I have a confession to make. I am addicted to espresso drinks, specifically the cafe mocha’s sold at the Barnes & Noble cafes. I have also been known to drink Borders mocha’s as well. One day while at lunch in a Borders store, I held in my hand a large cafe mocha just purchased a few minutes earlier. Either the top wasn’t secured onto the cup or I bumped my elbow (it all happened so fast); anyway, I ended up with about 12 ounces of the 20 ounce drink on my nicely pressed white shirt. As a side note, Barnes & Noble’s large mocha espresso drink is called a venti, which is Italian for twenty.

I quit wearing ties at the time and just wore dress shirts with the collar open. Still, I had a problem, not the least of which was exiting the Borders store without anyone seeing the large chocolate splash on my chest. I was so embarrassed that I quickly left in a straight line for the door and got into my car. If I went back to work like this, the guys would literally tease me to death. It would not be forgotten.

Fortunately, I had dry cleaning to pick up and it was sort of on the way back to work. I get there and Vince, the owner, says hello. I tell him that I want to pick up my dry cleaning, use his office around the corner to change into a clean shirt and then drop off my mocha stained shirt for cleaning. He agrees! No problem, help yourself he says. I change in his office while he is out waiting on customers. The only shirt I have in my pick up is a Ralph Lauren solid blue shirt with a Polo logo on it. I thank Vince excitedly and head back to work.

I get to work and say nothing. But no one notices. My subordinate sitting outside my office says nothing. My boss in the office next to me says nothing. My former boss and good friend says nothing. Even one of the women in my work team who likes to tease me for the smallest thing, says nothing. No one noticed I had a white shirt on in the a.m. and a blue shirt on in the p.m. So I had to do no explaining at all!

It was about this time that I figured it was time to look for another job, closer to home. I was glad no one noticed my white shirt change into a blue shirt (could have been a brown shirt!); on the other hand, I was also a little disappointed. I really liked the job I had then and the people I worked with, however, I like my current position much more and the sixty minute commute is only seven and a half minutes now. It’s not the first nor the last time I had a cafe mocha ‘adverse experience’, but it was the record for the most embarrassing. Hopefully a record that won’t be broken, but I’ll keep trying.