Friday, July 29, 2011

Firewater Friday . . . To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.

Have you ever done anything stupid . . . like really stupid?  I haven’t . . . well, at least not recently . . . okay, okay . . . I do stupid stuff all the time but at any rate I don’t do really stupid stuff on a regular basis.   However, it does happen from time to time.  Sometimes it’s even compiled with a healthy dose of embarrassing and . . . oy . . .

One thing I generally try not to do is socialize with people in the workplace.  That usually helps me to avoid doing stupid and embarrassing things around the people I work with; thus, alleviating having to feel stupid and/or embarrassed around the people who should have at least a modicum of respect for me.

Unfortunately, there are times when I can’t wiggle my way out of a gentle but insistent invite to get the staff together for some casual team building.  There was one such a time when, if I could turn back the hands of time and if I knew now what I didn’t know then, I would have made up just about any excuse to not go to this one particular soiree. 

Yeah, I know, hindsight is 20/20. . .

Okay . . . I’ll stop stalling and get on with the gruesome, horrifying details.

My department . . . which was comprised of two separate groups that didn’t generally interact with each other day-to-day . . . was headed by one man.  A very nice man and a decent boss but not someone you could say no to under most circumstances.  He got it into his head one day that he would have a gathering at his home for both groups to get together and mingle.  It was one of those optional events that was mandatory to attend, if you know what I mean. 

So, a date was set and there was really no chance . . . short of being in a fiery car crash  . . . of blowing it off.

The day came and we arrived at his lovely home where we were greeted by his equally lovely wife and his two darling children.  We were asked to leave our coats and shoes at the door then directed to the kitchen where an amazing spread of food was laid out . . . sushi, fruits, veggies, sandwiches and appetizers.  He had a cooler stocked full of wine and beer.  Some of the guys from the other part of the department arrived shortly after . . . who were all Ukranian – pertinent information, I swear . . . brought a couple bottles of Russian vodka and a big jar of sour pickles. 

So, on an empty stomach, we proceeded to get a lesson from them in the Russian tradition of drinking vodka with a pickle chaser.  Don’t knock it until you try it . . . holy cow . . . I tried it over and over and over again that day. 

After some eating and lots of drinking and more drinking, we were escorted to the family playroom.  They had all manner of amusements . . . a pool table, table tennis, board games, a huge TV with a karaoke machine.

I played a little pool and the sat down to a rousting game of Scrabble with the boss’s wife.  I was enjoying the game and pretty much staying out of trouble.   And then it happened . . . someone fired up the karaoke.  It was like a switch flipped on . . . all of a sudden I was more than a little fluffy and it was imperative that I sing Patsy Cline. 

I graciously excused myself from the game, slid off my stool, stumbled over to the microphone and ripped it out of the hand of an eight year old little girl. 

She said, “Hey! I’m singing now.”

I said, “Hey!  You can play with this any time you want!”, and proceed to belt out an off-key rendition of Crazy.

Most of what happened after that was a blur . . . the next thing I do remember clearly was being escorted by the arm to the door by my humiliated husband.  I nearly fell flat on my face while trying to put my shoes back on.  I vaguely remember him pouring me into the truck and berating me about how really stupid and embarrassing my behavior was . . . AT MY BOSS’S HOUSE. 

When we got home, I seem to remember a nocturnal visit from the vodka and pickle fairy . . . not pretty.

But the absolute worst of it was when I realized what a total ass I made of myself and how I was going to have to go to work and face the music . . . pun intended.

Yeah, I sucked it up and apologized profusely.  Apparently my drunkenness wasn’t as obvious to others as it was to my husband . . . but dammit . . . never again!


That's not to say I haven't done anything stupid or embarrassing since . . . just not at a boss's home or an office party.

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