Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Should Have Kept My Mouth Shut

Sometime during dinner tonight, I made the mistake of saying, "My company's having an open house sometime next month."

My brother raised an eyebrow. "Open house?"

"Yeah. We get to bring guests in, and show them what we have in the office, where we go for work, and what it is that we do all day. Like I said, it's an open house."

"As in, we get to see your office?"

I suddenly got very uncomfortable. "Uh... yeah."

"We have to tell you beforehand?" my mother asked.

"Yes," I said. "That's why I'm telling you this right now."

"For the registration," she said.

"Yes... if you want to drop by, then I have to submit your names to the organizers. There'll probably be temporary IDs involved."

My brother laughed. "What if we're from a competitor?"


"I mean, what if we were from a competitor or something? Would your company still let us inside?"

"Well... I'm pretty sure that you'd be under my supervision. And I wouldn't let you see anything important."

"That wouldn't be worthwhile."

I drummed my fingers for a bit. "I never said it would be worthwhile."

"How are you supposed to work, then?" my mother asked. "I mean, if you're going to watch us for the whole time that we're there..."

"I think I can handle it," I told her.

"Oh. Will you be selling us some of your products?"


"When your father was still working with his bank, whenever he would have an open house, there would always be this room where some people sold us perfume and other things for discounted prices."

"What did that have to do with his bank?"

My mother shrugged. "I don't know. But we did buy a few things. That's why I thought that you would have a room where we could buy your products at discount."

"I'm in the information technology department. That's a far cry from the factory, you know."

"Yes, but they can sell you some of their products at lower prices, right? I mean, you work for them."

"Yes, but that doesn't automatically mean that I can take the stuff home whenever I wanted!"

"I didn't say that. Doesn't the company give you any of this?"

"Sometimes. Not all the time. Sometimes we have sales for the employees."

"You should tell us about those. You should also ask them for more things to bring home."

This time I was the one who raised an eyebrow. "I can't do that! I haven't even been in the company for a year!"

"Yes, but you're doing something important, right?"

"I, ah... well... I don't know."

"You don't know?"

"Er... okay, that's it. Forget that I said anything."

"We'd love to come to the open house," my brother added.

"Er, ah... they haven't given a date for it yet. Yeah, that's it... they haven't scheduled a date yet. I guess I'll have to wait for a while before I tell you when we can register. Ahah hah."

"You just said that it was next month."

"I lied," I said, getting up to go to the bathroom. "Now shut up."

And that's where I stayed for the next ten minutes.

When I got back, they were talking about a few relatives who were flying in the next morning. I sat down, I picked at the food, and I didn't say anything for the rest of the meal.

Some dinner topics, after all, should be kept under wraps.

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