Louisa glances at the time on her computer. A quarter of an hour before meeting with the company president! Quickly, she takes her purse and suit jacket, stopping by the restroom to freshen up. She gives herself a once-over at the waist-length mirror. Her self-inspection halts at the perspiration soaking through the sides of her blouse. She rushes to rub her armpits with a paper towel. A vision of sweat seeping through her thin, light-colored suit jacket concerns her. Just then her eyes land on a mini-vending machine for sanitary pads.
With growing annoyance, she tries to attach the sticky side of the panty liner on the slippery lining of her suit jacket’s armhole. She’ll just clamp her armpits down on the makeshift sweat shields. She heads out to meet with the president.
The meeting begins without a hitch and some people come in to join them. As the meeting continues to go well, Louisa finds herself relaxing and enjoying the group. Toward the end, the tone starts to lighten up. They start getting up, sharing anecdotes, with one trying to be funnier than the other. Caught up with the others showing off their wit, Louisa thinks of a perfect tale. She makes grand gestures as she tries to impress her audience. Immediately, she realizes her mistake. One panty liner lands on the floor, while the other barely clings on to her skirt. This will be one story everyone will be talking about in the next meeting.
The meeting adjourned and the people started getting up to leave the Boardroom. As Sarah rounded the table, heading toward the door, she saw the CEO, who had just gotten up from the table, walk toward her.
“What do you think of the new way to approach our target market?” The CEO asked as he neared her. Sarah walked back toward the table as he moved in closer, extending his right arm. At first anticipating a handshake, which never appeared, as Sarah drew closer to the CEO she then figured he intended to hug her. Not really knowing what to do and hoping to avoid any personal display of office emotion, she reached out first to deflect his extended arm, wrapping her left arm around the CEO’s waist in the process. Then she lightly patted his back. Suddenly she saw from her peripheral vision that he had been reaching over to push the chair that was near her back under the table. So much for the hug.
Subtly stepping back from the CEO, Sarah enthusiastically voiced her thoughts about the meeting. Then she asked some questions, hoping he would fail to notice, or forget, that she had nearly embraced him. Toward finishing their brief conversation, Sarah reiterated her excitement about the business strategic changes, as she subconsciously weighed the importance of making some changes of her own–like being more aware of her blind spots.
The boardroom is full today because the company’s former Chairman, Mr. Ralph Finley, is in attendance to make a special endowment to the R&D group, among others. Twenty people sit around the rectangular conference table, all waiting for Mr. Finley, who is having a coughing fit. In between blowing his nose, he mutters to them, “Allergies, I forgot to take something for them today.” The people murmur their understanding. Suddenly, Mr. Finley sneezes so hard, his dentures fly out of his mouth and clatter on the table. For a moment, no one seems to breathe; the only sound is the clacking of teeth.