Soooo, I have an embarrassing story. Last week I committed the ultimate in business professional, fashion crimes. I’m still shaking my head because I, of all people, should know better. So here’s the deal. I don’t commute in heels. I learned the hard way that driving in my heels is not only uncomfortable but causes wear and tear on the heel of the shoe from all of the friction that occurs when pressing and releasing the pedal. So in an effort to preserve my pretty pumps and also heed my mothers warnings on the dangers of driving in heels, I commute in sensible flats or sandals. Sandals I don’t mind so much but I loathe flats and any pair I own are for comfort only. I probably die a little on the inside each time I have to put them on. Therefore, I drive in flats and when I arrive to my destination I put on my real shoes in the car.
As far as work is concerned, I can’t recall exactly when but somewhere along the line I stopped putting my shoes on in the car and started putting them on at my desk. If I think about it, it was probably around the time I started taking the train to work. Which would make sense since there really wouldn’t be a comfortable place to discretely put on my shoes before walking into the office. Nowadays I don’t take the train anymore. There are too many inconsistencies involved in taking the train and my schedule just wont permit. However, since I’ve stopped taking the train I have not returned to the ritual of putting on my shoes in the car. I figure "What the hell, I’ll save my shoes a little wear and tear by sparing them a few extra steps on the concrete."
Cut to my mid-week revelation. I walked into the building sharply dressed in a blue-green pencil skirt and bold yellow cardigan, with matching yellow and blue green skinny waste belt, and non-matching black ankle strapped sandals with my fiercest green pumps tuck securely away in my rollaway laptop bag. Just as I waved my badge to cross the secured entrance, I noticed I was face-to-face with the CEO.
Not only was I late (oh, I didn’t mention I was late?), I was pumpless (fail). Oh dear God. I panicked (on the inside). I didn’t even bother to say good morning (fail #2). I just made a futile attempt of trying to hide my toes with my rollaway bag while all I could think of was “Damn it. He can’t possibly think this is it, right? He can’t think that this is how this fabulous ensemble ends. Damn it to hell.” Now does the CEO of a Fortune 500 company care about my toes? Probably not. Even if he noticed, he probably put two and two together and surmised that somewhere in my luggage was some sort of dress-code compliant footwear. Or maybe he thought I had an injury. Who knows? The point is, I didn’t look my best and the opportunity to make a powerful first impression was lost.
Though I may have redeemed myself somewhat by displaying a sense of humor with a super forced smile at his “Smile it’s Wednesday” comment followed by a cheerful “Have a great day!” exchange, I certainly had a good laugh at myself afterwards. The following day I put my shoes on in the car and have continued to do for the past couple of days. There’s just something about meeting a millionaire in an elevator that makes you want to reevaluate flopping around with exposed toes.
Moral of the story: Always look your best. Look like the person you want people to believe you are. You never know who you’ll run into at the elevator.
Thank you for reading. Now… “Let the power moves continue.”