First off, thanks to everyone who read my recent guest post on Cision.com about all the times I should have gotten fired, but didn’t. I really appreciate it – and I can tell you really read the article too because so many of you sent me emails about all my other ridiculous mistakes that you wish I had included.
That was a nice trip down memory lane – one I thought the rest of you might enjoy as well.
My friend Nicole was disappointed that I didn’t include a reference to the time I tried to close an email with the sentence, “I apologize for any inconvenience,” but mistyped the last word so badly that spell check changed it to “incontinence.” It was actually quite fitting though, because the woman on the receiving end really seemed to lose her shit about it.
“Nova, I don’t think you meant to say incontinence,” she wrote. “Do you know what that means? It’s a loss of bladder control!”
What’s important is that I controlled my mouth after that.
A former coworker reminded me about the time I emailed an investigative reporter with an update on a legal matter that, until that point, hadn’t even been on his radar. It was a perfect storm of mistakes that involved several communication breakdowns among three people, two of whom ended up crying.
Coincidentally, this mishap took place on the same trip that I mentioned in the guest post – the one in which I almost fell into an indoor swimming pool.
“I thought that was the trip that you locked your keys in the rental car,” my coworker said.
“It was,” I replied. “I almost fell in the pool the day before.”
For my finale, I got a citation for failing to obey a traffic signal.
Two people asked me to retell the story about the time I was staffing a trade show in Las Vegas and my manager showed up to the booth several hours late. Needless to say, he was nursing a pretty epic hangover.
“Were people looking for me?” he asked, as he winced through a sip of Diet Coke.
“Of course they were,” I hissed. “You’re three hours late.”
“Well I’m here now!” he rallied. I almost believed him – and then he turned around and walked directly into an artificial tree.
Did you guess a full-grown owl waiting for a table outside Rue 57? No? Well that was the correct answer.
Apparently, he flew into a window and knocked himself unconscious. My kindred spirit.
Two police officers did a nice job of wrapping him in a towel and coaxing him into a crate. They didn’t accidentally choke him to death at all.
And now, the most requested story: The Mislaid Zune.
It was 2013 and my boss and I were on our way back from an assignment in California when he realized that his Zune was missing.
When I tell this story in person, people usually stop me there and ask what a Zune is. So, should you be wondering just that, please know that a Zune is Microsoft’s now-discontinued mp3 player. Loyalists will be quick to tell you that “It’s a superior product compared to the iPod,” which basically proves how totally useless it really is.
“Maybe you packed it in your checked luggage,” I said as my boss feverishly clawed through his carry-on in the aisle of the plane.
“I would never do that,” he snapped.
I shrugged. I had just spent a full week with him, during which he refused to let me eat lunch on two occasions and ruined dinner on another when he tried to convince a waiter to name a sandwich after him. He also made me drive the rental car back to the airport in Los Angeles and spent the majority of the trip explaining in great detail how his photo submission for the office holiday card contest was robbed of victory.
“The picture was of a red double decker tourist bus in front of the statue at Rockefeller Center and there was an inch of fresh snow on everything,” he said. “If that doesn’t say Christmas, I don’t know what does!”
“I can’t hear the GPS,” I said.
“There should be a committee to decide the photo,” he replied. “Otherwise, it’s just not fair.”
As if on cue, I made a premature right turn and ended up in the middle of a construction zone.
“Please,” I said. “I really can’t focus on the committee right now.”
I was still working through the angst of that interaction when, hours later, while retrieving something else from his suitcase, he had an epiphany. “I know where it is!” he yelled, as he popped his head back into the row of seats from behind the overhead bins.
“Where what is?” I asked.
“The ZUNE,” he said, as though I should have been holding that thought for the entire cross-country flight. “It’s in the hotel safe.”
I could hardly contain myself.
“You put your Zune in a hotel safe?” I asked.
“I put it in there with my Kindle the night we arrived,” he said. “Why? You don’t use the safe?!”
I do, actually. But usually only for important travel documents and large sums of cash. Not say, an e-reader that our company gave us as a holiday gift the year before and a technologically obsolete mp3 player that no one would bother stealing. But to each his own.
“I’ll call the hotel tomorrow and ask them to send it back,” he said.
“Do you remember the combination to the safe?” I thought this was a fair question, but he was none too pleased about it.
“Of course I do,” he snapped again.
I have no idea why I’d think otherwise. But don’t worry – he got his. That year, my friend won the holiday photo contest with a picture of ducks.
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