Thursday, August 11, 2011

Faking it - no, not that! Surviving the work social

3N and I were forced required compelled to go to his boss' get together last night. We hate those joints. His boss throws the whackest whitest least flavorful get togethers known to man. The last soiree involved a Risk marathon. You remember the game Risk? Took hours and hours and hours to play even when the world was divvied up in advance? Yeah...

So last night, we attend yet another freakity frickin' game night at dude's estate. It's not a house, it's an estate. Someone has to buzz you in to the neighborhood and then into his driveway and then into the house. The economy may be a pile of flaming shiggity but international wealth management is still straight stealing. 

Anyway, at least this time we were allowed to chose the game and chose our teams. Unfortunately, boss man and his very plastic wife wanted to be partners with me and 3N. [They are both just a little too damn friendly if you catch my drift, but that's a whole other post] So we chose Scene It for the Wii and sat down with 3 other teams to play. Boss Man hands me the controller, "Bring it home, sister."

**insert laugh track here** [Why I gotta be a sister tho?]

If I had $100 for every time 3N and I did the fake laugh, he and I would be on a plane to Costa Rica for a 10-day all expense paid vacation right now. "Oh my God, you are too funny. Stop, you're killing me. It's too much! He-he-he." The one boss man's his wife took her eyes off of 3N's ass to catch my eye and exchange a glance, I knew she had probably been faking much more than laughter for quite some time. Bless her bleach blonde heart.

It was just a quirk that a lot of the movies in this round of Scene It were mafia movies and it was Mob Week on AMC last week. The other half of the questions were sci-fi and 3N is Mr. Science Fiction. It took no time at all to wrap that game up. There was an awkward moment when one of 3N's coworkers tried to make some sort of joke about a movie he had seen where the aliens had Asian brains and Negro penises. Yeahhhhh.... you know when you're the only people of color in the room and everybody looks at you to see if you're going to start a race riot over some shiggity?

3N to the rescue, "Sounds like you might need more work to do if you have enough spare time to watch movies like that, Jeff."

**insert louder laugh track here** "Ha, ha - you sure told him!"

After making small talk for another twenty minutes and nursing soft drinks, we made our excuses. We have a routine:
3N: "Well, you know Michele's a busy lady, I don't want her to turn into a pumpkin."
Me: "At least not until you buy me the diamond slippers!"
"He-he-he!"
"Diamond slippers"
"That's inflation for you!"
"So funny!"
"You two are so cute!"

It was all giggles until boss man's wife said, "I was hoping you'd stick around, we're going to open some champagne and take a swim in a little while."

We exchanged glances, 3N was looking slightly panicky. I took one for the team. "Girlfriend, you know I just got my hair done. Don't come between a black woman and a fresh do."

"He-he-he! I hear you, girlfriend!"

Whew, we were outta there.

BougieLand, the chit-chatter. The fake work laugh. The stories you've heard before but sit through again. The happy hours that aren't mandatory... but really are. The pretense of liking folks you would never (ever, ever) spend time with otherwise... who's done it and how'd you get through it? Have you developed a work social persona? An exit strategy? Do tell...

102 comments:

Sarah said...

I hope it's a good job 'cause.... that whole story gave me the creeps.

On the upside, you two sound so cute together it warms my heart. 

bkbisous said...

If this is what I have to look forward to, I need to step up in the "playing nice" department.


Brava on the hair-related save, I wouldn't have had it in me to go there.

Jubilance said...

I began to experience this once I switched jobs last year. At my first job, my coworkers generally didnt socialize together outside of work. At this new job tho, these ppl love to get together right after work, which means I have to make an appearance. Its doubly hard for me because I'm 1 of 2 women, I'm the only person of color, and I'm the only single person *sigh* So while everyone is talking about their kids & their wives & their summer cabins, I'm sipping my obligatory glass of wine & thinking about all my antics during my trip to Miami. I smile & do the fake laugh as appropriate before I make up an excuse & dip out.

BTW that "oh we were abt to go swimming" invite - did that strike anyone else as weird & possibly an invite for some group adult activities? Sorry Chele I tried to keep that one as clean as possible..

bkbisous said...

There was no question in my mind that those two were trying to arrange a swinging situation.   No. Question.

Dawnsummers said...

OH MAN! That was SO my first two years as a corporate lawyer. It makes my stomach hurt just to relive it. Especially when Boss calls you "sistah." I always wanted to scream "I'm an only child, asshole!" Le Sigh.

-dawn summers

sunt97 said...

LMAO, I have only had one job where the boss felt the need for us to get together outside the workplace and I never attended.  I used the fail proof excuse.  "I have small children at home and I really need to get home to them,  us single moms have to juggle it all".  Then I would go out with my friends.

Peace, Love and Chocolate,
Tiffany

Penny said...

This is the funniest post I have read since the post about the return about SEW.  I had to close my office door.    "Bring it home, sister."  "I hear you girlfriend."  ROTFLMAO!!!  I just went to a work related event-all I had to do was eat bad food.

Champagne and a swim.   Guess girlie was having a Mandingo moment.

C W said...

"Why I gotta be a sista tho?"

Ok that was toooo funny.

blackprofessor said...

Yeah, I was thinking that was code for "are you guys swingers?"  I am amazed at how many couples I know who swing!!

LolaZabeth said...

This 'party' scene is all so painfully familiar. Times like this I have to pull out my alter ego, Mindy. Mindy's mindless laughter and voice that is an octave above my own irritates the hell out of me, but it's the only way I can make it through these kind of things. Plus They love her.
Great post!

Wanyanak said...

This is too funny. The worst work related event for me was a company picnic hosted by the boss who lives in BF, somewhere in the DMV area where port-a-potties were rented for everyone's use, with the house being off limits! It's not as though we were dealing with concert crowds here!  Why even bother to invite people to your house if it's off limits! I am still scratching my head over that one. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Used the excuse of an extremely long drive ahead of me and have rarely attended other events since. I just don't have the energy...

bashowell said...

LOL this was just too funny.  Because of where I work, we have to be careful of how we interact outside the workplace.  In the 15 years I"ve been here there haven't been any get-togethers like that.  Apparently this is a good thing.

sol_dier said...

Please accept my gift of a virtual bottle of 'champers' for getting through that.
and why do I have a slight suspicion that boss and his wife are quite open to a lil debauchery? 

Champagne and the pool Could they be any more predictable?
Its like something out of a typical 'trash novel' playbook.  (not judging if thats anyones thing)

MsJamie14 said...

*wince* That. evening. sounds. painful.

And glad you guys got out of their before they invited you guys into their swingers lounge in the basement! lol

GrownAzzMan said...

I have done this so often I wish I could own stock in it...LOL One question though. Champagne then swimming? Was there any call out on the invite for bathing suits or is this how they get the adult entertainment segment of the party started? Inquiring minds and whatnot...

GrownAzzMan said...

Jubi, I wrote about the swimming thing before I read yours. I am sure that is what it was.

CaliGirlED said...

"Mindy's mindless laughter and voice that is an octave above my own irritates the hell out of me,..." Bwahahaha!!! And your-real-self is saying to you, "Seriously??? You are getting on my damn nerves!"

sol_dier said...

Team 'bloody' pub nights. - hate them with a passion.
Topics tend to drift to infidelity, the illicit copulation at work, inquisition about my hair,  the drunk white colleague who starts talking about Bob Marley 
I usually ask people about beer (I don't drink it) in my neck of the woods people love talking about beer. 
Used to stick to the dance floor, till the women colleagues ask me to teach them or give dirty looks whilst  male colleagues tried to get too close (no country for jungle fever fetishes or office romance)

Now I smile, nod, sip water and have a pre-arranged appointment which I simply cannot miss.

sol_dier said...

Strait out of a Jackie Collins playbook. 
Its the old.. 
'lets do the pool.. Wife says: 'oh its soo warm in here, I hope you don't mind if I just slip my bathing suit off, while she shoots a lingering lustful glance over at 3N' 
Husband grins, takes a sip of champagne and says '3N, I've always said my wife has the most amazing.... shoulders. Honey show 3N your shoulders, infact 'she's got a fabulous body don't you think, as he slowly drifts over to Ms OneChele & whispers but I bet its nothing on yours. I've been watching you and I just love the taste of cinnamon chocolate'.  ...

I obviously have read too many trashy novels

CaliGirlED said...

Hollywood keep swinging!!! I guess...

I am very much familiar with the fake laughs, ignoring racial undertones, and nursing that ONE drink that you feel compelled to have. (Because you know if you have more than that the REAL you may be "grounds" for you to find a "pink slip" on your desk the next morning).

I hate and am appalled by the looks of the wives who are sizing me up and wondering if...No bitch I don't swing!

Linnon said...

This reminds me of a conference I attended at Jekyll Island a while back.  I was having lunch at a place on the pier where the tables are a little close together; you know, so close where you're in somebody's conversation, although you're not trying.  The guy was telling the two ladies with him a corporate story...you know, one I had lived, and maybe more than once.  It was funny, and I held it in for as long as I could, but I started straight laughing out loud.  I damn near fell out of the chair, and they came over and took a picture.

Penny said...

Stop it!!!

Donell Creech said...

@ para 3 - i KNEW they were sizing you guys up for the rick james special!


http://www.thefablife.com/2008-08-04/67-rick-james/

GrownAzzMan said...

Damn...

Lady4Real said...

lol

Mykeia said...

Oh my...the woman checking your dude in her house with her man in the room, bold.
My husband will not come with me if he is not feeling my work folks.  Won't do it.  
The black man penis size jokes, will they ever die?
You two make a good team.

CaliGirlED said...

Oh my damn!

ASmith said...

Now see this is the one thing that I'm really working to teach my wittle undergads about.  We have to do that fake stuff all day long at work and then when they wanna go out for drinks we're exhausted and just want to go home.  Unfortunately, because of the wonderful blinders their privilege provides them, they have no clue that you're tired not anti-social when you say no invite after invite.  In fact they take it personally.

Enter the wonderful world of faking it which is a 3rd cousin once removed  to code-switching.  And of course is also why I'm scared for the chirruns who don't mess with code-switching.

All that being said, a sista (that's me) gets really tired of faking it because I'm no good at it.  If what you said wasn't funny, it just wasn't.  I have about 2 hours of it stored up any given day and once it's depleted, I gotta get outta there.  But for those 2 hours, I make 'em feel like there's no one else I'd rather be with!

ASmith said...

Is it not wild how we have to develop alternate personalities to win out here?  Have mercy sweet baby Jesus

md_KG said...

LOL. This is so hilarious. Boss man and his wife are muy creepy!! Swimming in such a setting and at that time of the day?? Eew, eew, eew. Hells to the no.

And why was she going all sisterhood solidarity on you? She needs to stay in her beach blonde lane.

In general, sometimes it really is just such a trip to be in (somewhat fake) Caucasian company. Sometimes it's almost an out of body experience. Recently, I was at a BBQ with colleagues from various organizations and as usual was one of the few people of color. I tried to be social with two white females and just no connection. Nada. Zilch. Zero. I bounced off to the Latinas and the group and the conversation was on fire within seconds...LOL.

Leon X said...

I "liked" this comment on the grounds of your Kool & The Gang reference.

md_KG said...

You know??!! Lol.

BlackButterfly said...

Went to one bosses BBQ when I was living in Dallas and it didn't go well at all (too many "you should know because you're black convo's")  because I am incapable of hiding what I am really thinking because it shows on my face regardless of what my words say.  It was suggested by a close friend and coworker that I do ANYTHING I had to do to avoid those type of settings even if I had to break a leg to do so. LOL!  I agreed.

thinklikeRiley said...

You two waz fittin' ta be on Real Sex 27: The Work "Friends" Edition
Boom-chicka...

LolaZabeth said...

Yess!! It's like having a bad out of body experience. No fun.

Andrea M said...

The onlyest thing worse than the work social? And the offsite? The out of town work conference - Nooooooo! You're gonna put me on an airplane with these people, in hotel rooms and ask me to eat all of my meals plus spend all day with them? Hells naw. I've invited more "former college roommates" that I had to have dinner with and visit just to get out of some those activities. People leave town and lose their damn minds.

Sunshyne said...

OMG Too funny! I've been in soooo  many of these situations. I am so glad I'm not alone!

David Chase said...

Boss man wife is uber-inappropriate and not just with me. Everytime we see her, someone starts singing Hall & Oates "ManEater" under her breath.

David Chase said...

No. Thank. You.

David Chase said...

Wow. Though he is giving Ms Le Bouge that hershey fantasy look.

David Chase said...

Mess.

Deb B said...

Girlfriend (bwahaha) - When is the autobiography and subsequent bio-pic coming out? I can already see this scene in the movie.

Deb B said...

BTW - I've been to way too many of these in my life. Hate them. Hate, hate. hate. But every one of my promotions has come after schmoozing with a wineglass in my hand. Le huge damn sigh.

Deb B said...

National Black MBA, anyone?

OneChele said...

Hey, what happens in the hospitality suites... stays in the hospitality suites ;-)

Donell Creech said...

>>The black man penis size jokes, will they ever die?
::singin in the key of the r-uh:: i dont see nuthin wrong...wit a lil positive stereotyyyyyype. nuthin wrong...

Donell Creech said...

>>I am amazed at how many couples I know who swing!!

ahem...erumuh...hey there bp...what chu say yo numba was again? oh wait...you didnt. my bad bougie fam - wrong blog wrong blog. :-)

Michele said...

I hate these things with a passion!  When a general invite goes out via email I act like I don't see it and skip the event.  However, when my manager comes to my office, pulls up a chair and personally invites me ... like he did yesterday ... there's no getting out of it.  I'll have to brush up on my fake laugh and try not to roll my eyes all evening.  I'm a firm believer that work life and social life should be completely separate.

Michele said...

I have one of these faces too!  Gets me in trouble every time.

Jubilance said...

I have the opposite of a poker face - every thought & emotion can clearly been seen, the moment I think or feel it.

Donell Creech said...

scuse me one mo gin bougie fam..for those in the dfw...have any of ya'll ever seen riley and one chele in the same room, at the same time? im just axin.

ASmith said...

::shudders::

JaymeC said...

I've had Chele sitting next to me while we talked on the phone to Riley - ever watch a faced paced tennis game with zingers going back and forth? Something like that.

Natasha Hunter said...

This was FUNN-AY! 
 
1) Love/hate  how you had to throw out the Chaquita-isms to get them off your back. "That 3N and Michele are a hoot!"  WTF is a "hoot" anyway? 
2) Why is everybody else fascinated with the Black man's penis?  Uh... Ok, Ok.. nevamind.
Oh and "It's all fun and games 'til somebody tries to tap that azz!"  Le Ewwww...

Cherelle Mattox said...

Oh Lord, yes National Black MBA and National Black Accountant Conferences are pure craziness!

Earthangel172 said...

It was all giggles until boss man's wife said, "I was hoping you'd stick
around, we're going to open some champagne and take a swim in a little
while."



#swingersinvite

Anyway, at my firm, we (knee-gros) call it "putting our blue eyes in"....LOL

However, I can easily switch to my brown eyes if pissed off. In all honesty, I hate shifting but I understand that it is very necessary for white and pink collar jobs. I just suck it up and do what I have to do.

Earthangel172 said...

"I'm a firm believer that work life and social life should be completely separate."

This!

Donell Creech said...

just checking - thanks for verifying doc.

Earthangel172 said...

for.the.win.

LMBO!

FreeBlackMan said...

*points and laughs* You had to play the race card to get out of some foolery!

GuessImJay said...

We must compare notes. Did you go to the one in Chicago?

OneChele said...

When it was 78 degrees one day and snowed the next and there was a run on coats at Marshall Field's? Yeah.

GuessImJay said...

*fist bump*

CorettaJG said...

Precisely.

Earthangel172 said...

::singing "it's getting hot in here"::

ROTFLMBO!

GuessImJay said...

*Holds up a lighter*

GuessImJay said...

I must say Dallas seems to have a lot of bleachy blonde artificial ladies in their mid-life years who are... Serengeti parched and freaky with theirs. I don't play that way but if I did, I'd be in paradise around here.

CorettaJG said...

Exactly.  None of my "mandatory fun" events have ended with invites to enter pools and whatnot.

C Nelson said...

I ... am suddenly very glad that my preferred work hours have always been night times. Everybody understands when the third-shift auditor/rep/phlebotomist/whatever bows out of these invites, so I've only ever attended two of these conferences/work parties, and those were fun. (I was working for a start-up, the kind of place where they still had Nerf gun wars in the middle of the workday.)

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Ho Lawd.....O_O

Thanks for yet another reason to kick my side-hustle into being my main hustle, if only to avoid hours of uncomfortable situations like this. School and family reunions are bad enough.

Angelique said...

that's just funny  

Jazzy Jazz said...

Yeah I have no poker face either. SMH. My grandmother says I can cut a person just by looking at them- without saying a word or anything 

Big October said...

This post was mad funny. As far as my thoughts on post work employee gatherings...sigh! * stroking chin pondering* sigh! 

Veronica Easter said...

I'm the same way.  Working on it tho!  lol

Annette Evans said...

That's my city for ya. The Hawk is never far away.....

AndreaPlaid said...

No question at all.

AndreaPlaid said...

To quote David Chase, "Mess."

AndreaPlaid said...

Maybe she read The Help and wanted to show she was, you know, down and thangs. And maybe win some approval to shark on 3N... o_O

Angel Blanca (@BecomingAMW) said...

So, the boss-type folks are feeling you two, huh? That scenario sounds like the key parties of the 1970s (I read a lot). Not. Even. Subtle.

OneChele said...

Ugh, yeah - I don't swap.

David Chase said...

And I don't share.

David Chase said...

And I don't share.

Trey Charles said...

And that's that. Shortest Showtime After Dark film ever. You two are no fun.

rozb said...

Oh. Wow. And she wasn't even trying to hide the lust at all. Reminds me of those cartoons where the wolf's eyes spring out of his head and he starts salivating and bouncing all over the place. Ick...

Glad I have time to enjoy some Bouge during the day now...while sipping on my morning mango, banana, strawberry, and pineapple smoothies.

rozb said...

They even have their own reality show now...them and their daughters. o_O

CaliGirlED said...

" I have about 2 hours of it stored up any given day and once it's
depleted, I gotta get outta there.  But for those 2 hours, I make 'em
feel like there's no one else I'd rather be with!" Yes girl yes! This all day long!

CaliGirlED said...

Braggin much? LOL

tiffanyinhouston said...

Oh I IMMEDIATELY thought bossman's wife was trying to get into some freaky deaky sh*t!!!!

tiffanyinhouston said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

tiffanyinhouston said...

But those office Christmas parties go hard in the paint though. I love to see drunken 2520 (no shade Jake) antics!!!!!

Boss man's wife wanted 3N to indulge her mandingo fantasies, yo!!!

mickmicki said...

*sigh*

Yes, it is a good idea that you all left when you did.  The last thing you want to do is stick around for the water-related activities with um...the other persuasion.  

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I went to a home function.  First, there was the keg.  I was a little stunned by that...Can I at least have a bottle or a frosted mug with an orange wedge?  I haven't pumped a keg in about 15 years.  Then there was the "you are soooooo funny."  Next thing I know, there was a lady who wanted to kiss and hug all of the ladies.  Next thing I know, I was beckoned to the hot tub by a naked plus-sized lady and her equally naked and plus-sized husband.  I got the hell up out of there.  O__O

Brneyed1 said...

Luckily for me my boss is hundreds of miles away & my colleagues are all in different states. But I have attended a few of these with the SO. Painful. We have a word we manage to slip into the convo to signal if one of us has had enough and its time to break camp.

But the champagne and swimming invite though? Chele, props for how you handled that one. I can't even imagine...

Angel Blanca said...

I just read through the rest of the comments.  I'm glad I wasn't the only one sensing the swinging undertones to this story.  Really, I thought it was a product of having read so much from the swinging era, so it's nice to know I can read the signs.

Oh, and Chele and David, y'all never had to disown that type of behaviour, because it. never. crossed. my. mind.  Viva le'bougie mami and papi ;)

GammasWorld said...

Haven't had a chance to read all the responses but I predict y'all gone be doing a lot of dodging the invitations for a swingers get together - just saying.  I.hate.these.events.  HATE THEM.  I've gotten to the age where I really don't give a crap and am pleased to be known as the rebel who won't be there.  I've been known to dodge the blatant "you need to show your face" mandate.   Younguns don't follow my example -- unfortunately it's a part of corporate kiss azz and as much as you hate it, it does play a part in organizational politics.  Even more reason why I need to be doing my own thing.  Anyway, y'all handled it with Bougie aplomb as usual.   

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Right. I saw the commercials for those, and have mercifully forgotten which channel airs it when.

GrownAzzMan said...

No bueno,,,

GrownAzzMan said...

That's because you have never been to an Urban Bankers confab. And we shall not mention the Everest of Shiggity, The Congressional Black Caucus...LOL

GrownAzzMan said...

*Fist Bump* How we gonna get this on Cinemax?

The_A said...

I know I'm late on the commentary. busy week & usually don't post after the 1st day. However knowing you will be in this situation again, I want you to keep this in mind

JESUS SAVES

yeah, I said it. I find it pays handsomely to casually mention Jesus or going to church just every now and again around these kind of bosses & coworkers.

keeps them politely at bay by using yet another stereotype of "us" to avoid that hot tub & at least 2 functions per year.

In a pinch, Jesus is my way out of no way. Oooo, yeah, I'd love to come but I'm singing at church in the morning! Or I'm volunteering with [pick a function] at church that evening. No one ever argues with the church opt out & there is no better way to say I don't get down like that


*can I get a witness*

It's like sprinkling holy water on the entire situation.

& what you actually do instead is between you & Jesus

Singlelif said...

*Blink* !  Now I'm rethinking the bbq I'm having for my staff at my house on the 27th of this month.  Humph !  I 'bet not read about it in anybody's blog...

One Chele said...

I'm a firm believer that work life and social life should be completely separate.<.i>

Amen!

One Chele said...

I've barely spent time in the legit, post university workforce, so I haven't had this experience yet. Anyways...

1. Lmao @ "Bring it home, sister" & "I hear you, girlfriend!". Bet you didn't realize you two were cool like that.

2. Am I wrong for expecting some racist arse commentary on why you were so knowledgeable in regards to mafia movies?

3. Why come the boss's wife seems to be plotting on 3N?

Gazing dreamily, longingly, wantingly, at 3N's arse, then hoping to liquor you guys up and take a swim? I have a theory, but one inappropriate glance and suspect group activity isn't enough for me to share it yet. I'd keep an eye out though, I seen it on t.v. have it on good authority that these housewives can get awfully desperate.

ETA: I just read the comments, ya'll noticed that too? Let me add my number four then since my theory has supporters.

4. Why come it seems like you two were the guests of honor, and boss man was hoping to make ya'll his "special friend"? Everything, and I do mean EVERYthing about boss man & especially the wife's interaction with you two has me wondering what's good.

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