21 February 2007

L-Bert Does Public Relations.

So most of you guys are aware that I work in the Public Relations industry. I’d say for the most part, I have normal, or at least interesting yet non-controversial clients. But a select few of you know that I have one client in particular I don’t like to talk about outside of the office, simply because I don’t like to get into it with people. Once I tell people what’s going on, it turns into an hour-long discussion (sometimes argument) and that’s an hour I wasted talking about work, that I can’t bill. I don’t want to “out” my work life on this blog (not to mention it’d be totally unprofessional), so I won’t mention the client or get into any details—you just have to know that this client is about on par to “pitch” to reporters as asthmatic dwarves. So for the purpose of this story, lets just call my client the “Asthmatic Dwarf client.” Thank you, Dilbert. (By the way, Scott Adams holds a special place in my heart to begin with, for one magical night of Trivial Pursuit: The Drinking Game. Another blog, another time, though).

My friend Rachel, who you may have noticed is my weekend bar buddy/wing girl, is an engineer who contracts for NASA. For many people, this somehow translates to “Rocket scientist” or “Astronaut.” So, much like what happens in the story I’m about to tell, guys will approach us and ask what we do. PR flaks are a dime a dozen in this town. I usually tell people what I do and move on. With Rachel, it’s another story. Telling a dude that you’re an engineer for NASA is apparently like a dude telling a single Jewish girl he’s a Doctor. After the awestruck-ness wears off, the questions never stop. Not only do I find this hilarious because it looks incredibly awkward for Rachel to answer everytime, but I just add fuel to the fire: “Oh yeah, she told us all about the broken Hubble lens.” Or “Yeah, R-bone’s scheduled to go up in the shuttle in about 4 years.” Or, sometimes I can pawn them off: “Yeah, I’m in PR, but you should talk to my friend. She’s a ROCKET SCIENTIST!!”

Saturday night we were at Stetson’s on U Street for our pal Emily’s birthday and there were a lot of new people there we hadn’t met before. So Rachel had to do the NASA schpiel for like 8 guys. Every time I turned around it seemed like she was at the part where she starts talking about things like math, which I don’t understand. Finally I turned around at one point and remarked “Seriously? Again?” To which she says to the guy “Leslie does PR for Asthmatic Serial Killing Polygamist Dwarves.”

She knows I hate it when she does that.

Luckily, that guy didn’t hear and I skated away from that discussion, only to turn around and start talking to a guy who was actually interested in hearing more about the PR I do. I said I worked a lot on media surrounding Public Affairs issues and things going on in Congress and various Government entities. But he was like “20 questions guy” and kept asking. So finally I said, “Um, well, have you heard of the Asthmatic Dwarf issue?” Indeed he had been following the issue in the news and got really excited. I told him he needed to quiet down because I didn’t want the whole bar to be in on my secret and how a few weeks earlier I had run into the President of the Anti-Asthmatic Dwarf Association at the movie theatre and you never know where those guys are lurking about. After a solid 15 minutes of discussing the issue he just stopped and said: “Wow. I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe the Asthmatic Dwarf girl is the captivating girl in Stetson’s with the two-tone eyeshadow.”

Yep, it’s me.


Rachel said...

Maybe I should throw you under the bus like that more often ;) This weekend I think i'll make up a job for myself for conversational purposes since as you said simply saying i'm an engineer (since really thats all i try to say) leads to boring conversations...what should I be??? so many options! I could be a porn star, that could be funny but then i could shoo away guys by telling them i'm contractually obligated to only have sex professionally and they are out of luck....hmmm maybe i'll have to keep thinking of other identities i can steal!

Shamra said...