Thursday, April 16, 2009

Not playing

I've seen and done a lot of things in 12 years in the building. I've briefed members while so sick to my stomach that I had a garbage can next to me. I've been part of conversations with members of the Legislature about pantyhose sizing -- more than once. I listened to a member's spouse wax philosophic about which ethnic groups were the least and most attractive.

I've never actually shed blood in the line of duty, though. Until yesterday.

The scenario:

Assembly Ed Committee yesterday afternoon. The committee room was packed, with lobbyists and staff waiting their turns lining the walls. I was one of these folks, hugging a wall and juggling three bill binders, a committee binder, three folders for my boss to use in presenting his bills, a BlackBerry, a notepad and a pen. Oh -- and I was wearing 3.5" heels. Cute, but teetery.

When a bill author ends his or her presentation on one bill and begins another, there's a flurry of activity -- seats empty as witnesses, the general public, members and staff following various items on the agenda clear out, and new folks fill their seats.

It was in a moment of jostling between bill presentations that Exhibit A happened. A small woman (her size belied her toughness) was exiting one of the rows of seats as I stood on the wall, waiting to take a seat. As she turned the corner to leave, she flat checked me. Sort of put her shoulder down and leaned into it, too. And I, not expecting it, took it hard. I was spun around nearly 180 degrees and hit the wall I'd been leaning against moments before, banging my hand pretty hard in the process.

It doesn't look too bad in the picture, but it bled pretty well for about five minutes. Five minutes during which I tried to hide the bleeding from my new boss while also trying not to get anything on my suit or prepared committee statement.

Good times.