I am on a business trip this week. Normally, I enjoy these little jaunts. Anyone who has children at home enjoys business trips, whether they admit it or not. When else are the towels on the floor, unmade bed, and food preparation someone else’s responsibility? I don’t care if I am working 14 hour days; not being responsible for feeding or picking up after people is worth it.
But this business trip is different. I’m at a tradeshow that my company is sponsoring; I’m on the communications team; I’m responsible for turning in several video stories each day for the company intranet. In another life, I used to be a TV reporter, so I’m completely comfortable sticking a microphone in people’s faces and asking questions. Once a reporter, always a reporter.
What comfort zone?
But still, I’m waaaay out of my comfort zone. Not from a reporting aspect, from a literal, physical comfort aspect. This tradeshow is in a 1.8 million square foot facility: the size of 30 football fields! And I am walking, walking, walking all day long. Because I’m wearing primarily sleeveless sheath dresses on camera, I have to wear the kinds of womens work shoes that I normally make fun of. There’s the Stuart Weitzman animal print pumps that are gorgeous but raise blisters on my pinkies every time. The patent leather pointed-toe slingbacks that I cannot keep my heels in.
To add (proverbial) insult to (literal) injury, I am surrounded by a sea of totally unexpected fine men’s shoes. I work for a male-dominated high-tech company, and the pocket protector crowd (which I consider myself part of) has as much fashion sense as Dan Quayle has spelling ability. I figured this week would be a bust in the shoe-spotting department. But this is a global conference, and geeks or not, European men have quite a bit more pride in their footwear. And I won’t ask a single one if I can snap his shoes, because, well, it would be inappropriate in this setting. Sigh. Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.
Do as I say, not as I do
Meanwhile, I slog from my hotel to the convention center in a pair of clogs, carrying my “work shoes” to work in a tote bag. That’s right, I’m doing the very thing I think no women should EVER have to do. Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.
Hashtag hypocrite, that’s me.
(Please excuse the missing apostrophes in the word “women’s” in this story. I know better, but must appease the search engine optimization gods.)