Random but possibly valuable advice for avoiding an embarrassing moment at work

Odds are, if you are going to walk around with red furry handcuffs and a vibrator in your purse, someone is going to find out.

mag3737 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

It will most likely be your boss.  I know because it happened to me.

It was a long time ago, thank goodness, but the memory is one of those ones that stay fresh like the day it happened.

It was the day of my summer work party. A group event away from the office that would start with a pep talk from a few executives (and some deadly boring Power Points as it turned out) followed by cocktails, snacks and a major league baseball game.

I hadn’t been to a lot of corporate ‘parties’ so even though attendance was mandatory (never a promising sign I’ve since learned), I was looking forward to a night out!

I was the property manager of a small shopping centre in one of the ritziest areas in town. I had one last meeting before it was time to head down to the stadium for the party. The meeting was with a restaurant tenant.

My tenant and I were discussing something surprisingly contentious, like why the restaurant can not use passenger elevators for transporting garbage (property management is a strange business and you need to worry about all sorts of things you normally wouldn’t think of like the total foulness and wear and tear of garbage on elevators etc). The owner’s son, who ran a catering and events off-shoot of the restaurant, came into the meeting room.

“Hey Christine,” said the son, totally not caring that he was interrupting. He handed me a buzzing envelope. “You’re invited to the Naughty Girl wine launch.”


I opened the envelope, and emptied it onto the table. It was a vibrator. It was shaking all over the table.  An invitation was attached to it with furry read handcuffs.
Father and son thought this was hilarious! They could barely contain themselves.

I had no idea how to react but tried for cool indifference, fumbling to turn the thing off. It was ricocheting off the table and making an unbelievable racket.

It was incredibly awkward!

“Seriously though,” said the son when he had stopped giggling. “What do you think? These are our invitations for Naughty Girl Wine. We’ve sent them to all the media.” He was quite proud.

“Wow.” I answered shaking my head, still wrestling the jittery sex toy to find the ‘off’ switch.

I finally succeeded and the buzzing stopped.

I could feel that my face was bright red but I was still aiming for ‘unruffled’ to show my tenants how cool and in control I was.

I looked at my phone and saw that it was time to end the meeting. I had to get to the summer party! Excellent timing. I needed to get out of there!

I threw the ‘invitation’ in my purse and headed back to my office to meet up with my team.

We made it to the Dome just in time and lined up to show our tickets so we could get to the private box that had been rented for the party.

Everyone was there, my boss and his boss were right behind me. The receptionist from my office was immediately beside me. I don’t remember who was ahead of me but as I watched them go through, I realized that my bag would be checked and remembered about the “invitation”.

I dangled the bag low, close to the ground and held the ticket out with my other hand, hoping to slip through unchecked.

“Miss.” the bag checking security lady called gently. Then, “MISS! I NEED TO CHECK YOUR BAG.” Her tone was a little menacing and it was clear that I was going to have to let her search my bag OR ELSE. Everyone sort of stirred and drew closer to find out what was causing the commotion.

And that was it. There it was for all to see. My boss. My receptionist. Everyone.

The one and only time that I have walked around with anything like the ‘invitation’ in my purse was also the one day that my bag would be publicly searched in front of my boss.

What are the odds?