Archive | November, 2013

My Awkward Week: Conference Edition

20 Nov

Looking back at my posts, the majority of them are from when I was in my 20s.  I started to think that maybe my WTFawkwardness was diminishing with age?  But then my boss told me I had to go to a weeklong technical conference…

Apparently if you take me out of my comfort zone (my office), I am an extremely awkward human being again – much to the delight of my readers.  So here it is… My awkward week: Conference edition

This Place is Bumpin’

On the first day of the conference I chose to sit in the spot right next to the main computer because that way I could place my triple shot venti latte on the desk. Unfortunately, that also meant that I was sitting next to the main power hub, which meant every techie there wanted access to the power strip behind my seat.  In an effort to be helpful, (and, you know, interact with others like a socially adept person would, right?) I tried to help a man who was reaching for a cable that had slipped between my chair and desk.  In doing so, I bent suddenly and bumped the man with my butt, knocking him (hard) into the desk.  Reacting, I quickly spun to my right to see if he was OK, thus bumping the man to my left with my hip and knocking him back into his seat.  Both men stood with their arms up in a pose of surrender – or maybe to show me that there hands were nowhere near my hips?  Regardless, after that, people looked for a different power source.

I’ll Make Ya Holla For A… Quarter?

At one point the man sitting next to me dropped something that rolled under my chair. Again, in an effort to be helpful (why do I bother?), I got on my knees and wedged myself half under the seat. My hair fell in my face so I had to blindly feel around for the lost item – all the while my derrière in the air.  After I handed the item back to the man, he thanked me for my efforts.  Being acknowledged by a total stranger makes me uncomfortable and I was feeling self-conscious about my prolonged pose so to diffuse my own discomfort I jokingly said “Well…I’ll do anything for a quarter ”.  As soon as the words were out of my mouth I heard the inadvertent sexual innuendo.  As if that wasn’t bad enough? The item I retrieved wasn’t even a quarter; it was part of an iPhone charger, making my comment all the more awkward!  For the rest of the conference anytime someone dropped something they’d proclaim “I’ll do anything for a quarter”. Fantastic.

Shame Eating

I think the worst part of these conferences is the lunch hour.  I feel like I’m back in middle school, walking the cafeteria, praying someone will let me sit with them.  But I have nothing in common with middle-aged techies.  I was sure that what little charm I do possess would not be appreciated by this crowd.  Also, I was tired of hearing “I’ll do anything for a quarter” being quoted back to me {bastards}.  So at lunch, I jumped up, hopped in my car and drove to the first shopping plaza I could find.

One day, I ate at Noodles and Company.  I hadn’t eaten there before and wasn’t quite sure of their system.  I sat at the counter at the far end of the restaurant and ate my mac and cheese (delicious, by the way).  Once I was done though, I didn’t know what to do with my plate.  Do I just leave a dirty plate and utensils on the counter? Do I leave it in a designated area? I gathered my things and began walking around with my plate in hand.  I made eye contact with the bus boy and thought he’d come over and retrieve it, but he walked away.  {Hey! Hey, you! Come back! Where is he going?} I began to chase him around the restaurant, dirty bowl extended, knocking into people’s chairs with my giant work purse.  I couldn’t catch up to him.  If I zigged, he zagged. Finally, a man who had been boldly watching the whole incident (others at least had the decency to steal questioning glances), explained that I could just leave my plate on a table.  I didn’t go back to Noodles and Co after that.

On another day, I found a Subway.  Unfortunately, not being familiar with the area and slightly overwhelmed by the lunch-hour traffic, I hadn’t noticed the parking for that store was a small dead-end square.  I attempted to back out, but was honked at.  I pulled back into the area, but was honked at by those attempting to get out. This cycle lasted for 15 minutes until I finally Austin Power-ed my way into a vacated spot.  Much to my horror, the patrons had witnessed the whole thing and were now watching me eat my sub.  Hellooooo

I spent the rest of the week eating at a Starbucks which had normal parking and a known food/trash disposal system.

 Little Help?!

Have you ever been in a public restroom and run out of toilet paper? It’s the most panic-inducing moment, especially if you are a shy/awkward individual and need to call out to strangers for help.  Now imagine being in a one-person restroom, NO toilet paper and no immediate assistance available.  What do you do?  Well, if you’re me, you first dig through your purse contemplating the absorbency of each individual item.  When none of those things will do, you execute Plan B (or I guess Plan C at this point).  I waddled over to the hand dryer and attempted to blow-dry my “lady”.  Needless to say, I felt “less than fresh” that day.

A Bug’s Life

 I. Hate. Bugs.  All manner of bugs. I’ve been known to shriek if a gnat flies near my face.  It’s bad.  During a particularly sleep-inducing presentation, I felt a tickle on my neck. I swatted at it only to realize it was a giant black bug that had now fallen into my shirt.  My face contorted into a silent scream as I tried to spot the bug that had disappeared into my cleavage.  I sat there alternating between sticking my face and hand under my shirt.  As I began to un-tuck my shirt in hopes of shaking the bug out, I spotted a conference member across the room staring at me with bewilderment.  During the break, that person came up to me and asked what had happened.  When I explained that I wasn’t crazy, I had a bug in my shirt, he laughed and said, “that bug died a hero”.  Oh-ho-ho-kay. I see what you did there.  That’s… I’m gonna go over here now.