Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Day I Met the President - A (Not So) Live Blog

Some of you who read this blog may know who I work for.  For reasons that I can't fathom, it's taboo for me to say where I work.  I'll give you a hint:  it rhymes with "Smite Mouse."  Before you get any high falutin' ideas about my connections or how I can get you an introduction, my coworker said it best when he said we "work for the paeons of the paeons."  I participated in a work project where the "potential" reward was attending a ceremony honoring people who commit themselves to helping others several months ago.  Last night, I was shocked, SHOCKED when I received an email telling me I had been selected to attend. 

So that I don't forget, and in case you were interested, here's how I was able to meet my big boss.  Or not.  You decide.

9:30 pm:  Arrive home, dog tired from a long day of work and shopping, to a ginormous package in the hallway.  Ridiculous, toddler sized box contained the new black suit I requested for my birthday.
10:30 pm:  Check work Blackberry.  Find out I won the work equivalent of the lottery.  Squee and dance until I'm able to tell DH.
10:31 pm:  Try on new suit, coordinate blouse, hide suit from masked pee'ers known as the Chaos brothers (Take note, Havoc and Mayhem:  The Head Zookeeper is not pleased).
10:35 pm:  Stomp upstairs to roust DH and tell him of good fortune.  Stomp back down when he is not appropriately impressed.  He's impressed, just not impressed enough.
11:30 pm:  Go to bed early so I can look my best for the C-Span cameras which will most assuredly film the back of my head.  Realize this and wonder if I can call the hair stylist for an emergency hair cut.
11:31 pm:  Fret about which side is my good side.
11:32 pm:  Realize I have absolutely NO makeup not related to Halloween.  Resolve to purchase make up in the morning. 
11:35 pm:  Rearrange ENTIRE schedule in my head to accomodate the 1:15 pm start time.
11:36 pm:  Resist urge to start sending emails on work BlackBerry to show just how dedicated (excited) I am.
11:40 pm: Finally fall into fitful sleep.

6:00 am:  Wake up fearing I've overslept.  Realize I have not, relax and get ready for morning.
xx:xx am:  Arrive at work and handle fires, rescheduling and catch up on blogs news of the day.
10:00 am to 12:45 pm:  Day flies by and I wonder where the time has gone!!!
12:45 pm:  Sprint from office to White House.  Realize I'm not expected until 1:15 pm, break out into all out "mass murderer is after me" run for no reason other than I MUST BE EARLY!  (those of you who TRULY know me...laugh it up, chuckles.  Sometimes I'm early.)
1:00 pm:  Informed by intern, whose outfit I was coveting, that the presenter was running late.  Take time to mop up lather of sweat I have worked up.
1:25 pm:  Head over to reception area where beverages flow freely.  Wish I liked champagne.  Squeeeeeee and take pictures like a total tourist.
1:26 pm:  Cornered by woman who lays out her ENTIRE business plan now that she has won not one, but two prestigious awards.  Get concerned by crazed look in her eye, spittle forming in mouth and her easy access to children.  Wonder if she's eating them as opposed to teaching them music.  Abandon coworker and look at cool artifacts.
1:27 pm:  Take pictures near cool presidential painting.
1:29 pm:  Take pictures of staircase president comes down.
1:31 pm:  See music lady bearing down, devote rapt attention to Marine Corps quartet (they were fabulous).
1:32 - 2:10 pm:  Make small talk with coworker who SWEARS he doesn't do small talk.
2:15 pm:  Move into awards ceremony.  Resolve to cease and desist with touristy cell phone pictures.  Knock people out of the way to be in the center of the back row.  Nobody puts baby in the corner.
2:16 pm:  Quickly abandon previous resolution.  Fully engage cell phone camera.
2:20 pm:  Award recipients file in.  Big boss man follows closely behind.
2:21 pm:  Audience rises and claps when big man enters.
2:25 pm:  Start snapping away trying to get photo where it looks like big man is looking right at me.  Realize he probably IS looking at me as I keep lowering and raising camera.  Wish desperately for fancy SLR camera left at home.
2:25:45 pm:  Got it!  Promptly put camera away.
2:25:55 pm:  Take camera out, send MMS to friends, post picture on FB.  Yup, I'm a dork.  Big man is talking and I'm Facebooking.  What's your question?
2:26 pm:  Devote full attention to the ceremony (not really.  The press corps was right behind me and man, are their cameras loud.  I mean like defeaning plague of locusts loud.  And when there's a photo op???  Fugedabboutit.  I couldn't hear my own thoughts!).  Count number of mistakes made during speech (proud to say there was only one!!) to report back to mother.  It's a thing.
2:50 pm:  Wait for big man and recipients to exit ceremonial hall.  Wonder if I'll get to shake hands (answer is no).  Sorta stunned by how warm and electric his smile is. 
2:55 pm:  Snack time!!  Load up plate, minus icky salmon and soba noodles (regret not getting soba noodles).  And yes, I AM that girl who took a picture of the plate of food she was about to eat.  #noshame
3:00  - 3:10 pm:  Make small talk with previous year's recipient.  That's right, people, I was HOBNOBBING!  Realize her smarts are well beyond anything I can ever hope to achieve (neurobiologist who has discovered that brain cells regenerate in Alzheimers patients.  Way cool.)  Impress her anyway with my job helping to create, in her words, "boutique applications."  Wonder how I can work "boutique applications" into my every day vernacular.
3:12 pm:  Start the trek back to the office.  While leaving, notice room that is usually blocked off is now open.  Find out said room has a ladies room.  Take advantage of the access and go into ladies room.  Take obligatory "in da club bathroom" photo.  And I am ALSO that girl who takes pictures in pretty public restrooms.  #stillnoshame
3:20 pm:  Arrive back at the ranch (ie my office), thoroughly exhausted from the day. 

And that, my friends, is how I didn't meet my big boss.  HOWEVER, it's the closest I've ever come, and closer than many ever will, so I consider the entire day a HUGE success.

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