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Office Talk: Watch out for the flip flops


When I start a new job, one of the first things I like to do is to find out who the very important people are. It’s good to know who you’re dealing with in case, let’s say, you were about to take the last morning bagel and you know the person in line behind you is the CEO. It might make you think twice (unless you’re very hungry and have an extreme passion for either carbs or cream cheese, in which case I would understand). I must be doing a pretty good job of identifying the VIPs right away because I’ve never had any embarrassing moments involving them, but Alan had a funny one last week.

He’d been working at this new company for a month but still didn’t know everyone since it was a pretty big place. As part of his project, he had to schedule time to meet with almost everyone in the company. One day a young guy he’d never seen before sat down for his scheduled appointment. He was wearing a pressed suit and rubber flip flops. Alan asked, “How are you getting away with that?” The guy looked perplexed and asked, “Getting away with what?” So Alan gestured to his feet. The guy shrugged and said, “I don’t care what people wear.” Turns out he was the founder of the company 🙂

Have you ever had an embarrassing/funny moment with someone who turned out to be a VIP?

(Photography by Jill Greenberg)

Last modified: January 10, 2019