Hungover in WHOSE Heels?

Hungover in WHOSE Heels?  #funny  #travel #flight #Boston #heels

So then…just as I settle in to sip my soda at 20,000 feet — I hear the passenger behind me ask the flight attendant, “What’s the weather like in Boston?”

WHAT THE HELL?

This flight’s going to Washington DC!

She says, “Oh, it’s nice in Boston tonight. A little cool.”

I pop up and tap her on the shoulder. “Um, where did you say this plane was going?”

“Boston,” she replies.

“No, Washington DC,” I say slowly.

“Noooo. Boston,” she says.

We stare at each other.

One of us is wrong.

And it’s possible the one who’s correct about where the airplane is going is the airplane employee.

Ah, dammit!

To be candid, I hadn’t wanted to go on this stupid business trip anyway. I love my New York job but what 24-year-old wants to cut their weekend short to fly to DC for a Monday morning conference?  Not me!

“I thought I was on the plane to DC?” I say hopefully. Maybe the pilot can make a U-turn?

Um no.

“Sorry,” she says. “We’re headed to Boston. But let’s see what we can do.”

Angel that she is, she radios down to the airline supervisor who hooks me up with a free flight to DC first thing tomorrow – and a free hotel room in Boston tonight!

SCORE! I’m thrilled I don’t have to pay for it myself — or miss the conference — or admit my blunder to my boss.

When I unpack my overnight bag in the hotel, I realize I brought my business suit, blouse, stockings – and NO SHOES!

I only have the sneakers I wore on the flight tonight!

I can’t possibly attend a professional business conference in a suit, stockings, and SNEAKERS! And of course they don’t sell high heels in the hotel gift shop! And certainly not in a size 10! (Yes, I have feet the size of surfboards!)

Brainstorm!

“Hello, Kim? Guess which of your favorite cousins just landed in Boston and desperately needs to borrow a pair of your size 10 heels? I’ll buy you massive amounts of cocktails in exchange for borrowing your shoes!”

So my big-hearted (and big-footed) cousin Kim drives over to the hotel and dumps 7 pairs of heels on my hotel bed! We pick a pair, then head to the lobby bar for libations.

We laugh, talk, cackle, eat, drink — and drink some more — and finally stumble back up to the room in the wee hours of the morning.

The next day, my head’s splitting as I slip on her shoes, hug her goodbye, and dash off to the airport for my early morning flight.

An hour later, I land in DC – hungover in borrowed heels.

I suffer through the conference – taking a few notes to share with my boss later.

Then I zip back to NY, so relieved that no one need know about my slight detour.

A week later, I receive a note from the accounting department saying, “Your receipts included an airline ticket stub from NY to Boston – and from DC to NY. Please advise how you got from Boston to DC.”

Ah dammit.

I wonder if I can say, “Hey, dudes, chill. It didn’t cost the company any extra money – and just never you mind how I got from Boston to DC. Just be cool, accountants, be cool.”

Probably not.

I figure I’d better “advise” my boss before I “advise” the accounting department.

I’m mortified, of course. At 24, I want to appear professional, well-prepared, and competent.

I hesitantly confess.

My boss bursts out laughing. “You got on the WRONG plane?”

She hops up and pokes her head out the door to yell: “Did you hear that? Darcy got on the wrong plane! She was supposed to go to DC but she went to BOSTON! Bwahahaha!”

My coworkers pop up from their cubicles to cheer, clap, and laugh.

I hang my head on the Walk of Shame back to my cubicle.

Henceforth, I’m mocked mercilessly whenever I go somewhere:
“Have a great trip to Denver, Darcy – or where ever you end up.”
“Need a map to your apartment?”
“Can I help you find the bathroom?”

And THAT’S how I earned the nickname, “Wrong Way Darcy!”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Ever end up in the wrong place? Take the wrong road – get lost – hop on the wrong plane/train/bus/boat? Any other delicate flowers out there with Sasquatch-size feet?)

Hungover Letter to President

Hungover Letter FROM President

Although I’m mercilessly mocked for my wayward ways, I have the good Southern manners to write a thank you note to the President of Eastern Airlines (as shown here).

I share the story of the free flight and hotel room, then write, “I was delighted with the kindness and concern of your employees. I salute your generosity and understanding. Should I ever wander on to the wrong plane again – I hope it’s one of yours!”

Yep, these are actual excerpts between me and the President of Eastern Airlines over the airplane snafu!

Surprising Secret My Boss Revealed One Night

The Surprising Secret My Boss Revealed One Night

So then…our boss Kate packs some files in her bag and says, “Hey, are you free for drinks after work tomorrow? I want to talk to you guys about something.”

Becky and I look at each other and say, “Sure.”

Kate says, “Tito’s?”

“Yeah,” we say.

As soon as Kate leaves, Becky says, “I wonder what she wants to discuss.” (Kate’s only a few years older than us – she’s mid-30’s and we’re in our late 20’s. She’s really smart and funny, so we love joking about our clients with her.)

“I don’t know,” I say. “We usually go to Tito’s after work in a group. Sounds like she has something confidential to tell us.”

Becky murmurs, “Yeah.”

“Maybe the company’s getting sold or we’re merging or something?” I suggest.

“Nah, I think it’s something personal,” she speculates.

“Oh!” I exclaim suddenly. “I know what she wants to tell us!”

“Me too,” says Becky.

Me:                  She’s pregnant!
Becky:             She’s gay!

My jaw hits the floor.

“What? Gay? She’s married to Peter!” I say.

Becky says, “Have you ever actually met Peter?”

“No…” I admit. “But I’ve only worked here a couple months. But she talks about him all the time – he works in finance downtown – he travels; they go running together.”

“Yes, but you’ve never actually MET him,” she asserts. “I’ve been here awhile and he didn’t attend the summer picnic or the holiday party because he was on ‘business trips.’”

“Oh, I don’t know…” I say dubiously.

“Well, I guess we’ll find out tomorrow night,” says Becky.

As I head home, I ponder the secret Kate plans to share. I’ve already started thinking about decorations, gifts, and cake flavors. But am I planning a Baby Shower or a Gay Parade?

That night I tell my boyfriend the mystery – and the two different theories.

He shrugs indifferently and asks, “Well, could she be gay?”

“I don’t know! I don’t know any gay people!” I say.

He laughs. “Of course you do,” he says. “You just don’t KNOW they’re gay.”

“Oh. (pause) Really?” I ask skeptically.

I’m from a small conservative town in Louisiana – and I attended college in Des Moines, which is not exactly a thriving metropolis. I’m not very sophisticated, but I sort of figured if I met someone who was gay, I’d know.

He teases me, “It’s not like they’re gonna wave a rainbow flag at you and wear a nametag saying ‘Hi, I’m gay!’”

I laugh. He’s probably right. I probably know people who are gay but I just don’t know they are – which makes me wholly unqualified to determine if Kate is or not.

And of course, I like and respect Kate regardless of her sexual orientation – but it would surprise me so much since she’s MARRIED.TO.PETER!

And no one’s ever come “out” to me before, so I go to the mirror to practice my casual head toss and shrug like “no big deal, man” so she’ll know I’m a sophisticated live-and-let-live chick.

The next day, I keep glancing at Kate to check for a baby bump.

After work, Becky and I meet Kate at Tito’s and order chips and salsa and margaritas.

Kate says, “I feel like I’m close enough friends with you guys to share something personal – I’m gay.”

I shrug and say, “That’s cool.”

But inside, I’m thinking: “OMIGOD OMIGOD! She IS gay! I can’t believe it! I totally thought the news was pregnancy! And did I just say “that’s cool?” OMIGOD I used a tone of voice like I was letting her know that her gayness is “cool” with me! Who am I to give approval over gayness or not? OMIGOD I’m trying to act all sophisticated and nonchalant but I’m coming across like a total moron! THANK GOD Becky gave me a heads up last night so my jaw didn’t drop open IN FRONT OF KATE – and so I didn’t ARGUE with her that she can’t be gay since she’s married to Peter and OMIGOD what IS the story with Peter? Does HE know? Shouldn’t she be telling PETER instead of us? Maybe we’re the practice run for Peter! OMIGOD am I handling this right? Am I frowning judgmentally? Am I smiling maniacally? Do I look confused? I want her to know I’m her friend no matter what she tells us — and that her gayness is fine with me. No, it’s MORE than fine – it’s terrific! I LOVE her gayness! How can I convince her I’m not anti-gay? I’ll tell her I LOVE gays! I’ll tell her I’M gay!”

As I’m whipping myself into an existential liberal crisis, Becky is smoothly thanking Kate for confiding in us.

Kate shares that she encountered some bigotry at her previous company when she was open about being gay, so at the next company, she just didn’t mention her girlfriend. But then everyone at that company tried to fix her up on blind dates. So at this company, she figured she’d just give her girlfriend a different name (and a different gender) and then she could speak freely about their activities, vacations, etc.

She said that worked for awhile, but as she gets closer to her coworkers, she feels deceptive to leave that detail out – so now she’s telling us.

Oh thank GOD! “Peter” is really Marnie. And Marnie DOES work in finance downtown, travels, and runs on the weekends – and she is absolutely lovely and we like her instantly when we meet her later.

And based on how well we handled the news that night at Tito’s, Kate comes out to the whole office, which all goes smoothly. And Kate and Marnie soon take in foster children, eventually adopting 2 kids.

And I’m convinced that this happy ending is all due to my ability to react to Kate’s secret so casually. (I was practically like The Fonz in a black leather jacket, with a shrug and a thumbs up, like “Aaaaaay, that’s cool.”) Totally awkward and goofy – but hey, that’s me.

This is henceforth known as The Night I Blessed All the Gays – (Even Though They Didn’t Actually Need My Blessing).

— Darcy Perdu

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(Has your boss or coworker ever confided a secret? Are you sophisticated and worldly – or awkward and goofy like me? Have YOU ever confided a secret to a colleague – how did they react?)

Making a Bodacious Blunder – in Front of My Boss — OF COURSE

Of Course I Make a Bodacious Blunder in Front of My New Boss! So Embarrassing & So Funny!  #humor #boss #office

So then…she starts rattling off all the things we need to do on the day of the big benefit, so I scribble notes as quickly as I can.

This is only my second week on the job, so I’m not entirely familiar with everything my boss is saying, but there are 3 other staffers in the office with us and they all seem to be nodding along.

I just graduated college — and now I’ve moved to Manhattan to work in public relations at a Fortune 500 company on Park Avenue! I can’t believe my good fortune, but I know I have to work my ass off to keep the job!

My co-workers are all fast-talking New Yorkers, so I struggle a bit to keep up (what with me being a sweet drawlin’ Southern gal and all).

My boss lets loose a brisk list of directives involving the caterer, tele-prompters, speakers, nametags, photographers, and music.

As she doles out assignments, she says, “OK, Darcy, you’ll take the limo over to CBS to pick up one of the honorees, Marlene Sanders, and bring her over to the Waldorf Astoria. Go straight to the VIP reception. Brenda, make sure the speeches are in the press packets over in the — ”

But the rest of the sentence fades away because all I can think of is the part where she told me to go pick up broadcaster Marlene Sanders at CBS. I can’t do that.

But I don’t know if my boss knows that I can’t do that.

And I don’t want to interrupt her rapid-fire commands to the group – especially since everyone else seems to be taking their tasks in stride.

I’m starting to sweat. I can barely concentrate. I want to be the can-do girl, I really do – but I have to tell them I can’t do this. It will be worse if I keep it to myself.

So in the middle of her monologue, I boldly blurt, “I’m so sorry but I can’t pick up Marlene Sanders and take her to the Waldorf! I only have a Louisiana driver’s license, not New York! And I think you need to have a special LIMO license to drive a limo, anyway, and there’s no way I can get one of those by Friday—“

Everyone stares at me.

I blush from head to toe.

My boss bursts out laughing. “Darcy, we don’t expect you to DRIVE the limo to pick up Marlene. Just go IN the limo with the chauffeur, pick her up, and escort her to the VIP reception to make sure she gets where she needs to be.”

I am mortified.

Everyone giggles. The other staffers roll their eyes at my naiveté. They will repeat this story in the lunch room for weeks to come.

But I don’t care.

Because I am so frikkin’ relieved!

I cannot tell you the PANIC I felt — just thinking about me being unlicensed and trying to drive a big-ass limousine through the chaotic streets of New York, desperate to find a parking spot near the CBS building!

Thank God I only had to ride in the limo. This is a talent for which I am uniquely qualified!

— Darcy Perdu

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Original Illustration by Mary Chowdhury for So Then Stories

(OK, out with it! Share the times you’ve embarrassed yourself in front of your co-workers or boss! Whether it was a summer job in college – or your first day in your current career – I KNOW you made a bodacious blunder or a funny faux pas – so share it with us in the Comments below!)