My Guy survived his 5-day conference. Yahoo! Sure, he had to schmooze clients like a salesman even though he’s a software engineer. Sure, the hours were grueling. But I got to see him in a sport coat, looking all cute-like. So, I’m pretty sure it was all worth it.
To celebrate, we went out to our favorite neighborhood pizza place. The typically hopping spot was strangely deserted. We figured that since it’s Wednesday, the neighborhood families were at school. Or maybe church. More beer for us!
As we finished up our beer, carbs and cheese, a family came through the door. It was a dad, 2 kids, and a mom … a mom who is a director at Mega Corporate Behemoth. The woman who hired me, handed me off to a different manager 2 days into my contract, and then abruptly ended my contract when I outed myself as, you know, someone who wants to work. And not just sit around.
My bad posture immediately got worse. I dropped down into the booth. “Ohmigod,” I said. “That’s my old boss!”
My Guy, classy fellow that he is, did not immediately turn around and stare. He also didn’t get up, knock over a table, and cause a rumble. No. Instead, he sat up taller and allowed me to cower behind his huge noggin.
Seriously. Between my bad posture, his good posture, and the angle of the booths, I was invisible. Like my time at Mega Corporate Behemoth, except that I had someone to talk to.
From the safety of my husband’s hulking skull, I was then able to consider our options.
Option A: Admit defeat. Say hello as we walk directly past Director Lady’s table on our way out the door. Make sure my lip gloss was fresh, even though I was wearing grubby-looking fleece pants that basically make me look unemployable. The chances of me willingly choosing this option were slim to none.
Option B: Sneak out the back door. This was my favorite option. My Guy surveyed the situation and saw that the back door had a sign on it, asking confrontation-adverse patrons not to use it and to instead woman up and just walk past their old bosses. Or maybe the sign just said, “Broken-ass door. Do not use.” But the outcome was the same: we were stuck exiting through the front door, right by Director Lady’s family.
Option C: My Guy would get up from the table first. I would walk behind him. We would time our escape with the waitress’s visit to Director Lady’s table, therefore obscuring Director Lady’s view. We would be Important People With Places to Go, so we wouldn’t have time to look around the restaurant on our way out. Worst case scenario, I’d hold the to-go box in front of my face. Like the lady of grace and dignity that I am.
Option D: Order more beer. Drink enough to get up the courage / idiocy to approach Director Lady and thank her for wasting my time and crushing my spirit. Point out that she has nonexistent managerial skills and has fallen into the sad category of folks who build corporate fiefdoms aimed at insulating from layoffs, not producing actual work. Add that her haircut is not flattering. Accidentally knock a pitcher of red Kool-Aid into her lap. If a pitcher of red Kool-Aid is not already on the table, order one in order to knock it over. Wait for waitress to bring Kool-Aid. Realize that big, dramatic gestures lose some power and style when you have to wait patiently for props.
So, I went with Option C. I avoided conflict, fake niceties and jail time. However, I have to give My Guy credit – he was up for whatever. Also, he pointed out that I have nothing to be ashamed about, and that skulking about town is not necessary. I didn’t do anything wrong. And even though I told my manager that “nobody gave a shit” that I was there, it was a fuck-friendly workplace; my use of a level-B cuss word was not justification for termination.
I don’t care. But I do. You know?
However, all’s well that ends well. We made it out of the restaurant alive. Once on the sidewalk, we felt a bit giddy at our successful escape. And, My Guy earned himself some extra credit. Without me saying a word, he said, “Wow – her haircut is really not attractive.”