Office dress code violations I’d break

Some of these are not official violations, just maybe not recommended and a bit of an office faux pas. 

  • No makeup
  • Wearing running tights/yoga pants. I mean, with a long sweater and boots? They’ll NEVER know. I have a black pair of Zella leggings that are literally wearable for every single one of my life activities, (except, like swimming). I wear them to work out, to sleep, to work, and to go out- black on black cat woman/ninja outfit all winter. No shame. We’ve been together since 2012 and they show no signs of wear. It’s like The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, but it’s just me and it’s activities that makes them versatile, not teenage girls of varying sizes. 
  • Not showered. I’m the queen of not showering after working out. I don’t even do the bathing but keeping my hair dry thing. You’re like, “Ew, gross, she probably stinks.” Believe it or not, I do not stink. Lotion, wet wipes, dry shampoo and Britney Spears perfume. Bada bing bada boom. I don’t even care. But if I’m planning to see my man, I’ll totally shave my legs…I guess. 
  • Half blow-dried hair in the morning. 
  • Ugg boots
  • Short-ish skirts or dresses (I’m not talking crazy short, just like, normal short)
  • Flip-flops
  • Chipped nail polish
  • Coats indoors. My office is like 90% men and sometimes they keep it fucking cold in here. All of the women have space heaters under their desks. Jesus. 
  • Same pants in one week
  • Same pants twice in a row
  • No bra- depending on how big/small my boobs are on that particular day, looseness of the shirt and/or if there’s a built in bra. But seriously, why…WHY should I hide my mammary glands and pretend like I don’t have nipples and that my boobs are just round little lumps with no point?. ‘Cause they’re not. 

Dress code violations I wouldn’t break:

  • Cleavage
  • Belly showing
  • Super short skirts or dresses
  • Same thing I wore to bed last night

Questions I have for Google

  1. Has Google ever gotten into big trouble? If so, can you Google these incidents?
  2. I’m going to check on this on Wikipedia or Internet Explorer using a Yahoo search. Stay tuned. 
  3. Also, does the “I’m Feeling Lucky” option still work since Google just populates all searches now?
  4. Will there be a sequel to the movie The Internship starring the wedding crashers?
  5. Am I the only one who’s Googled “Google” and gotten stuck in a never-ending click hole on more than a few occasions?
  6. When are the Google glasses going to be socially accepted?

I should have written a blog called “The Receptionist Diaries” when I was working at the fancy downtown law firm (Names would be changed, of course, but that could have been HUGE!)

I just Googled it. It’s been done.

Note to self: write a blog post about things I think of that I find out are not original after a simple Google search. In fact, that’s probably been done too.

Anyway, my entries would include the following:

The attorney doing contract work who went to the bathroom at 10 minute intervals. I think I counted 11 times in an hour once. Unfortunately for him, everyone has to walk past the receptionist’s desk in order to get to the bathroom. Overactive bladder, or…..? 

The associate who no longer worked there who’s last name was Glascock and we used to get packages for him or from him from time to time. I know I said no names, but…maybe changing his name to his actual name is kind of genius…the perfect crime

When the legal assistant from Mr. Weiner’s office would call and I’d be like, “I’m sorry, what office are you calling from?” and I’d be thinking Please, don’t let his name be Weiner, please, please. And then I’d have to buzz the attorney they were calling for. “Chip, I have so-and-so on the phone calling from Mr. Weiner’s office.” That poor gal, though. She dealt with that all. day. long. I don’t think I’d accept a job working for Mr. Weiner unless I was really desperate. 

How the office manager and her office-best-friend, one of the legal assistants really started to hate me. I could tell, and I think it’s because I was young and petite, to be honest, because they sure talked about carbs a lot at the firm lunches and would glance grudgingly at my plate. And how the office manager would always sigh really loudly while walking by my desk. How am I supposed to respond to that? Should I jokingly say, “One of those days?” every. single. time??? I don’t speak in sighs, lady! Use your words, you passive-aggressive bitch!

The firm lunches. I was in charge of ordering food for our monthly firm lunches. Each month, the lunch was chosen by the person or persons who had a birthday that month. But for the November lunch, they always had a traditional turkey dinner from Whole Foods with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and a ton of pie. Well, Whole Foods had an online ordering system set up so that you could order your turkey dinner online, so I did that. I ordered the turkey lunch-dinner for our usual firm lunch day, the first Wednesday of the month, which was November 7th. This ended up being my worst day at Fancy Downtown Portland Law Firm With A Funny Innuendo Name (FDPLFWAIN). Here’s a G-chat conversation with my sister I just found from an hour or so after the storm, so to speak:

me: omg i just had the worst/craziest few hours of work
  i almost cried
  teared up
sondrahealey169: Whoa
  what’s up
  i actually felt that. Weird huh? I fucking knew something was happening with you. I had a feeling
  That is so weird
me: dude it was a nightmare!!
  omg so we have our firm lunch every month and im in charge of ordering the food
  for november they always do a turkey dinner from whole foods
 i ordered it all through their website and they dont deliver so someone had to go pick it up
our office manager is out today so i went to get it
  i called to confirm the order yesterday
  when i got there today, at 11:15 to pick it up (lunch is ALWAYS at noon) they had nothing
  they told me that the website wasn’t supposed to let me order thanksgiving stuff for another few days
they had no cooked turkey for us
 sondrahealey169: Oh no!
me: they could make the rest of the stuff, but none of it would be hot
 so we had to have chicken instead
  they were scrambling to get it all ready and im sweating and having a panic attack
  they said they would walk the food over to our office
  so i went back, it took them another 40 minutes to bring it
  everyone is hungry and mad
i was on the verge of tears
 sondrahealey169: Oh no!
  You did good though
  you couldn’t have known
me: so everyone had to heat up their plates individually int he microwave
 and we ended up eating an hour late and no one was actually mad at me and they said it wasnt my fault and joked about 1st world problems, etc
 sondrahealey169: Awe
me: and we went around and said what we were thankful for and the last thing i said was that they didnt fire me today and everyone laughed
  and said “awwwww”
sondrahealey169: oh cute!
 me: so it did end well but i was sweating so hard for like two hours almost crying. i had tears in my eyes. i wanted it to be over!
sondrahealey169: you rock. All is well
  That is so fucking weird. I was seriously like in my head “I think something is happening for Theresa right now”
  like twins, but not
me: yeah. what i can conclude from this is that no matter where i am, i am the baby and everyone feels bad for me! haha
 sondrahealey169: hahaha
 me: oh and the food was free and it was almost a $400 meal so that was good too
sondrahealey169: nice
  this will cheer you up:
me: im not surprised you felt it cause i was stressing sooooo hard! energy had to go somwehre!
 sondrahealey169: It came to me
  I knew

All of pine needles I was constantly cleaning up over the holidays because those snobs wanted a real tree.

There were two lesbians working at FDPLFWAIN, which is pretty awesome for one office, but I’ll be honest, they weren’t my favorite co-workers. The first one pushed me over the edge when her busy assistant needed to relieve me for a bathroom break and she told her to “just strap a catheter on [my] back,” After I looked up what a catheter was, I was utterly offended. Look, lady, I’m just a human with a bladder here. Give me a BREAK, pun intended. Also, her partner called in once and got really mad at me for not recognizing her voice and sending the call straight through. “It’s her WIFE!” she yelled, angrily over the phone. The other lesbian was really adamant about me house-sitting for her, but when I finally agreed to do it, I realized it was a mistake. She expected me to stay up at her house that was 20 minutes away from town the whole weekend and was shocked when I told her that I was driving back to town every day. I mean, it was Labor Day weekend and I was twenty-three with a boyfriend. Like I didn’t have plans? So weird. Plus, it was only $50 for the weekend. Not worth it. 

In the spirit of funny innuendo names, we’ll call this next associate Dick Lee. Dick Lee was the managing partner of Downtown Portland Law Office With A Funny Innuendo Name, and he got the most phone calls out of everyone in the office, but that was no problem for me, the receptionist, because he was the nicest guy there. Also, he ate lunch with his stay-at-home wife quite often and would be like, “I’m going to meet my bride for lunch!” Plus, he’s really good looking for an older man. You can see his photo on their website:


And then there was Polly Pullen, the scariest member of the team at FDLFWAFIN. She did not want any of my paperwork on the counter, she had to have a certain number of blue pens in each of the conference rooms at all times, she once fired someone for not getting classy enough snacks for a meeting, her family did all the art work in the office, and it took her about 8 months to respond to my “good morning” greetings when she walked in the office. She was a little frightening, to say the least. She once yelled at me for not telling her that her husband was waiting for her in the lobby. But in my defense, he did not state he was her husband and I did not know she was currently in the office. She was sort of like a sleeping dragon you did not want to wake up. Except there was the time when we went around at the Thanksgiving firm lunch and she said said what she wanted for Christmas was world peace, and I actually believed her. Scary dragon with a soft heart? Sounds a little like Maleficent, huh?

Although they let me go just two weeks after I had a traumatic breakup with my boyfriend making me feel like my life crumbling aroundme, getting laid off from there really seemed like blessing in disguise. They replaced my front desk position with a video camera. Good luck with that. Part of me thought they kind of just hated me, or that I wasn’t a good fit for the office. They said they were making cuts because they needed to save money, which might be true, because I overheard them saying once that the rent for the 11th floor of Downtown Portland building was $20,000 a month. Jesus. Below is a journal entry I wrote just after leaving the company:

"I am done with [FDPLFWAIN]. I was laid off and I had my last day on Friday. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I am utterly relieved. I think I will find something that is right for me. I know I will. I just don’t know what yet. It’s Monday, and I am at home doing whatever I please. I don’t know how long this freedom will last, so I am trying to enjoy it while I can. But life is good. More than I would have liked to admit, I was feeling very out of place at [FDPLFWAIN] and now I no longer have to go there or dread going there. They replaced me with a video camera. They have no idea."
Epilogue: I worked at Fancy Downtown Portland Law Office With A Funny Innuendo Name from May 2012 to April 2013. Honestly, I was 
grateful for the benefits and the experience, and all that I learned, which wasn’t a whole lot because the partners had varying opinions on how much work the receptionist should actually do and how much she should just sit there and look pretty for the UPS guy or that judge who was totally judging me for my outfit. (Until in my head I remembered, Well, she IS a judge.)

All I’m saying is, thank god for my current job. Everything happens for a reason. (I don’t actually believe everything happens for a reason, but it sure seems like it sometimes.)

11. Tights. I want to go on a real honest rant about tights in this space here. Tights are very expensive for how they function, ie. THEY WEAR OUT AFTER ONE TIME ON THE BODY. How IS it that I shell out like, ten bucks minimum, or sixteen at Topshop for a piece of crap that tears in half the moment my toe moves? They should be free. They should be in a big garbage bin like “take this piece of crap, it’s brand new but in Tights World that means ‘practically ruined.’” We are a nation of technology. Shouldn’t there be some space material by now that prevents this? If I spent my money on a liberal arts college I WILL spend my money on that. (Cost—all of my cash and my sanity)
Fall essentials, via 

Why I’m kinda down with Gwyneth Paltrow

If I were a famous actress…

  1. While I’d like to think that I’d be a Jennifer Lawrence in the world of fame just not caring about body image or how much I eat (wouldn’t we all?), let’s face it, I’d be the uptight straight-haired girl who exercises for two hours a day and has a fancy blog.
  2. I would probably write a blog post titled something like “Conscious Uncoupling” after leaving my soft-rockstar husband and my blog followers would be like, “What a clever word wizard, and she’s pretty too!” and the rest of the world would be all like, “What a snobby douche bag, who does she think she is to uncouple consciously?!”
  3. She’s best friends with Ross Matthews. His voice, I know. But he was born with that voice it and has been confused for a woman over the phone his whole life. Plus, I read his book and he’s actually a comical genius.
  4. Because don’t forget she was in the movie Shallow Hal. That’s funny.
  5. Because she said this: “The reason I can be 38 and have two kids and wear a bikini is because I work my fucking ass off. It’s not an accident. It’s not luck, it’s not fairy dust, it’s not good genes. It’s killing myself for an hour and a half five days a week, but what I get out of it is relative to what I put into it.”
  6. Also I’d probably wear simple form-fitting dresses to awards shows because I work hard for my two-hours-of-exercise-a-day body and I want to show it off with a white dress, matching shawl, and a modest, low ponytail. Get off my ass. 
  7. And she’s Pepper Potts in Iron Man. I would totally be a superhero’s secretary, who are we trying to kid?
  8. image

How to be an all-star employee

Arrive late every day for a month.

Talk to your female co-workers about organic microwave popcorn: your favorite flavors, deals, and whether it’s an appropriate lunch for a working woman.

Take extra-long lunch breaks to work on your tan.

Read beauty blogs and then go to ULTA on your lunch break to buy lipstick and makeup remover wipes.

Forget to write things down.

Write down your workout schedule, upcoming concerts and dinner plans with friends in your personal planner.

Talk to your female co-workers about clothes. “I love your blouse!” Thanks, but you’re in your sixties, and this is actually a t-shirt.

Memorize the height and weight of each of the Portland Trail Blazers. 



-a perfect cranberry colored lipstick
-a break from the shit on the internet
-the time, patience, and ingredients to bake more things
-all of the socks I think I lost appear over the hill like the ending of Homeward Bound
-a goddamn breeze once in a while
-a hair product that actually eliminates 83% of frizz or whatever lies this thing is spewing
-solid gold chopsticks and the tofu pad thai to go with it
-It works when I say “Accio Siracha” on the couch
-the thing on Netflix I want to watch FOR ONCE
-the kind of money where I’m not quite sure how much a gallon of milk costs
-like, I could guess I just wouldn’t be 100% sure
-delicate necklaces and chunky rings
-candles that don’t really make the room hot
-clean room 
-a stare that could stop your shit
-some nice things
-people to shut up

In this episode, pt. 5: The one where ‘Shark Week’ has a double meaning

Here is the episode where the air conditioning in my car breaks and I hate it but the more time that passes, the more I get used to it. I’m kind of mad at Summer, sick of it. I’m dreaming of October and leggings and Odesza. Sweet, sweet Odesza.

The one where we spend the weekend in Hood River for the wedding and then back at work on Monday, one of the bosses starts spreading the news about Robin Williams and why is Music Fest Northwest weird this year?

The one where I search for psychiatrists in my insurance network because maybe it would help me get through my weekdays but really, do I even have time for one more appointment and why is it one hundred degrees outside?

This is the episode where I consider canceling our cable and only watching Netflix to save some money but what about the Trail Blazers? I could easily spend the same amount of money on beer and pizza while watching basketball at a sports bar, and Amelia and I joke that we get along as roommates because of the cable.

The one where it’s Shark Week, but that actually has two meanings.

I keep picturing the night we saw Robin Williams’ stand up at the Schnitz and have nightmares about my Invisalign but why do weddings make us feel this way? Excited and overwhelmed and anxious.  

The episode where week days blur together and I ache for weekends but also never want to leave my air-conditioned office. In this episode, some pipes burst in the kitchen and we buy lots of coffee from Starbucks on the company credit card.

The one where I make more promises to myself.

The one where we say “I love you.”

The one where everything is starting to have a double meaning.