Oh, Don’t Think I WON’T!

Oh, Don't Think I WON'T!
So then…we come barreling down the hall just as the gate agent is about to close the gangway door.

“Wait! Wait! Can we get on this flight?!” I shout.

My co-worker Teresa pleads, “Pleeeeeeeease?”

Our other 2 co-workers, Mike and Matt, are huffing and puffing so much they can’t even speak.

The gate agent looks us over – 4 young corporate kids, all in our late 20’s, with our briefcases and carry-ons hanging off our crumpled suits, as we wheeze and gasp after running through the airport.

Her face wavers between impatience to get the flight on its way – and a tiny bit of pity.

I pounce on that shred of emotion. “Oh please, we BEG of you! We RACED here after the convention, only to find out our flight was delayed cuz of snow and ice — so we booked a different flight back home, ran to THAT gate, only to find out THAT one was delayed too! So they booked us on THIS flight – but it took us FOREVER to run here from the LAST gate!”

Matt clutches his chest and leans against the wall, loosening his tie. (Not sure if he’s doing this for dramatic effect or if he’s really in distress, but it works!)

The gate agent says, “OK, OK, give me your boarding passes and get on the plane quickly.”

We hoot and holler and wave our boarding passes in the air. We scramble quickly down the gangway onto the airplane. A few people are still in the aisle, storing their bags and finding their seats.

“Thank God we made it!” says Teresa.

Mike and Matt high five each other. We’re all beaming.

Matt says, “We’re so lucky we didn’t get stranded at the airport.”

“Yeah,” I say. “But I really hope they serve dinner on this flight. Cuz it’s 5 hours long and we didn’t have time to buy anything in the airport.”

Mike looks stricken. “Dammit. None of us has food?”

We all shake our heads forlornly. We haven’t eaten since the lunch of sandwiches at the convention hall — and now it’s late night.

Teresa says, “Oh, I’m sure they’re gonna serve dinner on this flight!”

She smiles optimistically. I frown skeptically.

We find our seats, stow our bags, and buckle in.

Teresa’s next to me. The guys are in the row behind us.

Later, the flight attendant comes down the aisle, dispensing drinks and dropping a little bag of pretzels on each tray table.

“Will you be serving dinner soon?” I ask.

The attendant says, “There’s no dinner.”

Teresa nearly spits out her Coke. Matt and Mike behind us say loudly, “WHAT?”

“We have pretzels,” she says. “We had peanuts earlier today, but we’re all out now.”

“Omigod, seriously?” I ask. “THIS is it? This is ALL the food?”

“Yes.”

Teresa fumbles with the cards in the seat pocket and asks, “Can we BUY food? Do you have a snack menu or something? We’ll pay! We have MONEY!”

The attendant shakes her head.

Matt calls out, “Is she saying there’s no food?”

I answer loudly, “There are pretzels!” I turn back to the attendant and ask, “Could we please have extra pretzels? We’re starving!

“No, I’m sorry,” she says. “We’re running low. What with the flight delays and cancellations, the airport’s been a mess today — we weren’t able to restock before we left.” She moves on to the rows behind us, distributing the meager fare.

I stand up, lean over my seat back, and hold the packet in front of Matt and Mike.

“Did you guys hear that? THIS is it! THIS is our ENTIRE nutrition on this FIVE HOUR flight!!”

They start laughing and Teresa joins in.

“It’s NOT funny!” I say loudly, still waving my packet around. “I.am.starving! I could eat a horse! And all they give us is this puny packet of pretzels!? I tell you what! You better hope we don’t go down over the Andes, because I will not HESITATE to eat you sorry mofos!”

I plop down into my seat, in a huff, famished and frustrated.

Just then a hand quietly reaches over the aisle and slides a packet of pretzels onto my tray.

My head snaps to the left to see who the donor is – it’s a businessman, with an expression of trepidation.

I say, “Are you sure?”

He nods vigorously.

I nod respectfully, with hooded eyes, and whisper, “Thanks, bro. If we go down, I’ll remember this.”

— Darcy Perdu

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(Ever been so hungry on a flight that cannibalism was an actual consideration? How do you feel about so many airlines abandoning the free meals of yesteryear, but offering snacks and meals for MORE MONEY? Any funny flight delay/cancellation stories? Do tell!)
Oh, Don't Think I WON'T! P

My Business Outfit is Missing a LITTLE Something…

Funny - Slipping Stockings
So then…I pop open my suitcase to pull out my special outfit for the big client presentation on my four-day whirlwind trip to Hong Kong. I need to look my most professional for our clients and the executives at the Shenzhen manufacturing plant this morning.

I’ve brought a special black silk suit — and yes, even pearls and high heels. But when I open the brand new package of pantyhose, I discover that it actually contains…stockings.

You know, stockings. The kind that are just individual casings for the legs, that are supposed to clip into the special garter belt you wear around your waist. Only I didn’t bring a special garter belt. Because I don’t own one.

I only wear pantyhose. You know, the kind with legs connected into a nifty little casing for your butt and waist that you just pull up — and everything stays in place like it’s supposed to? Only I didn’t buy pantyhose. I bought stockings by mistake!

OK, no need to panic. I’m an intelligent woman. I’m staying in a sophisticated metropolis.

Surely I can solve this problem before meeting the client downstairs at 7:00 a.m.

I call the hotel operator. She says, “So sorry. Hotel gift shop not open until 9:00 a.m.”

I rifle through my suitcase. Two pairs of blue jeans. I had sent the business casual pants to the hotel dry cleaners yesterday.

I call the operator again. “So sorry. Hotel dry cleaner not open until 8:00 a.m.”

Back to the suitcase. Two pairs of black trouser socks that come mid-calf. I try on the black silk skirt, which comes mid-knee.

But maybe…if I can just pull down the skirt a bit…and stretch the socks up as far as they can go…and just sort of hunch through the day, maybe it will work. I look in the mirror. Uh…no.

OK, perhaps I’ll just wear the suit without pantyhose. How bad can that be? Yes, it’s January. Yes, it’s freezing. My legs are just a shade whiter than snow. And I haven’t shaved since Halloween. I look in the mirror. Uh…no.

OK, I know, I know! I can call my co-worker. He’s just down the hall. Perhaps he has some pantyhose. Maybe his wife accidentally packed some for him. Or maybe he just travels with pantyhose for his own personal reasons. Who am I to judge? (I decide it’s better not to know.)

Back to the suitcase. I pull on the stockings. They actually look great. I walk around the room. With each step, they slide down my thighs, closer to my ankles. If only I had something to keep them up. I rummage through the hotel bathroom amenities. Qtips, cotton, shower cap, mini nail file. Where’s MacGyver when you need him?

So that gives me a great idea. I call the front desk and ask if they happen to have pantyhose available for forgetful guests. “Pardon me?” she says.

“You know, like when guests forget toothpaste or hair dryers or whatnot, and you provide it for free? Well, I need pantyhose. Does the hotel provide complimentary pantyhose?”

“So sorry. We do not offer this to guests,” she replies.

“Oh. Um…well, do YOU have any pantyhose I could borrow? Or even a garter belt? Black would be best, but at this point, I’m pretty desper—”

Click.

OK, no problem. I can handle this. My eyes dart around the room frantically, looking for some device to keep the stockings safely mid-thigh. I see the desk, which gives me a brilliant idea.

I zip downstairs to the 24-hour hotel business center. Luckily, it’s deserted. I make a beeline for the complimentary office supplies and rummage through paperclips (too short to hook to my panties), glue (too messy), and staples (too painful).

Aha! Scotch Tape!
This Business Outfit Scotch Tape
I hike up my skirt as discreetly as possible and wrap the tape around the top of the stocking and my right thigh several times. I walk around. It seems to hold pretty well. I strap the other stocking to my left leg with layers of tape and I’m good to go. Excellent!

I sit through most of the journey to the factory in the Chinese countryside, so all is well. I alternate between smiling at my little secret – and worrying that it might be discovered. But I’m determined to be professional regardless.

As we tour the factory, I’m surrounded by the manufacturer’s executives (all men) as well as my client’s team (also all men). As I walk, I hear little crinkly noises as the layers of tape on each thigh rub against each other. I glance around to see if anyone else notices. My key buyer has a furrowed brow – but is that because he’s examining the factory’s material testing process – or because he’s thinking “What the hell’s going on under Darcy’s skirt?”

As we progress through the factory, I can feel the tape losing the adhesive battle. It makes a valiant effort, but it can only withstand gravitational forces for so long.

The stockings start to slide. I start to panic. I can’t even imagine the shock on my colleagues’ faces if my stockings and wads of tape suddenly drop to my ankles. I’d be mortified.

I quickly excuse myself to the ladies room, just as the left stocking stutters to a halt at knee level. I rip off the stockings and limp tape, stashing them in the trash can.

When I rejoin the group, the men practically have to shield their eyes from the bright white of my pale legs. No one mentions the missing stockings. I pretend to be calm and confident as my white bare limbs blind passersby.

To be candid, I’m mightily disappointed in the product quality of Scotch Tape. As I hobble through the rest of the tour, I consider sending them a strongly-worded complaint about their inferior adhesiveness in relation to the human thigh on a typical Chinese winter day.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Ever forget a crucial item on a business trip or vacation? Any wardrobe malfunctions or clever fixes? Share in the Comments Section!)

This Business Outfit P

GOLDEN SIDEBOOB AWARD
Meanwhile, funny Mike Regione from Joe Floggers sent me the Golden Sideboob Award, which was created by awesome Lizzi Rogers at Considerings as a crazy award for people brazen enough to post the award to their blog!

The Golden Sideboob

Of course, when you brag to your friends about receiving this award — instead of applauding, they’ll look befuddled and say, “Who sent you a Golden What?” Winners get to nominate the next winner — someone funny, bold, and brazen enough to post it, so I award the Golden Sideboob to Liesl Testwuide at Hairpin Turns Ahead. Congrats, Liesl! Add THIS beauty to your resume! — Darcy Perdu

GOLDEN SIDEBOOB AWARD
More good news! Funny Fran Fischer from Fishducky, Finally! also bestowed an award that my blog is Fish Ducky approved!  She says it’s almost as good as a Nobel Prize for Literature!  I’ll take it!  Thanks, Fran!
Fishducky

Oh No, You Can’t Expense THAT

Apparently, it is not (I repeat, NOT) OK to expense THAT on your business expenses! Totally Mortified!  #funny #office #humor

So then… she utters those words that strike fear into every travelling businessperson: “I need to talk to you about your expense statement.”

My heart races just a bit – the Catholic school girl in me is guilty already, wondering, “Oh, hell, what does she know? What proof does she have?”

But the weary traveler in me is indignant, bristling at the potential accusation from an accountant who never leaves her desk and therefore has no knowledge of flight delays, lost luggage, boring transcontinental flights, mind-numbing client dinners, and noisy hotel room neighbors – all of which necessitate my extensive bar tabs.

I straighten up in my desk chair and speak as casually as I can into the phone, “Whatever do you mean?”

Margaret, who looks like a kindly grandmother but is actually a fierce stickler for rules, rustles some papers over the line and says, “It’s about your trip to Minneapolis to call on Target Headquarters.”

My mind races, trying to recall what questionable expense items I might have listed from that trip several weeks ago. My anxiety stems not so much from my own questionable creative accounting practices, but from Margaret’s apparent disdain for the travelling sales team.

(When James, our Sales Manager, expensed a bottle of aspirin on a business trip because he had a headache, Margaret called him to ask him how many pills he took on the actual trip. When he asked why, she replied that he should only ask for reimbursement for the pills used on the trip, since he’d be using the remainder of the bottle on his own personal time. When he balked, she said then he should donate the rest of the bottle to the receptionist’s desk, so that the rest of the company could use the remaining pills when they have headaches. I’m pretty sure James took the rest of the pills right then and there.)

So I say, “OK, Margaret, what about the Minneapolis trip?”

She says, “Well, it appears that you went to a local Target to buy some competitor’s samples of our products…”

“Yeah, so I could show the Target buyer that our products are superior to his current vendor,” I say defensively.

“And you also bought a bag of Potato Chips and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream…”

“Yes, that was my dinner,” is my churlish reply.

“And you also bought some feminine hygiene products?”

“Oh.”

Damn! Had I really forgotten to buy those on a separate receipt? Hmmm, I don’t suppose there’s a rational reason that I would need to buy those for business purposes.

But that certainly does explain the salty chips and chocolate ice cream for dinner.

“Heh, heh,” I laugh weakly. “Oops! Sorry for that mistake, Margaret. That’s a little embarrassing! I’ll reimburse the company for those items.”

“OK, see that you do so by the end of the day, please,” she says primly.

As an end to our phone call, I try a little levity and say, “I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t try to expense condoms! Heh, heh.”

To which she replies, “Well, if it’s a sales call, that’s allowed as an ‘Entertainment Expense.’”

Touché, Margaret, touché.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any questionable items you’ve claimed on your expense statements? How about a funny business trip story? Share your comments below. I love to read them!)