I meant to write this blog yesterday, but it's been a long week. A death in the family, the hellhound of the house chased my daughter's beloved cat into the woods and hasn't since returned (the cat, not the dog), and I've had an onslaught of headaches (it would be easier to tell you how many days I *haven't* had a headache).
I think it's time for a funny story. At my own expense, of course.
For those of you who don't know, I negotiate contracts for a living. "What?" you're thinking. "I thought this was supposed to a funny story, not a boring story?" OK, yes, my job is kind of dry, but seriously, there are funny moments.
Anyway, I'm negotiating this really rough contract, and the customer just isn't budging on some issues that we, quite frankly, need them to budge on. A trip to NYC is planned, and I pull in a few big guns along with an expert team to nail this bitch down: my attorney (a young lady, who also happened to be my boss at the time), a Sr. Regional Vice President (a kind of big guy), the Vice President of finance (a tall, rather distiguished looker), the strategic account exectuve (a tiny pip of a lady), an underwriter (average height guy), and me (back when I was thinner...and younger).
I've never met most of these people before, cuz I'm not exactly hob-nobbing with the execs on a daily basis, being lower on the totem pole. We decide to meet in NYC for lunch before descending en masse upon the customer.
We have lunch, which I manage to get through without saying or doing anything stupid. A miracle, I know. It's a little awkward for me, as I'm not particularly good at small talk, especially when I'm thrust into a group of decision-makers.
Lunch is over, and one of the execs orders a car to take us to the customer's office. It's one of those cars where there are 2 seats in the back facing each other. The Sr. RVP and the fincial VP sit on one side, and the two ladies are on the other. I get along with the attorney quite well ( which is good since she *is* my boss), so I opt to sit next to her. But when the underwriter starts to follow me into the car, he eyes how much room is left on the seat with the 2 larger men and pauses.
"I can't squeeze into that seat," he says.
This innocent little statement starts a domino effect that ultimately traumatizes more than one person in that car.
I gallantly offer to switch seats.
Did I mention that running through the middle of the car floor is a hump? No?
I rise. I'm hunched over so I don't hit my head on the ceiling. I step over the hump. Unfortunately, I forget about the heel on my shoe, which catches on the hump. Since I'm hunched over, all my weight is pitched forward.
The rest of my body follows my head. I go down.
Right into the Finance VP's lap.
Did I mention I went down face first?
Don't even *ask* where my hands went...I've block that part of the trauma out.
Picture this: Dale is on her knees, in a car full of people, with her face in a Finance VP's lap.
Oh. My. God.
I leap up as if my face had caught on fire which, in fact, it had.
Whatever ice had previously frozen my personality with this group, has been broken.
The entire group laughs so hard, I think the car windows are going to shatter. To add insult to injury, I now have to sit next to this distinquished-looking VP all the way to the customer's office; this distinquished VP...whom I've never met before that day...who's had the pleasure of having my face in his lap.
To this day, the running joke in the contract department is if we need something from the finance department...send Dale.