inner city life

Whitney Port Needs a Lesson in Office Propriety

Whitney continued trying to figure that abstract “everything” out this week on The City. She interacts with Diane Von Furstenberg for the first time, making the episode feel like less guilty of a pleasure. She harps on Jay’s commitment issues, and even tangos with awkward interoffice dating clearly arranged by the producers. She might have a millionaire’s apartment, but she still hasn’t found her footing in this town. We’ve been here quite a bit longer than she has, so to help her muddle through, we’ve compiled a list of lessons for new users of The City, culled from last night’s episode.

Lesson 1: Interacting with the legendary fashion-designer boss.
Do: Ask your co-workers the dumb questions before the famous boss arrives. Olivia, trying to look like she’s actually working, with use of a clipboard prop, tells Whitney they have a bunch of “socials” coming to the event they’re planning for that evening. “What are socials? As in, like, socialites?” Undoubtedly one of the dumbest questions Whitney asks all season. Olivia looks blatantly smug, not because she might actually be smarter than Whitney, but because she gets to remind Whitney she’s a socialite. (Whitney, mind you, comprises the scummy residents of penthouse apartments in brand-new downtown buildings.)

Don’t: Tell your famous boss she looks pretty. It’s one thing to notice a new haircut, it’s another entirely to randomly treat your famous, 63-year-old boss like the stuck-up co-worker you’re trying to get to like you. Blatant brownnosing, and Diane’s no fool: “No I don’t,” she replies. She tries to make Whitney feel less stupid (assuming she feels things) by asking if she’s learning anything. Whitney says something nonsensical in the affirmative.
Don’t: Let your co-worker get all the attention from the famous boss. Olivia remains silent throughout this exchange. When DVF leaves, Whitney beams at Olivia. “I think it went really well. I’m so happy for you,” Olivia deadpans, looking like she wants to jump out the window as the Pussycat Dolls’ theme song comes in.

Lesson 2: Long-distance sex partners.
Do: Have boys from faraway places come stay with you. We don’t understand Erin’s attraction to Duncan — we can’t imagine him eating without soiling his facial hair, and he’s needy. But he puts the wind in her sails, and her apartment is gigantic, so he may as well crash for a week.
Don’t: Call the long-distance sex partner your long-distance boyfriend. When Duncan suggests he move to New York, Erin says, “I’m 24 and I want to have things to look forward to in the future.” This doesn’t make much sense, but when you don’t want to live in the same city as a guy because you want to fool around with other people, don’t make him your boyfriend and tell him you love him.

Lesson 3: Interoffice dating.
Do: Date your co-workers in secret if you absolutely must. The producers obviously forced poor Chris, who does finance (what else?) at DVF, to ask Whitney out to lunch in front of all her co-workers and boss at the big event. He sounds like he’s reading cue cards. Whitney says yes.
Don’t: Gush in front of your co-workers and boss about dating the guy you all work with. Whitney starts guffawing in an obnoxious self-congratulatory way when Chris walks off. Aren’t the up-to-there hemlines in the office enough, Whit?

Lesson 4: Taking lunch at work.
Do: Eat at the office. Olivia Palermo orders sushi from Nobu or Megu only.
Don’t: Go on an awkward date with your co-worker. Whitney goes out to lunch with Chris and they suffer through awkward conversation about the various pleasures of The City’s downtown neighborhoods and how Whitney has no friends here. No one in New York takes a lunch with people they work with, much less goes on a date with someone they work with during work. When Whitney comes back from her selfishly long lunch, Chris gives her one of those ass-out hugs in front of her co-workers, causing them all to cackle when he walks away. We feel bad for Chris because he looks like a damn fool who just wasn’t able to say no to the producers because sadly, this is part of his job now.

Lesson 5: Lying.
Do: Lie to people you’re dating about other people you’re dating.
Don’t: Tell the guy you want to be your boyfriend you went on a date during work. Whitney clearly considered lunch with Chris a date and could easily have not told Jay about it, but brings it up anyway at dinner. We believe that she’s not trying to make Jay jealous (no girl should expend such energy on a guy that looks so gross eating chips). She’s probably too braindead to realize she could have kept her mouth shut.

Lesson 6: Having boys over.
Do: Make them wait. When Jay comes over, Whitney’s picking out shoes, leaving Jay with the perfect opportunity to pour the wine necessary for them to stand each other. The wine is also necessary for Jay to get through the awkwardness of the “Will you be my girlfriend?” conversation. Awkward, not because Whitney won’t say yes (which she does), but because he knows he has to do it if he wants to stay on the show.
Don’t: Don’t wear a sail. It’s not that Whitney’s billowing red dress isn’t lovely, but it’s the kind of thing you wear to dinner with your parents. We already know Whitney’s slutty — if this were her real life, she’d wear sweatshorts with the waistband rolled up and a see-through tank top with a black bra.

Special Lesson for MTV: Supporting actors.
Do: Give hot famous models who don’t have facial hair more than 30 seconds of camera time. Jay visits Adam at the bar to talk about Whitney. Adam is hot. He’s been in Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci ads, and we had to look at Erin twenty times longer than him this episode. Not fair.
Don’t: Show the hot famous model bartending. We don’t want to know that the Dolce model has to tend bar on the side. We just want to see him without his shirt.

We can’t believe Whitney and Jay made their relationship official so soon. We’re only four episodes into the season — what will keep us interested? Here’s hoping for more Adam going forward.

Whitney Port Needs a Lesson in Office Propriety