So my boss (who is not my dad) has been in and out of the office for the last few weeks due to health problems. We had a meeting this morning and she asked if I would take care of her agenda for her. I was thrilled because it meant she trusted me with the extra responsibility! My dad (the CEO of the company) doesn’t usually sit in on these meetings but due to freak circumstances not only is my boss out, but one of the other managers is also out due to health problems. My dad has been sitting in on meetings like this one in the regular supervisors’ absence.
I was nervous to present my boss’s agenda in front of my dad. He loves having me work in the family business and I know he hopes one day I will go into business with him, so I feel like whenever I speak in public he watches my every move to see how I am as a public speaker/leader. That’s a lot of pressure before 9am.
The meeting was going really well. I presented my boss’s agenda without messing anything up. I presented a few ideas I had come up with on my own, and people seemed to really like them. Then the embarrassing thing happened. We were talking about making a t-shirt celebrating a long-running concert our company puts on. I have been attending this concert since I was 8 years old. Very few people at the office know this because most of them have not worked in the company that long. I was hoping this fact would not be addressed because it’s super embarrassing especially since I used to have a modified bowl cut back when the concert first began. It’s not my fault! My mom controlled my hair and thought a Dorothy Hamill hairstyle was flattering for my face shape.
I looked at my dad to see if he was feeling nostalgic. I couldn’t get a read. I thought we were going to move on to a new topic without incident when all of a sudden he says something to the effect of, ” Oh yeah, Lauren was at our first (insert event name here)! She stood on a table and sold t-shirts!” He then went on to imitate my little chipmunk voice (which I still kind of have) hawking t-shirts.
I turn red with embarrassment. This happens easily since I am mostly Irish and a little bit Russian, basically all of the pale countries.
“Lauren, how old were you at the first (event name)?” he asks as every person (about 15 in the room at the time) swivels in his or her chair to look at me.
“Eight. I was eight.” I say as I stare at the table and take a sip of coffee.
“Her mother was so horrified that I brought her there. She thought she was too young. Lauren loved it though.”
“Okay, anyway. I have a few more things to cover,” I say in an attempt to stop talking about adorable childhood memories.
Everyone is still busy “aww”ing and laughing at the idea of little chipmunk-voiced, baby me selling t-shirts at a crowded event. Kill me in the face.
After a few minutes the meeting continues without incident. Until my dad tells everyone he will not be there next week because he and my mom are going on a trip to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. The room bursts into loud applause. I sit there. Do I applaud for my own parents? “WOO! Congrats to you for being married and making me! YES!” Obviously I love my parents and admire the fact that they have been married for 30 years. My parents are the best. But this situation was awkward. I don’t know what to do so, again, I sit there and drink some coffee and wait for it to be over. To make matters worse, I catch people sneaking glances at me as they sit there clapping. They are probably curious to see how I’m reacting. To answer their question, I reacted awkwardly.
While I was writing this post I managed to find this gem of a picture. This is me circa 1992ish.