First, a little business briefing. My pattern maker has encouraged me to find all of my fit models before proceeding any further with the two I have. This way I won’t wonder later if I made a mistake. So last week I posted more ads and arranged to meet the best applicants this week.

As some of you may know, I meet potential fit models in a department store where I can use its dressing rooms to take measurements. I’ve become so comfortable with the routine that I forget how awkward it must feel for an applicant to be asked to change into a different bra while sharing a dressing room with a complete stranger. I also don’t notice that some details I provide while setting up the appointment could raise red flags.

For instance, I mentioned in an email to one fit model that we may be using Skype for future fittings. She wrote back last night, “Why would we use skype? If you’re really a female looking for a legit fit model, fine we can meet, but if not please don’t waste my time.” I wrote back assuring her of my legitimacy, pointed her to this blog for support, and explained that we may use Skype because the distance to reach one of my pattern makers makes travel time there prohibitively expensive.

She and I were supposed to meet at 10:30 this morning. I was 10 minutes late. It’s always a bad idea to be late, but it’s an especially bad idea to be late to meet someone who distrusts you. What makes it worse is that I actually congratulated myself on the way to the train this morning for finally having the travel time down pat. I tried to find her before she left the store, but the damage was done. Here’s the 11:03 email that I received:

Its pretty obvious now that you are either a bored . . . [department store] clerk or a random pervert with a breast fetish. I informed the security guard at [the store] and will be looking up the person whose blog you are using and inform her that you are using her picture, name and blog. If, as the blog says, she is an attorney, I am sure there is something legal that can be done. Thanks for wasting my time.

I sure felt helpless after that. What email could I send in reply? So I’m posting here in hopes I can prove that Darlene the blog writer and Darlene the person late to meet a potential fit model at a department store are one and the same. If my 10:30 appointment reads this, I’m truly sorry I wasted your time!

Now for my my second embarrassing goof in less than 24 hours.

At Business Plan Boot Camp last night, our instructor asked us to speak for one minute about our businesses. When it was my turn, I went into my usual spiel with hand gestures for added effect. I liked the way the people before me had personalized their presentations, and I had so much time to fill, that I decided to add an extra detail that I’ve never included before. “I’m a 34G,” I told them. TMI.

The feedback session afterward began with embarrassed silence. Even Body Parts Man was speechless. Finally, our most outspoken classmate said, “You really shouldn’t gesture toward your breasts or say your bra size. Once you do that, you lose your audience. They’ll just tune you out and stare at your breasts.”

I said, “Maybe if I weren’t wearing this tee shirt? What if I were wearing a button-down shirt instead?”

The class responded with a chorus of “no’s”.

Two lessons learned:

1. It wouldn’t hurt to feel a little more of my high school self-consciousness when making speeches; and
2. A well-fitting button-down shirt won’t solve everything.