Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Calling Card (Part 3)

It’s the big day. I walk in practicing the phrase over and over again in my head. “I thought it was a perk. I thought it was a perk.”

U.W. calls me into his office by having one of the secretaries tell me he needs to see me. Did I mention he’s a chauvinist pig?

This company is the most boys' club, male centered, bullshit

place I’ve ever worked at. While interviewing, I was told that women wearing pants was strongly discouraged. The Regional, the guy in charge, is a red-headed giant. He must be 6’7”. Apparently he likes women in skirts. That’s understandable, but we’re outside all the time. It isn’t always optimal to wear a skirt.

But every female at my company wears skirts and the shorter the better. Nobody wants to anger Big Red. He has quite the temper. Think: NYC Melrose Place.

Since today is the day I’m going in with the perk line, you can practically see my vagina, my skirt is so short. It’s so crazy that I’m getting in trouble at all because this company really has an “anything goes

type of policy.” This is more a political problem than a misstep. I’m caught in the crossfire between Big Red and U.W. They hate each other. This calling card situation is just the opportunity Big Red needs to really stick it to U.W. Not to say I’m exactly innocent, but if I didn’t work for U.W. maybe this all could be avoided.

I walk into U.W.’s tidy office. I’m sure he had a woody all night thinking about what he was going to say to me. He goes right for the juice.

“I was in a meeting yesterday, and it came to my attention that you’ve been using the company calling card for you own purposes ....” and it goes on. The calls were made from my home, to Hawaii, at 3 a.m., blah, blah, blah.

But now it’s my turn. I say, “I thought it was a perk.” And then I shut my mouth. Nothing else to add. He’s looking at me, and I’m looking at him. We’re caught in a dead stare. He says, “What?” So I say, “I thought it was a perk.”

The screaming starts. “You thought we gave you a calling card, so you could make personal phone calls from your

house during all hours of the day, and ring up a bill of $780. You expect me to believe that?”

I interjected, “I go home for lunch. Listen, I thought it was a perk. I now know it’s not. Thanks for letting me know it’s only for company business.” And I walked out of his office while he sat there staring at me. I guess he was in shock.

It’s the next day and U.W. calls me back into his office. He starts, “I want to talk to you about the calling card because you don’t know how embarrassing it was to be in a meeting and get called out...”

And I lose it.

“I told you, I thought the calling cards were a perk. They’re not. I get it now. But if you think every time I walk into this office, I’m going to wonder if you’re going to bring it up, you better think again. This is the last time we’re talking about the calling cards. Got it? The last time.”

When you have wronged someone, act as though they’ve wronged you.

Silence from U.W. I’m sure he thought he’d yell, and I’d cave. No way, I’m tough. I walk in high heels all day, in a short skirt around Korea Town. Please.

As a matter of fact I’ll be wearing ultra short skirts for at least a few weeks to atone for my calling card mishap. U.W. is so stunned, he just sits there staring.

With his mouth on the floor, I leave his office. Stepping outside into the sunlight, I suddenly remember a call I have to make. I take my calling card out and begin to dial.


  1. I hope that last phone call was to the friend who came up with the "I thought it was a perk" line to tell her she's a genius.

  2. The next time I get called into my boss' office for submitting fake receipts on my expense report, I'm going to wear a very short skirt. I'm sure he'll forget all about the receipts