For Hire….Junk in the Trunk….

Well, my company’s annual leadership conference has come and gone, with nary a decent story to tell….unless you count the one about my co-worker who was terminated shortly after the event.

Why? Because she apparently decided it was perfectly acceptable to “throw down” with another of our co-workers.

Allow me to set the scene.

Patty, a middle-aged grandmother, arrives at our formal dinner event wearing an ensemble that could only have been purchased at Forever 21; bedazzled, sparkly, inappropriately short, at least two sizes too small and accessorized with a pair of spiky, glittery heels and a jeweled hair clip I might have purchased in 1996 from Claire’s….she shuffles and struts about the dining area with the aura of someone who is thinking, “Damn, I look fiiiine.”

Meanwhile, a scan of the room by an observant people watcher, (aka me), gathers that “fiiiine” is not a shared sentiment among our peers. Personally, I think she looks like she swallowed a sack full of nickels, but I keep my opinions to myself.

Fast forward to the post dinner company sponsored social event and Patty can be found, transformed, in her finest casual wear; an incredibly tight pair of tapered jeans….I think she’s trying to pass off as “skinny,” but with a clothing label last heard of sometime in the late 80’s or early 90’s….clog-like heels….also circa 1990’s….and a halter top that reveals the full circumference of her muffin-top.

On some level, I have to applaud her self-confidence….or maybe feel bad for her total lack of self-awareness and common sense, as she’s the same woman who once captivated an audience, me included, with tales of her sexual exploits with virtually everyone on the Giants 1980’s line up.

Anyway, contrary to prior reports I’d heard, the company did provide a limited open bar, select bottled beers and a red or white wine, for both dinner and the social event.

Personally, I had only a sip of the white wine option….because I don’t like drinking pee….so, I discarded my glass and spent the remainder of the evening making occasional trips to the water fountain as my typical faux cocktail was not on the menu.

Patty on the other hand, apparently has no problem drinking pee, as was evidenced by the 100 trips she made to the bar, surreptitiously coaxing the bar tender to fill her water goblet, (who needs a wine glass), to the brim. It would not have surprised me had she produced the ice bucket from her room and a swirly straw.

Fast forward to approximately two-and-a-half hours into the social event and I glance across the conference room that has been transformed into a karaoke bar and spot someone on the stage having….a seizure?….no….an exorcism?….no….wait a second….oh no….is Patty twerking?….all alone….to Sir Mix-A-Lot, Baby Got Back?!….for the love of all things holy she is!

By the traumatized expressions of those in the audience who appear to be on the verge of a full on vomit extravaganza, a la the pie eating contest scene from Stand By Me, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one sober enough to be completely horrified.

From the stage though, it appears the only thing Patty sees is a crowd full of adoring fans, rooting her on as she continues to gyrate in what I think she believes to be a sensual and seductive manner.

I glance around the room at the other spectators, wondering if it would be possible to lure her from the stage before anyone with enough clout to dead-end her career has seen her, but no….I spot the VP’s and Directors of various departments, mouths agape, heads shaking in disgust.  Clearly, it’s too late for this to become another embarrassing, hazy story in the buzzed minds of our co-workers.

Then, I see another of our peers, April, from a different group within our department, motioning to Patty from the corner of the stage.  Patty shimmies her way over and continues to flop around for a few seconds while April says what I hope amounts to, “Are you fu*%ing crazy!  If you’re waiting for the crowd to start tossing you dollar bills, they are more likely to start tossing up their dinners!  Now get down from there and show some class!”

When the conversation ends, they go their separate ways and I see Patty is stomping toward my direction.  As she passes, I hear her say, “That’s bullshit!  Humiliating me like that in front of my peers!”

Me:  “Patty, are you alright?  Do you want to take a walk or something, have some water…maybe call it a night?”

Patty:  “Mind your own damn business.”

Me:  “Alright then.  I hope you enjoy the taste of shame in the morning.”  (That last part, I said under my breath, because Patty could totally kick my ass).

Now, fast forward to approximately one hour later and Patty has matriculated back into the room and is casually and more tastefully, dancing with a small group of colleagues as April strolls by.

Patty grabs April by her twiggy little arm and says something and it kind of reminds me of that scene in She’s All That where Taylor Vaughan bumps into Laney Boggs and a dance-off of sorts ensues.


Unfortunately, there is no dance off.

Instead, April pulls her arm free and says something back as she tries to walk away.

Patty grabs her again, this time holding tight as April tries to wriggle free and it becomes clear that something very bad is about to happen to April.  All of a sudden, in a flurry of mixed casual and formal wear, Patty’s talons are pried from April’s arm and they are seperated.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how this will ultimately end;  there were too many witnesses to hush it up and April wants blood….I can’t say I blame her….so it comes as no surprise when we are brought together on a conference call to learn that Patty is no longer among our ranks.  On the International Day of Happiness no less….ouch.

So long Patty….I hope they serve wine at Unemployment.

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