Home > Bitching, New York > The Time I Was Mistaken for a Prostitute

The Time I Was Mistaken for a Prostitute

October 11, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments


This was many years ago, when I was working a horrific temp job at an office in West Midtown.

It’s not that the job was difficult, but it was incredibly boring. Day after day, I sat in a stark white reception area with neon-colored waiting room furniture that was hard as a rock. There were no windows, and the office manager was certifiably insane and paranoid. There were no less than three cameras in that tiny waiting room – one pointed at me, one pointed at the elevators, and one pointed right at my computer screen. That third camera was to make sure I wasn’t “getting into trouble” online. Most websites were blocked anyway, but that damn camera over my shoulder made sure that I couldn’t log on to anything remotely “fun.” The phone rang maybe five times a day, and maybe three guests arrived each week. The rest of my time was spent staring into blank white space, and waiting for my brain to leak out of my ears and end it all.

I ended up working there for four months, despite the boredom. I was the only office staff in the building that didn’t speak Spanish, and consequently everyone who worked in the mail room bitched about me endlessly in a language they thought I couldn’t understand. I mean, I don’t speak Spanish well by any means, but I know when I’m being cursed at for no particular reason. I soon started taking the mail room staff up on their offer to drink tequila shots every day at the end of work. Hell, I had nothing else to do, though I still had to endure the Spanish insults while I sucked down some Jose Cuervo.

This was before the economic downturn, so there was an office holiday party that entailed mandatory attendance. I hate being forced to have “fun” with co-workers. I always get trashed, make a fool out of myself, then usually lose some piece of important electronics. This is a pattern that has repeated itself time and time again.

The holiday party was 80s-themed for some reason, which meant a lot of fatass co-workers in spandex and leg warmers. The 80s were cruel to many; why must we bring them back? I don’t need to see the fat rolls of the girl in accounting encased in magenta leggings.

Anyway, after stuffing myself full of free food and drinking until I was about to pass out, it was time to stumble home. I headed towards the subway along the streets of the Meatpacking District, freezing to death but determined to not pay for a cab. Suddenly, a car pulls alongside me, and a man dangles out the window and starts gesturing to me. In my drunken state, I thought maybe he was lost and looking for directions.

As I plodded my way to the car window, he asks me point blank, “So, Honey, how much?” He’s looking me up and down, and I realize he thinks I’m for sale.

Aw, shit no, I must look really bad. Did I vomit on myself and not realize it? I’m wearing knee-high boots and a houndstooth coat – is this the new uniform for the world’s oldest profession? Am I now a new preppy breed of streetwalker?

I guess the look on my face must have said it all, since he hastily apologized, rolled up the window, and sped off.

I later found out I lost my cell phone that night. Drunkenness, embarrassment, and lost electronics – it happens every damn time.

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