Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yvette has no idea

I haven’t seen the movie “Up in the Air”. I know, I hear it is a hit, I just don’t go see movies. Anyway, I had a magnificent adventure on St. Patrick’s day, and I hear it is something similar to what happened in that movie.
My friend Evan was in town Wednesday and Thursday for a conference. He suggested we meet up for a drink Wednesday night. I headed over to the hotel conference center after work and met him up at a cocktail reception. I figured he would leave once I arrived. Instead we decided I should join the party. A name badge seemed to be a prerequisite, so he walked along the tables displaying the badges and scanned the names. He then returned to me and told me my new name…Yvette VanBlahBlah (I can’t write her actual last name just in case she google’s herself and reads about how I destroyed her career). I could hardly pronounce her name, so it took all my concentration to walk up to the attendant and say it with a straight face. The nametag stood out from the others because it had a giant golden peach ribbon hanging from it announcing Yvette was a previous honoree. I quickly ripped the ribbon off and pinned my badge on low so people couldn’t read the name because people would likely know who Yvette really was. She also was a PARTNER in a law firm. Yeah, did I mention this was a cocktail reception for lawyers…minority lawyers! Scanning the room, I began to suspect Yvette was black and that I was going to be in deep shit. I chastised Evan for the horrible badge choice and he laughed saying he only scanned the first row and didn’t look that close (except to notice that Yvette was a very female sounding name).
He introduced me to his fellow co-workers and I accidently said my name was “Lindsay”. He shook his head and said “you had one thing to remember…one thing!”. His coworkers soon learned about the caper and thought it was hilarious. They liked to see me squirm while bullshitting with the lawyers. A group of men asked me what kind of law I practiced. I said I got my undergrad in engineering and they immediately made the assumption I was in patent law. I then mentioned I was thinking about getting out of law and going into consulting engineering (what I actually do) hoping to switch the subject to something more familiar to me. I said I was tired of being overworked spending 60+ hours a week in the office and always reporting on someone else’s project. One guy got a confused look on his face and pointed my badge while saying “but you are a partner…you are tired of that!”. SHIT! Another lawyer came to my rescue and assumed I recently was made partner because I am so young.
After the reception was an awards dinner…a $400 a plate awards dinner. Evan’s company purchased two seats that other coworkers were going to use. They said since it was St. Patrick’s day and a little late for a boring dinner there should be some open spots. So Evan and I decided to crash that too. Now the table assignments were listed on the nametags, so I steered away from Yvette’s table. Evan thought it was funny to tell the rest of the attendees at our random table that I was a past honoree (thanks). The awards banquet started off typically with some general announcements and standard greeting. I prayed they wouldn’t make the past honorees stand up to be recognized. Luckily we were able to eat dinner and dessert before they started the program and we left to go to the bathroom (wink wink).
We snuck into a microsoft sponsored post reception party and played rockband. Yeah more minority lawyers, but I think they were drunk and I didn’t have to pretend to hard.
One thought that lingered in the back of my mind was if anyone actually knew the woman and therefore knew I was bullshitting them the ENTIRE time. I mean a minority lawyer partner who is a past honoree, sounds respectful. The next morning, I googled her and this is what I found…she is mid 30’s, WHITE with brown straight hair to her shoulders…exactly how I was wearing my hair. Dodged that bullet, but I do wonder if I have totally ruined her reputation.


Post a Comment

<< Home