Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Embarrassing or Awkward Moment

One of my most embarrassing moments was when I was an adult.  I am sure we can all think of numerous childhood missteps, but those feel as uncomfortable as when I think back on them. Lets be honest, children are expected to make mistakes.  I think every family has one or two cute childhood faux pas that are stories that you repeat over and over again at family gatherings. 

 We have one in our family about a young girl, who could not correctly pronounce "spaghetti." 

    Young girl: "Please pass the sketty and meatballs."  
    Mother (holding the dish, waiting for a response): "Pass the whaaat?"
    Young girl: "Please pass the sketty and >>MEEEEAT...BAAALLS<<!

As an adult, the expectations are different, as are the consequences of mistakes.  I earned myself a leadership position working for a large corporation.  I built a diverse team of over 20 people, and to each of them I was their boss, their mentor, and their friend.  I had set a high professional standard for the team, and I only asked them to do what I was also willing and capable to do.

One afternoon I was visiting my employees at the customer site.  Every so often I would visit each of them to get the latest on the exciting projects they were working.  I cant remember if I had eaten something off, or if it was just the wrong type of food, but as the day went on a started to feel more and more gassy.  Most of the areas where I was working and moving were large, crowded, public spaces.  The gas was relentless and there was no where to hide.

As I was sitting at my computer, I felt a small pocket of gas escape.  I panicked as I felt it roll away from me, holding my breath.  Luckily there was no sound, and I was safe.  No smell either, so a double win!  I said a small prayer of gratitude.  Just then, one of my employees and his colleague approached my desk and I stood to greet them.  Unfortunately, the gas from minutes before chose that moment to resurface.  There was nothing I could do as it exited with a muti-trumpet fanfare.  

I continued to speak as if nothing has happened, but I saw the two employees glance at each other and smirk.  My face had turned noticeably red, as the hot temperature spread from my chin to my forehead.  I kept talking, but was scared to shift my weight in that more noises may escape. Luckily, no-one said anything to draw attention to what had happened.  Sighing relief, I smiled and relaxed.  

Then I noticed that the noise had a traveling companion; which was noxious.  Another wave of embarrassment came over me.  Have you ever been in a situation where you passed gas, and you weren't sure if other people could smell it, too?  I looked at the others and saw two new smirks. At that point, I had to excuse myself and take my exit.  There was no graceful way to transition; it was pretty much "I gotta go."  Luckily the others were generous enough to let me exit quickly.  I was done with my employee visits for that day...

I always wonder if this became one of those Happy Hour stories people tell about a boss in an embarrassing position.  Or if they never thought about it again.  For me, this has stuck with me for years, and I still feel embarrassed when I think about it.    

If you were one of the employees, what would you have done? Have you ever been in a position like this?  Feel free to share your comments below.  

Daily Writing Response: 1/300

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