5 terribly embarrassing things that only happen on business trips

I don't go on business trips very often, especially since I moved to IL and now work from home. However, when the opportunity presents itself, I inevitably am confronted with awkward situations that end in incredible embarrassment.

Belly up to the salo bar, friends. (cr. Roland Geider)

Belly up to the salo bar, friends. (cr. Roland Geider)

1. Mealtime.  I went on a farm-tour in rural Iowa and was force fed salo (salted lard) by a group of Ukrainian salo enthusiasts. After gagging on sampling the crisco-like treat, I attempted to discreetly hide the squishy piece in my suit pocket.

Farewell jacket! Ain't no dry cleaner willing to scrape pig fat off a polyester lining.

2. Interpersonal relations. Weird stuff happens in DC, I get it. But the weirdest was sitting in the hotel room with a foreign visitor making googly eyes at me. I spent my time chatting with a travel agent via phone and playing musical beds with said guest.

Best pick up line? "I have daughter your same age." BAGH!

3. Hygiene. I own an electric toothbrush. I also was assigned a hotel room which shared a wall with the bossman. Cue freak out that he might think my trusty toothbrush was a vibrator. Even with the bathroom door closed and fan on, my embarrassment was so uncontrollable that I wrapped my Sonicare in a towel. Can't they make those suckers quieter?

DAMN YOU! (cr: flickr user swperman)

DAMN YOU! (cr: flickr user swperman)

4. Bathrooms. Dear God, this one is terrible. I traveled to Moscow with a delegation and my coworker claimed Russian McDonald's fare was far superior to its American counterpart.  FALSE!  I put it on par with the sludge they sling here.

Also, Russians don't believe in public bathrooms; I ran through the streets searching for "PECTOPAH" (tr. restaurant) while my guts bubbled and gurgled. IT.WAS.TERRIFYING. But I made it. Barely.

5. Fashion. Listen,  DC may be our nation's capital, but it certainly isn't a fashion mecca. This is OK for a person like me who has little-to-no fashion sense. Yea, I was 22 and shopping at Ann Taylor (hides face in shame).

Do you know what city holds fashion to a higher standard? la Grosse Pomme. And can you guess who shows up to an Upper East Side cocktail fundraiser in a frumpy business suit? Oh yes I did! All I remember is a flurry of tailored black dresses, a few sparkles and me cowering in the corner. Lesson learned: Don't go to NYC.

What crazy situations have you encountered while on the road? Share them so I don't feel like a freak. PLEASE.

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    Annie Swingen

    Chicago-based hyperbole enthusiast. Mom to a kid and sometimes my mom. Overboard (1987) obsessed weirdo. I like the funnies in life.

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