Club Argonne: A Banking Faux Pas

I hope my daughter never finds this post when she gets older and starts snooping around my blog looking for evidence of insubordination so that she can wave it in my face whenever I try grounding her for breaking one of my many important rules; but if she does, I'd want her to know that her mother was sent to a Mexican prison for misconduct and never touched another drop of alcohol again.
PictureMy twenties were a bit of a blur. Some might even go so far as to say that I had two jobs, my second one being an over-achieving late night party owl with a keen sense of knowing when to quit. My motto was work hard, play hard–and that's exactly what I did. But despite a wee hour buzz and an infinite lack of sleep, I was one of the most responsible screw-ups that you'd ever want to employ–and my bosses all loved me! 
It was 1987ish and I was working as an assistant in the commercial real estate department of a rather large bank that has since changed hands at least four times. When I look back on those days, it is with the utmost appreciation that I'm no longer trapped in a monkey suit rubbing elbows with no one in particular. And the fact that I managed to somehow get promoted and later pulled over to another, much larger, conglomerate by one of my counterparts is what I like to call, hysterical.

I lived on the top floor of a duplex directly above my friend Bill's apartment, otherwise known as Club Argonne. When all the other bartenders were shouting "last call" at four in the morning to a crowd full of loopy half-wits, Bill was just opening his doors. It was the one place in Atlanta that didn't need a liquor license; and unlike all the others, Club Argonne never closed.

We were just finishing up that one last drink, when I glanced down at my watch and saw the time: 7:15am, and I had to be work by 8:00. I took one last swig of my rather stiff breakfast and ran upstairs to grab a few things. "There was no time to get ready," I thought, "I'll just get dressed at work." So I hopped in the car and sped off with my clothes on a hanger and a toothbrush in hand... I may have been hammered, but I wasn't about to get hammered by my boss for being late!

One of the most annoying things about being me is that I'm always early. If there's a party, I'm the first one there, and if my job requires me to be at my desk by 8:00am, I'm there by 7:25–even if it kills me. I can't remember which one of the many floors my office was located on; but there I was, on the bathroom floor, scrambling to find the skirt that had mysteriously disappeared from my makeshift wardrobe. I was starving, and sporadically shaking from what appeared to withdrawal symptomsAs I continued scouring the floor for the rest of my outfit, I found myself smothering in a wave of reality... 

"Oh shit... Please be in the car!"

I jumped on the elevator wearing short-shorts, high heels, and a perfectly acceptable blouse–praying that no one was there when I got to the first floor. My heart was racing as I began to envision the look on my boss's face when the doors finally opened and he saw me standing there wearing shorts that could double as underwear and a rather stout veil of alcohol draped over my lips. I knew I'd be fired the second he spewed his first gulp of coffee all over the only part of my body that was covered in conservative bank apparel. Every floor was another ulcer as I waited, unnerved, for someone else to be on the other side of those three-inch doors; and when last little *ting* from the elevator sounded, I knew there was no turning back. 


I stuck my head out, amazed by the empty and serene ambience in the lobby, and sprinted my way toward the door. As I sped across the room to save myself from embarrassment, I was overcome with the feeling of what will be forever known as sheer stupidity... There it was; my beautiful crinkled skirt, performing a rather impressive twirl from the hangar that someone had placed on the front door of the bank. And standing on the other side of the glass door was a horrified bearded stranger, watching in disgust, as I swooped down to grab the other half of my conventional bank-wear. When he finally mustered up the courage to open the door, I was long gone; and I felt quite confident that no one would ever believe him when he tried to recreate the scene during an icebreaker at his loans-r-us seminar.
Three hours later, I remembered a fictitious root canal that I was about to be late for; and my boss, being the darling compassionate sucker that he was, waved me off with his kind words of a speedy recovery and permission to take the rest of the day off... 

"Call me if you need anything, see you tomorrow!"

To this day, I am thankful for two things: 1) Having a boss that was hard of smelling, and 2) Not getting a DUI on my way to work. It was a stupid move on a drunk girl's part and one that I'm not very proud of. And if I had the chance to relive my life over and go back to that one crazy night at Club Argonne, I probably would have passed on that 7:00am mixer.

Oh, who am I kidding? I probably would have just called in sick.



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