Dear We Love DC,
I’ve gotten myself into quite a pickle. It started out well enough. I married a great guy. He’s successful in his career; I’m successful in mine. We’re popular in our community and active on the charitable scene. We even started a really lucrative business together as a second career. But then it all fell apart. Someone who is clearly jealous of our success called the feds about our side job- it’s all a big misunderstanding, of course, but in the process of it all someone may have overheard me talking to my husband about placing some money in my undergarments. I mean, what woman hasn’t used her brassiere as a spare pocket from time to time? But now all anyone on the Internet can talk about is how I was “hiding evidence” and “stashing bribes” and all that. Meanwhile, I’m trying to demonstrate my innocence over here. How can I ever get my reputation back?
-My Cup Runneth Over in Maryland
There’s only one way to put the news cycle to work for you. You’re already at the center of one meme, so in order to distract people from that one you’ve got to, ahem, hide yourself in the middle of another. You’re famous for hiding things in your underwear? Consider becoming a celebrity spokesperson for the ongoing backlash against the TSA’s backscatter X-ray machines at airports. Designed to ensure no one is secreting any nefarious objects in their underwear, the pornoscanners take naked photos of passengers through their clothes. Hide some innocuous objects in your foundation garments: a deck of cards, perhaps, or a ballpoint pen, and join in on National Opt-Out Day at your closest airport.
That is, if the terms of your bail permit you to travel.
Dear We Love DC,
I have a problem. I’m just not very good with paperwork. I’ve got this little nonprofit that I run, and well, I don’t exactly have donor records. I mean, I totally HAVE donors; I just can’t lay my hands on a list of them right now. I’m a busy guy, with a demanding public service job that’s put a lot of my life on hold, and I can’t keep track of every single check or plain envelope of cash that comes my way, right? Meanwhile one of my coworkers, an attorney, is practically staking out my office, demanding all this documentation and complaining in public when he doesn’t get it. Donor records, IRS certification, how the money got spent, you name it. It’s probably in a box in my basement somewhere. How can I get this coworker off my back?
– Sent from my iPad
Dear iPad Public Servant,
Aside from the services of a a very good lawyer, accountant, and professional organizer (in that order), what you need is a sense of perspective. Coworkers come and go, and in a year no one will remember this petty little intra-office political infighting, right? Of course not, because it will be replaced with all new petty intra-office infighting! So why not get a jump on that process now? Throw this colleague under the bus! Maybe he’s got some foibles of his own, like maybe he doesn’t live where he says he lives, or he’s a little too close to an unpopular boss. A little strategic foot-dragging, a little well-placed complaining to a sympathetic third party, and this fly in your disorganized ointment will no longer be your problem.