of Stephen Hawking on the wall" ("99 bottles of Stephen Hawking on the wall, 99 bottles of Steve, you take one down, pass Steve around, 98 bottles of Stephen Hawking on the wall"—and so on) At one point I looked at a graphic that was on the wall and thought to myself, "Ooo Trade Gothic! I like Trade Gothic!" and decided to see how many songs I could write about my love for Trade Gothic.
To the tune of Baby Got Back:
I like Trade Gothic and I can not lie
You other designers can't deny,
When you open that doc, highlight your type and put in trade goth
It looks CLEAN.
To the Tune of Billy Idol's White Wedding:
Hey little sister, what have you done?
You put it in comic sans cuz you thought that font was fun,
Sure it's kind of fun, but so is smoking crack
You need a new font and I know where it's at
Let's go to Font Town—SHOTGUN!
Yeah, you need a new font that's, not as played
You need the sexy font of, Gothic comma Trade
To the tune of Johnnie Taylor's Disco Lady:
Rag it left, rag it right
Kern it in, make it tight
Trade Gothic Lady!
Lead it up, lead it down
Play with placement, move it around
Trade Gothic Lady!
To the tune of Lady Gaga's LoveGame:
Let's make it sans serif, let's make it thick
Trade Gothic is my favorite typeface, bitch.
Let's make it sans serif, let's make it thick
Trade Gothic is my favorite typeface, bitch.
'Eh. I kind of lost it with the last one. But this and a lot of Twittering is what got me through those long nine hours. At one point I noticed the person leading our discussion clearly had an accident and was missing three fingers on his right hand. You could also tell he was rocking a fresh skin graft too. I was retrospectively nauseated at shaking his head. I was sitting right next to him while he was giving his presentation (his opening motivational slide quote was from the founder of Patagonia, in case you were wondering) and every time he would point or motion with his hand, his freshly skin grafted numbs would fly past my face and I'd spend 15 minutes trying not to vomit. I realize by me saying this I'm probably going to get my hand chopped off on the way home from work today, but I'm just being honest.
Nine (—ty billion) hours later, our meetings were over and I skipped the second team dinner to meet Co-Blogger Chris for dinner, where I'm not saying I acted like a manic psychopath, but I'm not not saying I acted like a manic psychopath. I was just so excited to see someone I could actually be myself around. Being Work Meg (aka Meghan) for such a long amount of time can really take it out of a girl.
I got back to the hotel room at around 11:30, Boss #1 nowhere in sight. Again I cozied up in my Jack Daniel's pajamas and watched TV for a few hours until Boss #1 came home faaarrrr drunker than she had been the night before. She was stumbling, slurring and incoherently mumbling about how "she couldn't walk even though she was flat-footed." Boss #1 stripped down again, got in bed and proceeded to drunk dial her ex-fiancé from 13-years ago, Steve. She told me all about her four prior marriages and the intimate details of Steve her ex-fiancé. Steve and Boss #1 met on a business trip similar to the one we were on, except Steve walked her back to her hotel room, pushed her into her room, threw her up against a wall and fucked her then and there. (True or false: that's the hottest thing I've ever heard?...True.) They drank champagne and ate chocolate all night and "boy was he good at what he did," (I prayed to god she was talking about sales, but she was in fact she talking about sex. "Freaky shit," to be exact.) They tried doing a long-distance relationship, but he would cry when he dropped her off at the airport so she dumped him.
Boss #1 and I stayed up all night talking and I have to say, it was pretty nice. I feel like we really connected. I opened up a wee bit and she told me more (and more and more) about her life. I liked it. I felt like maybe I was wrong about her and she wasn't an over sharing hillbilly. My little heart was warmed. Until she concluded our little heartfelt talk with, and I quote, "Ah man, I gotta go change my tampon, I'm bleeding like a stuffed pig."
Comparatively speaking, Day 3 was pretty tame. We caught a train back to DC, had a post-meeting meeting and parted ways.
Overall, here is what I learned from my first business trip:
1.) I was not made for Corporate America
2.) I might have Asperger's
3.) For having two kids, Boss #1 has a bangin' body
4.) Maybe it wouldn't kill me to open up a little more around my co-workers
5.) Sperm can taste like cream cheese
6.) Should you ever not have a tampon, shoving toilet paper up your snatch is a reasonable alternative
7.) It's not just me; Mark the Big-Gay-Co-Worker is a total asshole
8.) Man I miss New York
9.) People in their 40's like to get their freak on
and 10.) Stuffed pigs apparently bleed like a menstrating snatch
Man it's good to be back.