I have this problem of coming out of the bathroom with a tail of damp toilet paper dangling from my waistband. I’ve been doing it for decades. When I sit on the toilet, I don’t pull my pants down very far. I don’t plan on being there very long- in and out. Before the TP even hits the surface of the water, I am up and gone and I catch the paper in my pants. I’m too fast. That saying applies, “Drink coffee. Do stupid things fast.” Even when I am not toked up on caffeine, I move quickly- through the bathroom, through life in general. It has its consequences.
One time, I was hired to speak to a large audience when my last book, Scraping Heaven came out. I paid the bathroom a last-minute visit and proceeded to walk up the main aisle of the packed auditorium and onto the stage with a long damp tail. How is that for being professional?
In comparision, I was thinking about the behavior of my recent derailed business partner. He became too comfortable in my volunteer position and began extensively verbally abusing me on instant messaging, “screaming” profanities. I’m not sure how he reasoned I deserved this treatment but it seemed like highly unprofessional behavior to me.
So I’ve been thinking about this term “professional.” Webster’s says, “PROFESSIONAL- Very competent, showing a high degree of skill, someone whose occupation requires extensive education or specialized training; somebody who is engaged in an occupation as a paid job rather than as a hobby.” That would be me as a writer/speaker. When it comes to writing and speaking, I am extremely confident and know my stuff after all these years. I’m never at a loss for words.
I don’t feel classy and chic, however but more like a down home girl who is very real and reveals herself transparently, including the habit of sporting toilet paper tails. Is this unprofessional behavior?
I was recently on a flight where our steward was a huge jokester. Multiple times throughout the flight, he goofed on the whole plane of passengers. When we were taxing slowly towards the gate, he reprimanded us over the loud-speaker. “I have a panel of lights up here and I can see every one of you who have already unbuckled your seatbelts. I know who you are!”
Our eyes widened at first- those of us who are in a hurry in life, until we realized he was just joking.
That same steward also walked down the aisle with a tail of toilet paper trailing from his waistbelt on purpose to make us all laugh and laugh we did.
This steward was a marvelous plane waiter, tending to our every needs with uncommon kindness besides humor. He was perhaps the best plane steward I have ever encountered in all my years of flying around the world and it was perhaps the most enjoyable flight I ever experienced because of his PROFESSIONAL and very kind and fun-loving personality.
If I had a choice in life on how I wanted to behave professionally and I do, I would choose silly as opposed to mean. Years ago, mothers washed their kids’ mouths out with soap when they said mean things. In my prior partner’s case, who has anger issues and wouldn’t be caught dead acting silly, he perhaps deserved a wad of urine-damp toilet paper shoved into his mouth.