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 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.
Mary Jo rushes to the airport’s public restroom. She has less than five minutes to greet Drew Hanson in the meeting lounge. He is one of her company’s bigger accounts and she has been sent to give him their preliminary report. As a habit drilled into her as a child, she quickly lines the seat with toilet tissue. She sits and relieves herself. After washing her hands, she dashes out, unaware of the toilet paper trailing behind her like a bride going down the aisle. Her face is ablaze with enthusiasm as she eagerly goes forth to make a good impression in her first client meeting.
On the 4th floor in Suite 404, Felicity is suited to present her first presentation on fine footwear to the Board. Her watch tells her she has a minute to inventory herself: video remote control in her hand – check; laser pointer in her suit jacket pocket – check; a cheat sheet for Q&A later – check. She glances down at her shoes and is alarmed to see the amount of lint clinging to her trouser socks.
She sits on his white chair, so eager to please. She hangs on to his every word, forgetting the time, until he says he’s well read. Her brain registers. Oh, no! Today is her first day of a new cycle and that means every hour she has to change. She gets up, but too late. As she glances down, she sees red.