WHAT in the WORLD…?

Not sure what's the MOST embarrassing thing in this post - but ALL of it has me in giggles! @sothenstories

So then…I clarify that this post is not intended to make fun of the people mentioned in the post.

Which I’d never do.

It IS intended to make fun of my teen daughter Chloe.

Which I do all the time.

In fact, it’s my life’s work.

But let’s face it, she’s an accomplice to that. She just makes it so easy.

For the purposes of today’s tale, you should know that Mr. V is a very smart, skilled science teacher with grey hair – and an accent from a country whose surnames have so many vowels, everyone just calls him Mr. V.

And now our tale:

As I’m laying down on Chloe’s bed while she puts on her pajamas, I tell her about a vendor’s new employee I met today. “She’s very sharp, capable, professional – dresses beautifully – really very impressive—”

“But…?” asks Chloe, as she climbs into the bed.

“But she ends every sentence with ‘and everything,’” I say. “It’s the oddest thing. I’m used to people saying ‘ya know’ or ‘ok’ repetitively, but I’ve never met anyone who said that. And she kinds of slurs it, like ‘an’ errrthing.’”

“She says it a lot?” asks Chloe.

“Yes! She’ll say, ‘We’ll send you the spreadsheets an’ errrthing, then you can review the figures an’ errrthing so we can get together for a meeting an’ errrthing.’”

“No way!”

“Yes, really! But she’s so professional in every other way, she may not even know she’s doing it. We’re going to be working together a lot — I’m wondering if I could discreetly mention it to her, as a helpful—”

“NO!” says Chloe.

“Just a friendly word of advice? She might appreciate it.”

“No, Mom, you cannot do that! I hate when people tell me I use the word “like” all the time! I know I use it, but I’m like a Valley Girl – I can’t help it!”

‘Like’ a Valley Girl?” I grin. She laughs.

“Well,” I say authoritatively, “Sometimes in business it’s OK to advise people—”

“No, no, no!” She shakes her head vehemently.

I laugh and say, “Yes, it IS OK – hey, don’t you remember that time my friend Carol had to tell her employee that people complained about him stinking? Remember? And she had to tell him to take showers? He was from a different country where they don’t shower that much so—”

“OMIGOD! Like Mr. V!!” she exclaims.

“Oh really? Does he smell a bit—?”

“OH!” she says fervently, “It’s in-TOX-icating!”

Bwahahahahahahaha!

I die laughing.

“In-TOX-icating? The smell is in-TOX-icating?” I ask.

She blushes and blurts, “Yes! Wait! Is that the right word?”

“Chloe, that means you find his scent powerful and exhilarating! Appealing and captivating! Like you’re drunk on his aroma! Like you’re swooning!”

She buries her head in the pillow – mortified!

“Did you mean the smell is ‘in-TOL-erable” instead of ‘in-TOX-icating?’ Maybe? Just maybe?”

She pulls the covers over her head.

I impersonate her voice and add a flirtatious lilt. “Oh Mr. V, come closer, come closer. Your smell is so in-TOX-icating!”

She’s shouting “STOP STOP STOP!” from under the covers — and the bed’s shaking ‘cause we’re laughing so hard.

And you can bet that ever since then, whenever she least suspects it – (and often when we’re in the company of others) – I interrupt the conversation to passionately blurt, “Oh! It’s so in-TOX-icating!”

She always turns bright red and shoots me a fierce look – and I just laugh and laugh and laugh!

— Darcy Perdu
PS I changed his initial to further protect the teacher’s anonymity!

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(What words do YOUR kids mix up? Have you ever had to give constructive feedback on an awkward issue to an employee/coworker?)

For hilarious tales from the front lines of parenting — and my story of the most embarrassing thing I’ve EVER done — buy this rockin’ new book, I STILL Just Want to Pee Alone!
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Oh, Wait — So You ARE the Boss of Me?

Funny - Darcy ConfusedSo then…my boss says those four words that signal I have officially arrived in The Corporate World — even though I am only 23 years old: “You can hire staff.” I’m so excited! I’ve spent my whole life hustling for jobs and taking on more and more responsibility and work – and now I get to hire someone to help ME!

Now granted, “staff” implies multiple employees and my boss means just the one. And that employee will help me AND the whole department. And that employee will actually be a college student summer internBUT STILL! My very own staff!

I myself have just graduated college last year and already I get to hire someone! I’m ecstatic! I’m so overwhelmed with my workload, often working evenings, so I can’t wait to… (shudder of anticipatory delight) … to DELEGATE.

So HR sends me some resumes of outstanding college sophomores and juniors looking for great internships to beef up their resumes. I’m fairly certain the kids (yes, I can call them “kids” now – I AM 23, for Pete’s sake) will consider this summer internship a plum assignment since we are a Fortune 500 company located on Park Avenue in New York City – AND our internships are paid!

I begin the interviews with confidence that the kids will be tripping over themselves to snag this job.

College Junior Tom’s interview is going very well – good grades, great referrals — then he tells me, “I can write stuff and work on projects, but I don’t want to copy things – or run errands – or be, you know, a ‘gopher.’”

Huh? I furrow my brow at Tom.

I quickly explain to him, “But you DO know that in Latin, intern means ‘gopher,’ right? That’s why we hire interns – to do all the work we don’t want to do. If it was fun, interesting, challenging work, we’d do it ourselves.”

Huh? Now Tom furrows his brow at me.

So then, I interview College Sophomore Clara. And I love her! She’s outgoing, perky, and seems very competent. Clara seems like the kind of can-do gal who can do!

I like her so much, I throw her a softball question: “What’s your greatest strength?”

I figure her answer will be something like “I learn fast, work hard, and I can write, research, plan events — whatever needs to be done!”

But instead she says, “I think my greatest strength is managing people.

Huh? I furrow my brow at Clara.

She’s applying to be an intern, for God’s sake. That’s the lowest head on the totem pole. In fact, it’s not even ON the totem pole. It’s a small head – like a shrunken head – NEXT to the totem pole, LOOKING at the totem pole thinking, “Oh, I hope one day I get to be ON that totem pole.”

But her greatest strength is managing people?

I say, “Um..OK. But how would you feel about taking a summer job where you manage NO ONE – but you are managed by EVERYONE?

Clara says very confidently, “Oh, that’s OK. When I joined the French Club at the beginning of the school year, I was just a member — but by the end of the school year, I was the President of the French Club!”

I pause and say soothingly as though talking to a mental patient with a tinfoil hat, “Um…OK, but you do realize that at the end of the summer internship, you probably won’t be the President of our company, right?”

Clara shrugs imperiously, as though to say, “Well, maybe not by the end of summer.”

I figure that the last thing I need is an intern who wants to boss me around – for God’s sake, I want to do the bossing!

So I interview a few more people — and I find Susan who turns out to be ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS – qualified, smart, hard-working, and with a great sense of humor. It’s a good thing too – I’m more likely to crack jokes than crack the whip anyway!

— Darcy Perdu

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(Have you ever received some surprising answers from candidates during your interviews? Or have YOU given an odd response to a prospective employer that you wish you could have taken back? Any fun summer internship stories? Share in the Comments!)
Funny - Oh Wait - So You ARE the Boss of Me

Hmm, Me Thinks He Doth Protest Too Much

What is Mark hiding? Mark: Why do you ask? (Hmm, methinks he doth protest too much...) #funny

So then…I pick up my office phone in hopes that I can get some work done today.

It seems everyone I call this afternoon is distracted by a meeting just about to start — or they’re at lunch — or out running an errand.

I dial the cell phone of Mark Wilson — Vice President at a company bidding to be our vendor.  I’m hoping he’s available to discuss the proposal that his firm submitted.

Ring, ring.

“Mark Wilson,” he says a little hesitantly.

“Hey, Mark, it’s Darcy Perdu. Can you talk?”

“Well, yeah.” Pause. “I’m not drunk, if that’s what you mean.”

What?

I burst out laughing. “Drunk? Why would I think you’re drunk, Mark? Are you in the habit of imbibing during the business day? It’s only 2:00, for God’s sake!”

“No, it’s just that you asked if I ‘can talk.’ Of course I can talk. Let’s talk.” He says all this a little quickly, a little defensively.

Is he joking around? Or is he pulling a BFM? (Barney Fife Maneuver)

You know, like when Sheriff Andy says, “Barney, the bank robber escaped! Where is he?”

And Barney says, “I have no idea where he is, boss. He’s certainly not hiding under the desk!”

Of course Barney’s nervousness results in him admitting the very thing he’s trying to hide!

So is Mark actually drunk — and trying to unsuccessfully divert attention from that fact?

Or does he just have a warped sense of humor?

Either way, I’m putting his company’s bid at the top of my list.

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any fun work stories to share? Odd behavior of vendors or co-workers?)