Humor Memoir

Fifty Shades of Humiliation Featuring a Guy in a Gray Suit

Recently, I showed you the line-up of amazing bloggers who committed to sharing their most embarrassing moments over the course of the year. If you surf Twitter, you will be able to find the series under the hashtag #SoWrong. And a lot of other crazy shizz, too. Probably. Last week it occurred to me that it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t share one of my own heinous moments. Gulp. Here it is.

Click on the eyeball to see who else is participating in this series!

During high school, I worked at a department store in a local mall. At its peak, the chain had ten locations, and I spent many afternoons, weekends and vacations behind the costume jewelry counter, helping blue-haired ladies decide between faux-pearl earrings and plastic white clip-ons.

When I came home from college in the winter of 1985, I learned I’d be working in fine jewelry where black surveillance cameras hovered over the display cases.

Dude looked a little like this. Seriously. Look at those chompers. And that chin.
Seriously. Look at those chompers. And that chin.

One day, a man in an expensive gray suit leaned against the glass case where the 24k gold was kept and flashed me his whitest smile.

My heart beat loud in my chest. Gray Suit was cute. I wondered if he was single.

“Is there something you’d like to see?” I asked, hoping he would say something like: You. I’m here for you.

“Didn’t Carol tell you?” Gray Suit asked, invoking the name of my supervisor.

When I shook my head, Gray Suit frowned. My teenage heart dropped.

“Let’s start over.” Gray Suit outstretched his hand.

We shook hands the way my father always said was indicative of a person with character: firm and not too quick to release.

His lips moved. “I’m John Stevens, the gold rep. I come to swap out the inventory occasionally.” He set a hard, silver briefcase on the floor, bent over and produced several, rose-colored velvet bags, which he set on the glass countertop, careful not to leave messy fingerprints.

“I need you to get the keys from that drawer over there and put everything inside these bags.”

John flashed his dimples.

Isn’t it so sparkly and pretty?

I bit my thumb. “I think I should probably wait until Carol gets back from lunch…”

John glanced at his watch. “I still have to get to North Syracuse, Camillus and Clay.” I could feel his frustration. “Carol should have told you I was coming.” John shook his head. “I guess I’ll go see Mr. Big Boss…” He leaned over to lift the handle of his briefcase.

And I should have let him go.

Oh, I should have let him go.

But I was 18-years old.

And I didn’t want my supervisor to get in trouble with Mr. Big Boss.

And there was this small stupid part of me that hoped that John Stevens, the hot guy with the great smile, might want my phone number. Or something.

Image courtesy of Nina Strelov via Fotopedia

So I did as I was told.

I drifted over to the drawer where the key laid waiting inside a small white cup. And somehow I was pushing the tiny tarnished key into the lock. Once the lock was off, I slid open the doors, dropped to my knees, dragging all the gold into one clunky pile.

John handed me a velvet bag, which I filled and set atop the empty display case. He smiled as he flipped open his briefcase and placed the bag inside. He tapped the top of the tall earrings tower with his fingertips.

“I’m going to bring everything out to the van, and then I’ll come back with the new inventory.”

I nodded. Of course he would.

“We don’t like to leave the cases empty for long.” John explained, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. “Every minute the case is empty, we lose potential sales.”

He promised he’d be right back.

When Carol returned from her break, I told her John had been there.

“Who?” she asked absently as she tidied up around the cash register.

“The gold rep” I said. “You just missed him. He took the old gold, but he should be back with the new stuff any minute.”

Carol looked at me with big eyes.

And then I knew.

I was a stupid girl.

My idiocy was confirmed when Carol stood in front of the empty display case and held her hand up to her throat, like something was burning there. “How long has he been gone?”

The words caught in my mouth. “About five minutes.”

Notoriously unflappable, Carol stomped her heel on the floor and swore.

I had done something really bad.

Okay the chair wasn't quite like this, but still.
photo courtesy of jeltovsky at

In Mr. Big Boss’s office, I sat in the naughty chair and wept. As he questioned me, I remembered something. “The cameras! He was standing in front of one of the cameras the whole time!”

I was elated. Thank goodness. We could get the footage and give it to the police. We would be able to catch the bad guy.

Mr. Big Boss rubbed his huge palm over his bald head and looked at me with soft eyes. He could probably tell I was confused. “The cameras aren’t real. They’re there to deter theft, but there’s no film inside. That guy probably knew they were fake. He seemed to know everything else.”

And, I thought, he knew how to work me.

I was sure I was going to be fired.

I braced myself for it.

Instead, Mr. Big Boss called the day “a learning experience.”

It was not the first time nor would it be the last time that a boy would trick me.

But it was a very embarrassing moment: the day I swapped nearly 10K in gold for a phony smile.

The fancy department store where I worked opened its doors in 1896. In 1992, the corporation filed for bankruptcy and four stores closed. Under pressure from creditors, Mr. Big Boss, grandson of the founder, sold the company and its remaining stores in 1994, just two years short of their 100-year anniversary.

I have always felt partially responsible.

Have you ever done something incredibly stupid at work?

tweet me @rasjacobson

98 thoughts on “Fifty Shades of Humiliation Featuring a Guy in a Gray Suit

  1. Oh, I can SO relate to stupid mistakes while under the spell of a handsome smile. I had my own stupid, stupid mistake.

    I worked in financial services back-in-the-day when it was male dominated in the management sector and heavy with gals with administrative titles doing management tasks. Whole ‘nother story on how I broke through that ankle level glass ceiling. IF EEOC was in place, it was just an acronym to The Suits.

    In those days, the men talked about “leg loans.” Loans made to female applicants based on their looks and not on credit-worthiness. I approved a loan for a stop-my-heart-throb young George Straight look-alike. My own “leg loan.” He had no credit, rocky job history, and nothing to offer as collateral.

    When he missed his first payment, and I found his phone disconnected, I looked forward to making that “house call” to talk to him about his loan. A rocking hot blonde Barbie answered the door. He wasn’t home. [I still wonder if my leg loan funds went to pay for her ginormous boobies]

    This was back before privacy laws got strict. I had his personal reference sheet. I called his mother and told her why I needed to get in touch with her son. She sighed. She asked how much he owed. She paid off the loan. Lesson learned.

    1. Are you kidding? I LOVE that you had the POWER to give that guy a loan. How delicious. And, like you, I remember those “good ole days,” when our information couldn’t be used against us.

      Meanwhile, I guess there have always been dead-beat hotties, and there always will be. Shame on that hot guy’s mother for rescuing him from failure.

  2. Oh, wow. That icy, knowing dread crawled right up my neck, reading this. Renee. I’m so sorry.

    I’m so relieved.

    I lived in Calgary, Alberta, many winters ago. It was cold there. And lonely. I worked the front desk at a chain hotel and was overly chatty with the guests, because my co-workers were indifferent and my boss terrified me.

    Beneath the desk, a panic button – one wired to both the police station and the fire department. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES (save robbery) was I to touch that button. Ok, I said. No worries, I said. I get it, I said.

    Early one Sunday, following a busy checkout, I passed the lull in activity chatting with some guests about last night’s wedding reception. We laughted and traded impression, while I mindlessly fiddled with papers and pens…and a button that my fingers found when I wasn’t look. One that went “boing, boing, boing!”

    I don’t know how long I pushed on that panic button, or how many times I did so, but when I realized what I’d been doing, I swear I almost peed my own pants, in horror. The parking lot filled up with police cars and sirens and a fire truck and and the MOD had to go out and verify that there was no problem. I got a stern lecture from the cops, the firemen AND my MOD and then he uttered the words I’d been dreading most: “Leigh’s on her way.”

    Leigh was my boss. She was unsmiling and unhappy. She never said good morning, barely spoke to me, except once, to criticize the way I put cash money in the drawer (upside down, apparently). I was TERRIFIED of her and when I heard the click of her heels on the lobby floor, I know my face went white.

    She marched over to me and then pointed to her office: “Go there. Sit. Don’t move.”

    I went. I sat. I tried not to vomit. I worked out how many weeks I could be without work, knowing that she was going to fire me any second.

    Leigh slammed the door behind her, marched to the other side of her desk, sat down and glared. Not a word was spoken. And then suddenly, she flung a cigarette across her desk, lit one of her own. (This was a long time ago, when people could smoke in hotels)

    I blinked.

    “I pressed that stupid button myself once,” she rasped at me, a ghost of a smile playing around her lips, “But if you ever tell anyone, I’ll have you killed. Coffee?”

    True story. I must now go into hiding….

    1. Awwwww! Awesome boss. Isn’t it weird, how times have changed? The smoking? The kind of fear we had of our superiors? I love that story. And once again, you have written a fantastic bloggy post at my place! Feel free to use it at your place for a broaden audience! What a great story! So glad neither of us got canned! Today, I’ll bet we both would have been shown the door — don’t you think? And THAT is interesting, too. It was a more forgiving time in some ways, despite all the posturing.

  3. Oh holy crap. That IS mortifying, wow. And at 18, I probably would have done the same thing.

    Okay. You’ve set the bar high with this series, Renzzz, and I’m so excited to read all of the guest posts!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Jules! I’m so excited that you agreed to be part of this series! I can’t wait to read everyone’s stories. The next one is a hoot, and it’s locked and loaded for Friday. Happy Monday, J. 😉

  4. Renee, that’s a scary story! I don’t think I can relate (though I’ve done enough stupid things in my life none were because of a cute guy…I don’t think -;))

    But I agree, that must have been a helluva learning experience!

    1. Hi Olga. Wait, you NEVER did anything stupid because of a hot boy? For reals? Where did you get your super powers? And how much did that one cost? 😉 I feel like I only just recently stopped doing stupid things because of boys!

  5. Great story — and more great stories in the comments! FWIW, I would have fallen for this too, and I’m not susceptible to men with good smiles in expensive suits. I’m just gullible.

    20 years ago one of my duties at work was to manage a network of Macintosh computers. This only sounds impressive to people who don’t know how dead simple it was to network Macintoshes back then. It was the easiest job I’ve ever had.

    One day, after one of the brief power outages of which we seemed to have more than our share, the file server didn’t power up. It was one of those old-style Macs with the built-in screen. We were dead in the water.

    The nearest Macintosh service center was 70 miles away. I immediately grabbed the file server and drove it there. The repair place said to check back in an hour.

    When I returned, the technician had a puzzled look on his face. “Um, sir,” he said, “the only thing I could find wrong with your file server was that the brightness knob was turned all the way down.”


    I paid the man for his time and drove back to the office. I told everybody that the file server was fixed. Only our administrative assistant asked what was wrong with it. I responded vaguely. I could tell she didn’t buy it.

    1. I have been a Mac since the 1980s, so I know about the Macs of which you speak. I love that your goof was the dimmer switch. That is a hoot, and you are brave to admit it. I THOUGHT you were going to say that you turned the computer over to someone standing near the desk who turned out not to be a clerk. I love that the administrative assistant was the only one who asked for details about the problem. She was a sharp one. Did you marry her?

  6. OMFG!!!! Having spent 18 years in retail I felt sick through that whole post knowing what was about to happen. Ugh! Can’t even imagine how you felt. That’s a good manager though, realizing a mistake (a costly mistake) but still just a mistake and not flying off the handle!

  7. Ah, Renee. What a wanker! I can’t believe that guy did that – what an ass! I have worked in retail in my teens and twenties, behind the counter and I can just see myself in the same position at that age. I was so trusting and took things at face value. I can see why you would be embarrassed by that – being too nice, believing too much in honesty, and believing in the merits of white teeth. It’s a sad lesson when you realize we have to trust less, assume we are being lied to and question what whitening treatments or how many veneers they have when they smile at us.

    Sad realizations, are they not. Too bad you weren’t jaded and hardened against the world yet.

    BTW – what a great manager you had.

    1. That really was one of the big moments where I learned the good people of the world were not always so good. This misery came on the heels of another major curve ball in my life, and I lost a lot of faith in men for a long time. It was a dark time for me, and it took a long time before my faith in humanity was restored. Truly.

      But yes. That guy was truly a wanker.

  8. Wow, Renee. That is some story! For all you knew, though, the guy could’ve had a gun, a knife and a body bag hiding somewhere on his person. A bunch of criminals use their charm and good looks for harm, according to the FBI—okay, “Criminal Minds.” 😉

    1. August, sometimes I forget you are so much younger than I am. I was born in 1967 and raised, a child of the 1970s and early 1980s. It truly was a more innocent time. We didn’t think about murderers or rapists. We had so much faith in people. All of us. This moment marked a change for me as well as the beginning of a cultural shift. Back then, there was no Internet, no Smartphones, no texting. Stores were closed on Sundays so families could be together. Working in retail taught me I didn’t want to work in retail. This was such an embarrassing moment for me, humbling. And it was a sad day, too, because I learned the good people of the world weren’t all so good.

  9. As I now manage a Fine Jewelry Counter as part of my departments, I would sooo want to ring your neck! LOL. Wow! I can see it all play out in my head, but oh your poor manager. I’m sure you felt awful and did take it as a learning lesson to never forget. Yikes!

    It’s probably best he doesn’t have your phone number. Or your address.

    1. Jess! I was hoping you’d see this post. I am sure if this happened today, I would be fired. Back then, everyone was so innocent about all this stuff. Store owners were just learning about how to handle theft. I guess my Big Boss thought putting in fake cameras was good enough. After my horrifying incident, we all had to sit through an educational session in the break-room where we learned how much theft cost the family business. At the end of the session, cashiers were given clear zipper bags to keep our personal items. I had to talk about what had happened to me, the mistakes I had made. Somewhere in there, I pretty much decided I didn’t have a future in retail. I don’t know how you do it. I would have killed me. #Duh!

  10. Scary story but I’m thrilled that your manager was understanding. I’ve had my fair share of retail experience so I can relate, it’s always a learning experience …great post!

  11. I can imagine that at 18 I would have done what I was told by gray suit guy especially if he knew the name of my supervisor.
    I can’t wait to share in June! I’ll have to whittle them down… some are tooooo humiliating to share, even for me!

  12. I’m with August on this – he could have had a gun and maybe might have used it if you hadn’t been that gullible at the time. So maybe your gullibility was actually a survival mechanism that you just weren’t aware of.

    But hey – teens are a time for learning from mistakes (though some never do). Sorry you had to go through that, though. Must’ve taken years to get over it. (You have got over it, right? I mean, writing it out should’ve helped, yeah?)

    1. Hi Val. I never considered that this guy could have been dangerous. Ever. It never crossed my mind. It was a different time. People were just more trusting. I’m sure today’s teens would be much more savvy. Hopefully.

      But he was really cute. 😉

  13. You got “Social Engineered.” I think that many companies now do specific training on this for their front-line customer-service people, because they know how easy it is for a savvy criminal to get just the right pieces of information to make him seem legit.

    1. Yes, immediately after we were giving a special training session and taught all about theft. Even employee theft — which I had NEVER even considered, but as it turns out stores were losing more due to employee theft than any outside thieves. I thought that was fascinating. I don’t know what the statistics are on that today. You know. Because I got out of retail. Oh, goodness. That really was a low day. #Gah! Even today I shiver a little as I think about it. How could I have been so stupid?

  14. My stomach did a little lurch when I could see where this was going. I’m like Va, happy that you just gave him the stuff unknowingly. He is probably in jail or worse. You are a success personally and professionally. Who came out better?

    1. I would LOVE to know where that guy landed.

      I remember when Mr. Big Boss suggested that Gray Suit’s name was not really John Stevens. I was like: Whaaaaat? But then I realized he was probably right. I’d fallen for John Stevens? Such an obvious alias. #Duh.

      I hope all his teeth have fallen out.

  15. Oh my goodness. Poor poor dumb 18 year old Renee!! How horrible for you. Then again, I think any of us dumb 18 year olds would have fallen for that charm and planning. Obviously, this guy had done his homework, and you were his unwitting prey!

    But now I’m all nervous about my story. I don’t know if I could ever come up with something quite as “good” as that.

  16. Oh, I just want to cry for you, sweet girl. Dear sweet girl. How could you have known? No way. I’m so sorry you went through this experience and carried this thief’s shame for him for even a moment. Ick. And I so relate to being bamboozled by a dimple or two. When I was in high school I worked as a cashier/hostess at a Bakers Square restaurant near home. A nice looking guy came in wearing a suit and looking very polished/wealthy/authoratitive, bought a slice of French Silk pie and gave me a $100 bill. I gave him the change and he asked me to break one of the $20s and then another and another. Somehow I ended up giving him $300 in cash as “change” and didn’t find out until my boss accused me of stealing from the drawer the next day. Ugh. I had a knot in my stomach while I was giving out the change cause something didn’t feel right, but I was too scared to speak up or question this man’s authority at the time. I felt like a fool, an easy mark and an idiot (and somehow a thief) for weeks until the police let us know that this man had done the same thing at other restaurants around town. Thank you for sharing this – way to kick off the year with a riveting story!! xoxo

    1. My goodness, Mary! You know I think we are evil twins. And you have a retail story of being duped, too? By a man in a great suit? Was he really cute, too? How were his teeth? Could it have been the same guy? I’m not kidding. I always wondered if the dimple hung it up after bamboozling me or if he moved on to others.

      I would love to know where this guy landed.

      And I have carried this guy’s shame as my own.

      Wow, I have never even thought of it in those terms before. But I do have a habit of doing that — carrying other people’s guilt and making it my own. That needs to stop in 2013. 😉

      1. You know, I hadn’t thought of that. Who knows? I wish I remembered his teeth, but I mostly remember his presence. He seemed confident and assured and handsome. Your story is unreal and so infuriating – who has the balls to pull that off? Have you ever heard of another robbery like yours?

        1. I have never heard of another case like that one, and believe me — shortly after, I listened closely to the news. The story didn’t even MAKE it to the news, leaving me to wonder how many other stores never report thefts like that. I suppose the owner didn’t want to advertise their lack of security at the time. Like I said, I WISH I knew where that dude landed. Sounds like in your restaurant!

  17. No! You were so young though. I can’t even believe the amount of stupid things I’ve done at work. My coworkers, much older than 18, will mess up payments all the time, including accepting fake gift cards. No bueno.

  18. OH! Oh, Rene! As soon as I saw where you were going I tried to stop you, tried to stop the bad thing from happening! But, alas, I couldn’t.

    I worked in retail for many years – first as a part-time employee while I was still in school and later, after I graduated from college, in management. It was absolutely the best career for me at the time (one Christmas season I stood, folding sweaters and looking out into the mall, and thought, “I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this!” Everyone should have at least one job like that in his or her lifetime. But, I digress…). Anyway, the stories of scam artists I could tell you about! While, fortunately, I never had anything this extreme happen to me personally, we did have an issue where one of our fellow managers was stealing from the company and then providing the merchandise to her accomplices to return for cash. It was an elaborate plan that involved a lot of cover-up and I remember thinking at the time, “Who has time to go through all this trouble just for a few bucks?” You, my dear, are definitely not alone. But I’m sure it felt like you were at the time!

    I don’t think I have the brass it takes to relate an “embarrassing moment” story. Mostly because I tend to erase those types of details from my mind 🙂 Kudos to you for your bravery – you never know, you may have just stopped a potential robbery simply by your willingness to share.

    1. It takes major balls to invite other people into your scam. This guy appeared to work alone, but who knows what he had going on behind the scenes. I’m glad the folks in your scenario eventually were caught. I have to believe the douche-bags eventually get a taste of their own douche-baggery. 😉

  19. Oh, oh, I have another one – similar to Mary’s. I was waitressed at a truck stop for many, many, oh-so-many years. During my first six months, I had a driver I’d never seen before (we tended to serve the same people, often) try to pull that same “change back” trick on me. Like Mary, I felt foolish asking someone to help me make stinking change, because I was already known as a “math dunce”. He left, likely mentally patting himself on the back as he wandered back to his rig. I was still standing at the cash register, going over everything in my head, when one of my regulars tapped my forehead.

    “You gotta learn to trust this more, Lizzie,” he said, casually laying his bill and payment on the counter, “That guy just took you for close to $50.”

    When I blanched, he merely chuckled and motioned to the lot, which we could see through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Alerted by others, one of my regular customers, who happened to be an out-of-uniform police officer had ducked out another door and headed the thief off at the pass and was escorting him back into the building.

    I could write an entire series of life lessons learned at that truck stop. Hmmm….you’ve given me an idea…

    1. Big Boss suspected the guy had been sizing things up for a while. People tend to keep routines. We wore name tags. It wasn’t hard to learn when my supervisor took her break. Who knows? Maybe he had an inside tip about the cameras? Believe me, I STILL run the scenarios through my head.

      And while this guy made me feel small and stupid and untrusting for a time, and though I know not all people are good, MOST people are. I will always stand by that.

  20. I’m not sure if this is going to make any sense or not, but I’m going to try anyway.

    I work as a design engineer, mostly with brake metal (which is flat aluminum that gets bent into shapes needed for whatever that particular job needs.) I design a lot of brake metal parts and draw and program them for a CNC router machine. This machine cuts parts out of flat material, that we’ve drawn with added miters and notches and holes already, and then they get bent up and painted. Another part of my job consists of drawing fabrication drawings, which are used by the shop to make the parts needed.

    About five years ago I was given a job that consisted of plain, simple angle that would go around the outside of a plain, simple window. This job was for our local high school foot ball field. These were the windows up in the “press” box (or whatever you call it for a town of 8,000 people.) So this was a local job that everyone I knew had the potential to see. For some un-know reason I decided to square cut these parts at each corner, instead of picture-framing them (45 degree miter on all for corners) When they got out in the field, and ready to install everyone could notice that because they were square cut there was a BIG SQUARE missing from each corner of the trim in the window.

    We were able to remake part of the job (it was pretty small anyway) but I’ll never forget that butt chewing, which was basically my first in my then short career. “This is a major Eff up….oh man, this is a major Eff up” is all the boss would say, over and over again. I’ve made up for it since….I think.

    1. Hi Brother Jon! What a great surprise to see you! I love your story about forgetting to mitre the edges of the “press box.” I’m guessing that kept you humble for a while — and you probably measure three times before you cut! 😉

      1. I just can’t stay away.

        Yeah, it’s always those moments when you’re sitting there thinking “I got this…no problem…I’m doing great!!”, then something like this happens to put you in your place.

  21. Renee: First off – I am so sorry you had to endure this! I feel for you…I read this and felt like this so could have been me! I also worked in a fine jewelry department in the early 90s at the age of 18 while a freshman in college. If a good looking man would have come up to me with the same story – I would have hopped in the bag myself. My little story of jewelry department hell went something like…

    I landed the job through a close family friend. Because of that, I always felt I had to work herder to prove myself. I hated selling jewelry as it was terrible quality, and I felt sick inside when I sold that poor sucker a crapy piece. I loathed my position in retail jewelry – minus the HOT security guard. I think I kept that job longer just to see this hunk – who was an injured football player turned security guard. On nights when I was closing, he would meander over to my department and lean over the glass counter holding his walkie talkie and muscles bulging. I made sure to wear my polka-dotted mini dress (very 80s) and bend over to pick ANYTHING up. Fun times.

    But it all ended around the worst possible time in retail – Black Friday. My alarm never went off and I was late that morning as the opener. My manager was furious while she threw the velvet pads in the glass cases. I apologized – and then began to feel nauseous. She sent me home (Thank God). I felt bad for about an hour. I am normally such a dedicated employee so this was really out of my character. I chalked it up to selling crapy jewelry and a lousy boss. Most importantly, this motivated me to excel in college (like you). I gave my notice soon after. I bumped into the hunky security guard a few times around town – but I think my hot mini dress and his bulging muscles faded for both of us.

  22. Geez, I am having a hard time narrowing down my choices. They also are a tough fit, because they happened in my 30s while working in a hotel. I can’t even play the “dumb kid” card!

  23. When I was young, my sister used to always suggest we combine our money. Since I always saved my allowance, and she never did, it was basically just a scam where she took my money. I figured it out eventually, and in some ways it was good for me. It made me skeptical of anyone who seems like they’re being way too nice to me.

  24. At least he didn’t tell you the gold was “past its expiration date” or something. I guess there’s that.

    I’ve read that the absolute best way to steal is to be right up front about it. A common thing is to wheel a hand-truck in to the store, load up the TV/Stove/whatever, then just wheel it out, maybe even stopping by the cashier to wave and say, “Am I good?” or something to the effect of “I don’t want you to think I’m stealing, so I’ll just check in before I leave.”

    1. Yeah, that’s probably true. I mean, it makes sense because they say the best way to lie is to slip a little one into a whole lot of truth. So what I’m trying to say is that me and my unicorn think you are a really talented writer.

      I think I would probably be a pretty bad thief. 😉

  25. Oh no. That’s pretty darn embarrassing. What amazes me the most is how calm and understanding the Big Boss was- what a class act! Too bad about that bankruptcy business, though.

    1. Mr. Big Boss was a very intimidating boss. But he was nothing but calm and understanding on that day. But yes, I felt like crap when they went under. That sucked. I wanted to give him all the money I had in my wallet. All $23.

      Whaat? I was a teacher. I had no money! Sheesh!

      Can’t wait to read your #SoWrong moment! It’s going to be epic, I’m sure!

  26. These are the kind of experiences you not only will likely have only when you are 18 but practically *need* to have. It’s those years when you learn about all the dumb stuff you do that make things go horribly wrong. If nothing ever went wrong how would you know and learn how to react in similar situations years later?

      1. Renée I completely understand what you mean about the loss of innocence and the issue of trust. I suppose situations like this could be how that old saying ‘trust, but verify’ got started.

  27. After attending a party, I packed out of a long, unlit farmyard that was lined with cars on both sides. I scraped a car. I got out, didn’t see any damage (hey, it was dark), so I kept going even though i had “heard” the damage.

    The first day round at school, people were starting to talk about who scraped X’s car (there were 50+ people at the party). I couldn’ t handle the guilt. So I fessed up and paid the $150 for the paint job. I was most mortified that I — a farm kid who’d been driving since age 10 — couldn’t back up perfectly.


    1. Hahaha! That’s awesome! And of course you fessed up. Duh, that’s because you are a farm girl.


      I almost pre-ordered your book, but when will it be out? Like how long will I be waiting? Because I’m dying! But I want you to SIGN my copy! How we gonna do that, Shirtsleeves? 😉

  28. I’m just impressed that you had a decent job at age 18. Nobody would have trusted me to guard 10K of gold until I turned… well… maybe never.

  29. I never did anything major regarding my job but I did do something at the work place that was stupid. I was 23 years old working at a TV station in Raleigh, NC. I came back from lunch and parked my car, apparently forgot to set the emergency brake (the car was a stick shift). I get out of the car and it starts rolling back (it was on a little slant) into a row of other cars across the lot.

    This was 1988, there were no automatic keyfobs to unlock car, I couldn’t get key in door fast enough so my idea was to get behind the car and stop it. bah hahahaha. It rolled back the next couple of yards slowly and came to rest against the back of another car… with me pinned in between the bumpers. lol I managed to squeeze out, get in my car and move it. No harm done to other car. I however had a major gigantic bruise across the front of both of my thighs for some time.

    1. Omigosh! Isn’t there a commercial like that? That must have been terrifying! And yet simultaneously hysterical. We’re any of the rescue workers hot? Wait, you squeezed out before rescue workers? At least a cute firefighter would have massaged your thighs. Or iced you down. Or something!

      Great story!

      1. It happened in a matter of seconds, I was terrified and yet laughing hysterically when I was trapped. I was thinking someone was going to get a good laugh while watching the surveillance camera. No rescue workers, thank God I would have died.

    1. Hey hey hey! That is a serious screw-up, Lisha! Think what could have happened if that customer had been lactose intolerant? 😉 And PS: If you have led a sheltered life, I’d say Hurricane Katrina gave you enough schooling for a lifetime, yes?

  30. Quote the Student: “Never More”!
    My last name being Terry, I was waaaaay on down there in the alphabet in my junior English class. The teacher had assigned us to recite “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe. She always called on us in alphabetical order, by last name. After hearing twenty robotic recitations of the classic poem, I decided that, when my time came, I was going to pack some punch into it. Add a little drama, you know?
    At last, Mrs. Weatherford called my name, and I made my way up the narrow aisles to the front. Taking a big breath, I opened my mouth and introduced the poem:
    “The Poe,” by Edgar Allan………”.
    A hush fell over the class before I realized my gaffe, but not before I heard hoots, hollers, and sniggle-snorts.
    It was a YouTube moment, for sure!

  31. Oh wow Renee, I can’t imagine. Forget the teeth, the guy was slicker than snot. Any eighteen year old young woman would fall for that one. Be kind to yourself girl. What a way to start off in the job market Renee. That really sucked. I’m sure nothing remotely ever happened to you again like that. Wow. I hope you write this into one of your novels. That’s a great story. 🙂

    1. Well, the slickster is NOT coming into any of my novels. I don’t think. Hmmm. Although, maybe I could work someone like him into the one Im working on as the cheesy husband. Too good to be true. Wow, Karen. That might have just given me the image I needed to round out a character!

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