My move to Los Angeles in August 1992 represented not only a great professional challenge-to work with only two senior bankers and cover all California financial institutions-but also a personal opportunity, a chance to broaden my horizons. I grew up in Paris and lived in the capital for 21 years before moving to New York; I definitely was a city girl! Los Angeles demanded however that I adapted to a whole different world, where sport rather than opera rhythms the season. I knew that my first year in the Los Angeles office would be extremely busy due to the small size of my group. In fact I averaged 90 hours of work per week that year. To keep my sanity and maintain a good spirit, I resolved to try and learn a sport that had always fascinated me: surfing. Thus I bought a brand new wetsuit and longboard and started the experience bright and early on a sunny Saturday afternoon under the merciless scrutiny of the local surfers, all males, who did not hide their contempt for my pale skin and weak arms so typical of investment banking Corporate Analysts. Surfing seemed at first an impossible mission: my board always mysteriously rebounded on my head, while the waves would break exactly where I was paddling. At work, there was an explosion of laughter when I proudly exposed my (only) personal project: why, a twenty-six year old Parisian, surfing? This had to be French humor! I resolved however to practice every week-end before coming into the office. Last summer, I finally stood up on my board and rode the wave to the beach. It was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life and although I still surf regularly, nothing matches my first wave nor the pride that I felt. Because I received little help and encouragement but prevailed, I cherish this experience which was actually a tremendous confidence builder.
In January, 2015, Sam went back to Chicago, where he reported experiencing a new gratitude for his life—his students, his friends, the apartment he’d just moved into. When I completed my novel, which I’d decided to call “Eligible,” I sent it to my editor, my sisters, and a few other writers. Sam live-texted me as he read the final pages, and he was the very first person to finish it.
The Office US/Youtube
Awkward situations can crop up any time, anywhere. That means that you're bound to be embarrassed at work once in a while (or rather frequently, if you're unlucky).
We recently asked readers to
We ended up getting back a handful of fart stories, a few shoe-related fiascoes, and one tale of a hickey in a rather unfortunate location.
Here are the top 12 most embarrassing work stories we heard.
Some answers have been edited for clarity.YouTube/Lifehacker
'I caught some quick gastrointestinal relief'
I was in a very long meeting after breakfast one day. After some scones and coffee, I was ready to hit the bathroom.
After the meeting, I quickly ran back to my desk to check some emails before doing so. As I sat down, I caught some quick gastrointestinal relief with a long, gassy, silent fart.
Little did I know, a female colleague had followed me back from the meeting to discuss a few more things off-line. The stench floating in the vicinity of my desk was nothing short of horrid.
The look on her face when she actually caught a whiff of this thing was one of pure shock and horror, almost like she had just been struck physically. She tried to talk for a few seconds without breathing, but we both knew what the situation was.
She quickly ended the conversation and went back to her desk. Even though we were mid-project together, we didn't really speak much after that. Actually a few months later she left the company and never stopped by to say goodbye.
I wouldn't go back near my desk either.
'I showed up ... wearing two different colored shoes!'
I showed up to make a major presentation to an audience of 230 people wearing two different colored shoes!
Flickr/Startup Stock Photos
'She quit by the end of the day'
After repeated errors and repeated retraining, it was time to part ways with an employee who was not quite up to the specific tasks assigned to her.
I emailed HR, explained my situation, and requested that they send me the specific process of terminating her employment.
She had a uniquely spelled first name, so I used Outlook to find out how to spell her name correctly. Forgot to take her name off the email. The email went to her.
She quit by the end of the day.