Monthly Archives: November 2010

And then this one time I flashed a VP

Everyone has those moderately embarrassing work stories in which you drank a little too much at a company event, your skirt was a little too short for a Tuesday, accidentally hit “reply all” on an e-mail.  At least I assume everyone does in order to make myself feel better about how once on a lovely Monday in March, I flashed one of the vice presidents of my company. 

I vaguely remember getting ready for work that morning- I had purchased a black, 3/4 length sleeve dress from Target the week before.  It was appropriately low cut for both the office and happy hour, covered the tattoo on my arm, was perfectly adorable and soft.  It was also almost a complete outfit- dress, tights, shoes and go, very important on Monday mornings in which I was half asleep and running a little bit late.  On that particular morning, I slipped on nude tights- sans underwear- the black dress and red heels before chasing the L2 bus down the street to get to work on time.  


Fighting the mid-afternoon slump, I game planned a bathroom break before foraging through the kitchen for the secret M&M stash.  My desire for candy overwhelmed me as I quickly used the bathroom and washed my hands.  Walking back into the office, my co-worker Brynn yelled my name from my boss’ office.  “Hold on,” I yelled back, not liking her tone of voice and was on a serious mission, thus continued down the hallway to the kitchen. 

I caught the eye of the Swedish VP who was seated in the board room as I rummaged around the drawers with no luck.  He gave me a funny look- both of surprise and shock.  That was strange, I thought, as I accepted defeat and walked back towards my desk.  Brynn was still yelling my name.

“WHAT?”  I finally yelled, walking into my boss’ office.

She choked words through the laughter, “your dress is stuck in your tights”.  I reached behind me to realized my black dress was indeed stuck in my tights, revealing my entire backside to the world.  Well, not that world, just specifically the Swedish VP that I’d had in total about 4 1/2 conversations with during the 2 months I’d worked there.  Brynn and my boss burst out laughing- the doubled over kind of laugh in which you can’t breathe.  I quickly pulled my dress out yelling, “OH MY GOD THAT IS WHY HE WAS GIVING ME SUCH A STRANGE LOOK I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING WHY THE HELL DID YOU NOT CHASE ME INTO THE KITCHEN? THIS IS THE MOST AWKWARD DAY OF MY LIFE” before sitting down and burying my head in my hands.

I realized this was a pivotal point in my life.  Shit was in slow motion.  I either could laugh right along with them or go hide in the bathroom and cry away my shame.  A laughing at me or with me situation, if you will.  And I chose laughing- with me, not at me- which eventually turned to laughter induced tears.

15 minutes later people pulled it together and returned to their offices.  I couldn’t believe that was not grounds to get the duration of the day off and spent the rest of the afternoon at my desk, people giggling softly every time they walked by me.  When embarrassing things happen to me that make my feel a little bit ashamed, I normally react by telling everyone that will listen in a humorous manor, thus reclaiming the embarrassing and little bit shameful event.  I responded appropriately by sending out this mass e-mail:


What am I wearing under my tights you ask?  NOTHING. 

Laugh it up.  Everyone else at work sure did. 

I know that I was upset, because I used exclamation points and I am morally opposed to exclamation points.  I got a lot of responses along these lines:


The Swed looked at me on his way out the door that night, winked and said “today has sure been exciting”.  Yes, exciting indeed.  One more reason that 9-5 just may not be for me.


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Joe’s response to our office prank:

What he e-mailed to the accused saran wrappers:

I really want to thank all of you for being so considerate.  I was concerned over the past week about my office spoiling while I was gone, but thanks to my special co-workers all of my things were as fresh as when I left them.  I don’t know how I am going to repay you all for your kindness but rest assured your good deeds will not go unrewarded. 

Thanks again for all you have done,

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Apt hunting- DC style

Another common factor in the what is the worst that can happen theory to life is that vital decisions can be made without much thought or foresight such as moving in to a frat style house with three strange boys.  When I first moved to DC, I was living up in Friendship Heights in an apartment with a revolving door of roommates.  Come March I could handle it anymore- not the high rise building with frequent fire drills, not the miserable morning commute on the Red Line which forced me to listen to angry rap music and smoke cigarettes at 9AM, being far away from absolutely everything except a grocery store and post office.  I wanted to be in the action, closer then 15 minutes to a Metro station, off the mother fucking Red Line forever and needed a drastic life change to shake things up. 

Group houses are how most people find roommates and living situations in DC.  With so many people moving in and out of the city on a monthly bases, everything is temporary- living, friends, routine.  Even people that have lived in DC for years tend to find housing situations with strangers- the most popular being the group house.  Group houses are roughly defined as big usually falling apart homes with mismatched furniture and a bunch of people who met each other on Craig’s List or is a friend of a friend of a friend.  Some of them are roughly themed- seeking a roommate who is vegan, works in non-profit, is a Republican.  They get oddly picky about who and what they are looking for.  After they have posted the initial advertisement with details about the house (location, rent, etc.), you send them a witty e-mail.  My go-to e-mail was as follows:

Hi, my name is Rachel and I am responding to your ad on Craig’s List for the room for rent. 

A little about myself:  I am born and bred in the wonderful state of Minnesota.  I grew up in Minneapolis with 2 brothers, 2 dogs and about 37 first cousins in a 3 hour radius.  I went to DePaul University in Chicago for my undergrad and majored in political science and creative writing.  I moved to DC a year ago to worked for an educational foundation for six months.  Our contracts expired at the end of June— after a couple weeks of being overheated and sending out cover letters with no success, I ended up back in Minnesota for  2 months to lounge at the cabin, read books and hang out with my momma. 

I arrived back in DC this fall and after spending a couple months as a nanny, landed a “big girl job”.  I am currently working for an association (I have completely sold out…but they are going to teach me how to fly airplanes, which is dope) and for the next month am teaching at-risk youth from Baltimore and Washington DC how to snowboard on the weekends. 

I am a 9-5 girl, but during my free time I love to read books and newspapers, cook, spend time with friends, travel, go out to eat and explore the many neighborhoods, monuments and museums DC has to offer.  I think I am easy to get along with, have my moments when I am pretty funny and clean up after myself.  I live by the “work hard, play hard” mentality of life. 

Please let me know if you have any more questions about me in advance. 

I look forward to hearing from you,


The point is to sound awesome, but not too cool for school.  By telling them where you work, you are promising you get paid every 2 weeks and can always pay rent.  You want to show your potential roommates that you like to do activities, thus you will not always be posted up on the couch watching trashy TV 7 days a week.  That you have a social life but are not a drunk who will be banging in the front door at 2am on a Tuesday.  Plus other small things like you can hold decent conversations and will put your dishes in the dishwasher.  It is not an exact science, but there is a method to the madness. 

Following the mass sending of e-mails, you are given an invitation to interview.  Group house interviews are kind of like blind dates- the majority of the time, they really suck and were a waste of your time, but once in a while, you score.  If they are a kind group house, they will invite you over at a time convenient with everyone’s schedule to show you the house and chat with you- roommates to potential roommate.  If they are not kind, they will hold an open house, which I came to associate as punishment. 

If you show up to an open house for a particular awesome living situation, guaranteed that 15 other people also think it is awesome.  After a brief tour of the house, you are seated in a room with all of the other current and potential roommates.  The current roommates make bold statements about what they are “looking for” in a roommate, grill you on your wants, needs and dreams, while the other potential roommates desperately try to one-up you, proving that they are cooler people and would be the best fit for the house. 

You have to want to live there and they have to want you to live there- a delicate balance in which many are left by the wayside, forced to spend another month in their terrible high-rise apartment without a door.  Once you leave the group house interview, you wait.  After everyone leaves, the roommates will sit down and judge the hell out of you, rejecting you for silly reasons such as: we’d like to maintain the male-female ratio in the house, we don’t think she was green enough, she didn’t try my vegan muffins.  After a couple of days, you’ll get a thanks but no thanks e-mail that the house has been filled and thus continue on your search. 

I had been doing this for about a month when I came across the ad for the frat house in which I currently reside.  The long and short of the post was we are 2 blocks from the Metro; we are from South Carolina- so we are gentlemen and like bourbon; the house is super neat (read: cool, not clean); and the rent is so cheap, you’ll still be able to afford happy hour.  The absurdity of it all was such that I had to see for myself, so I agreed to show up one Tuesday after work, my friend Teresa in tow in case they had secret desires to cut me up.  I had googled the house and it didn’t look awesome- there were bars on the windows, peeling paint, but I was curious enough.

I arrived to the house to find 3 hungover boys- 2 that had called in sick after drinking a bottle of whiskey the previous night playing video games, with the 3rd taking a last minute joy ride to Atlantic City.  The house was clean enough, they seemed nice enough and my potential bedroom had TWO doors, which based on my current curtain situation, was miraculous.  We chatted for about 10 minutes before the we’ll talk soon conversation and Teresa and I departed to the neighborhood bar for hamburgers and beer.

A couple beers in Teresa had won me over- they are cute!  They seemed nice!  We’ll be neighbors, Rachel, NEIGHBORS!  So I drunk dialed, asked to move in and they agreed. 

10 days later I moved out of my apartment in Friendship Heights.  It was mid-month, I hadn’t found another sub-letter for my old place and was moving into a household in a relatively foreign part of town with 3 relative strangers.  But again- what is the worse that can happen?

Almost 9 months later, all of my worst case scenarios have not been realized.  While my roommates can be admittedly incredibly messy/dirty, they are very kind human beings.  I found a sub-letter for my old place.  They didn’t cut me up.  The house is way too hot in the summer and chilly in the winter, but the company is always excellent, we’ve got 2 televisions in the living room in the off chance there are 2 high priority sporting events on at the same time (told you- frat house), I love the neighborhood and there is really never a dull moment.  A total win for irrational decision making.

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Our co-worker Joe enjoys a good prank.  We’ve kept it fairly low key to this point, changi

Our co-worker Joe enjoys a good prank.  We’ve kept it fairly low key to this point, changing the background on his computer screen when he is in meetings and moderate gangster-style threats about him defacing our beloved rubber band ball with the wrong cover rubber bands- until now.

In a true state of boredom following the board meeting, we decided to take it to the next level by saran wrapping his entire office.  It started as just the objects on his desk and progressed through the duration of his vacation (his fault for going to Vegas) to the whole desk, the pictures on his wall and all his model airplanes.  We are very proud of ourselves.

Being that I left town before he returned, I am concerned for the retaliation that is in store for me on Monday. 

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The most stressful 5 star resort around

Life has been a work-related shit show for the past couple of weeks due to a fall board of directors meeting that coincides with our 40th anniversary.  We commemorated the occasion in California at what my co-worker Kate now refers to as the most stressful 5 star resort she has ever been to. 

The resort itself was breathtakingly beautiful, set deep in the valley outside of Santa Monica with white washed buildings and picturesque views.  The rooms were $300 per night, the golf course excellent (from what I’m told) and the spa top notch, but of course we spent the weekend running around like chickens with our heads cut off.

Stress is a funny thing- and something my office doesn’t do all that gracefully.  Desks get pounded on, objects get thrown, voices get raised, stress balls are furiously worked until hands get sore, but we are working on it.  For this particular board meeting, the stress seemed to climax the previous Friday and then was for the most part resolved or contained.  The California air must have soothed our nerves as the trip, despite the mass amounts of work involved, was actually quite lovely. 

In Chicago for the weekend- contemplating I don’t know what.  Staying in DC stresses me out, but the idea of moving back to Chicago, or really anywhere for that matter, stresses me out even more.  More to come.

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No one ever calls me but my mother.  And she usually makes her daily (yes, I said daily) phone c

No one ever calls me but my mother.  And she usually makes her daily (yes, I said daily) phone call before the hours of 9am or after 6pm like a sensible woman who has a daughter that works 9-5.

Now my best friend Louisa, despite being fully aware of my work schedule for the past 11 months, frequently fails to remember I cannot answer my phone during those hours (she works nights).  About twice a month, I fail as per usual to turn my cell phone ringer off and she calls, my ringer blasting “Humpty Hump” at full volume.  On my desk.  During a staff meeting.  When everyone can hear it.  And everyone knows it is mine. 

It never fails to be embarrassing and I always fail to learn my lesson. 

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