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!)