I did something super embarrassing at work this morning, and that got me thinking about all the other numerous and never-ending embarrassing things I’ve done at work over the years, most of which I’ve probably repressed, and so I decided to make a list. I’m basically making this list for no reason, and it has no practical function, as I’m going to continue being me, which means variations of all of this will probably happen to me again (ALL OF THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE AND ALL OF THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.)

Stupid and embarrassing stuff I have done at work (that I can remember):

10. Accidentally calling clients/students/tutees/fellow employees/whatever by the wrong name, even if I have known them for over six months/have hung out with them outside of work. Have done this on multiple occasions, usually in front of other people.
9. Accidentally hitting myself in the eye with a banana, while my co-worker was watching.
8. Accidentally hitting myself in the mouth with the phone handset, causing my lip to split open and bleed for two hours.
7. Accidentally slicing open my finger down to the bone with a brand new knife while cutting a sandwich at work for a co-worker.
6. Accidentally dropping a bucket of long, sharp knives onto my head from where they were sitting on a high shelf, and then watching in dismay as all co-workers within hearing distance run to the back room to see what I’d destroyed this time.
5. Accidentally slamming right ring finger in pastry case, causing the finger nail to pop out of its nailbed (and as I later learned, causing a hairline fracture) . . . and then in a bit of a daze, with a horrified customer looking on at my limp, disgusting and bleeding finger, attempting to continue ringing up said customer’s transaction. After said finger injury, being unable to think or do anything other than stare in horrified shock at my finger, interrupting several co-workers important duties to have them deal with me, and in particular, having one co-worker drive me to Urgent Care and spend four hours there with me until finally I saw the doctor and he numbed me up and PUSHED MY FINGERNAIL BACK INTO ITS SOCKET. Also my legs were hairy and I hadn’t showered.
4. Accidentally belching while in the middle of leaving a voicemail for a client.
3. Accidentally letting a fart slip out during an . . . inopportune moment.
2. Accidentally saying the word “sex” instead of “success” while on the phone with a client . . . three times in a row.
1. Crashing my brand new company car into a pole and then having to tell my boss and watch his face go FLOOP down to the ground.

And those are just the ten that I could remember right away. I can’t be the only one who is a huge idiot in such inappropriate places. So please, I implore you if you can, make me feel better about the disaster zone that is my life and TELL ME YOUR EMBARASSING STORIES.

Also, I just want to say, for those of you who didn’t get the reference (and honestly, you’re better off that way), that I would have found Bella Swan and her supposed clumsiness much more endearing if she would have actually done herself some damage once in a while instead of just yapping about it all the time. Also, if Ms. Meyer didn’t insist on using the adjective “clumsy” as a substitute for characterization. How did this post about embarassment turn into a Twilight rant? No idea. These things just happen, I guess.

19 responses

  1. Well, #5 is just gruesomely spectacular. And #3 just makes me hear George Takei saying “Oh my!”

    This is why I avoid real humans…being an awkward inappropriate mess is much easier when you’re alone.

  2. Oh, I have a few embarrassing moments to share. Probably not as entertaining as yours. One that comes to mind was the first night of supervising a late shift, the post-dinner cleaning shift, at my college cafeteria. I had to put these tall rolling carts of food into the walk-in refrigerator. The person who trained me had neglected to stress the importance of pulling the carts in, rather than pushing. As I pushed the last cart in, the wheels caught in the ridge at the top of the ramp, and the cart went over, emptying its contents of cutlets, whatnots and slop-like stew in an impressive flood across the walk-in floor.

      • Sadly, no. The cart was a big metal 6-feet-tall thing, and it was unhelpfully noisy at it fell, dumping out its big metal pans and their contents. My crew for the shift all came a-running. In retrospect, I should have slammed the walk-in door shut and pretended all was well. (“Yes, those carts can be noisy,” I imagining myself explaining to my new crew.) But I lost a few precious seconds standing in shock, followed by picking my jaw up off the floor. (And then I had to clean several gallons of stew off the floor, which also was not quick. I seem to recall that it took a good hour. A messy hour of shame.)

  3. I don’t have anything nearly as interesting as you do, but I’ll still share in the interest of solidarity with the not-quite-terminally clumsy.

    I am tall, so a lot of things are at my head height, but if I don’t pay very close attention to where my feet are going, I trip, so I spend a lot of time looking at the ground in front of me instead of directly ahead. This has resulted in repeatedly ramming my head into things that should have been obvious and easily avoided. My favorite are the nice sharp corners of cabinets or cabinet doors. Most recently, it was a bolt on my daughter’s swingset, as I chased a giggling toddler around the yard. That one left me staggering for a moment and checking my head to see if I was bleeding. Things like this happen more often than I can remember (probably from the repeated concussions).

    Also, a couple of years ago I was walking out of the gas station to my car when I tripped. Not on anything, I just tripped and turned my ankle. Fortunately, I was at my car, so I was able to catch myself on it and not fall completely down. Unfortunately, my ankle hurt bad enough that I eventually decided to get medical help. It turns out that I had twisted it hard enough that I got an avulsion fracture. Yeah, I basically broke my ankle by tripping…over nothing.

    I’ll not even get into the state of my pinky toes after decades of hitting them on everything in sight.

    • I’d just like to laugh at Craig.

      And, since I’m here, I’ll mention that I was once giving a new hire a tour of the building and walked into a closed glass door that was apparently way cleaner than glass doors should ever be. I hit the deck.

      I’ve also laughed at and loudly repeated racial slurs, not knowing they were racial slurs because, really, who hangs around so many racist people that they’ve developed an internal racial slur lexicon? I just thought they were funny sounding words.

    • Dude, if we’re allowed to bring in non-work related stuff, my list will expand exponentially.

      I have the thing with my pinky toes, too. And it’s always the left one for some reason.

  4. Once, when I worked at a library, it started raining really hard and I went into the storage closet for something and noticed there was a leak and instead of, I don’t know, moving, I stood there yelling, “hey there’s a leak in here!” and a water-logged piece of ceiling tile fell on my head and my boss wouldn’t let me go home early WHAT A BITCH.

    • This has almost nothing to do with your comment, but when you say things like “once, when I worked at a library,” it’s basically the same thing for me as if you’d said “once upon a time in a magical fairyland where wonderful things happen.”

      You should have threatened to sue. I bet that would have got you home early.

  5. Knives on a shelf. Your employer sounds like someone with Scrooge McDuck-like mounds of cash waiting for the opportunity to be liberated by someone with multiple head wounds. Not that I’m giving you any ideas wink wink nudge nudge, but you’ll heal eventually and be able to read for a living.

  6. When I worked at the UofA library, I ran over my toe with a book cart and the U is so paranoid about workers comp that they made me go to campus health (escorted me!), fill out tons of forms, get a tetanus shot, and miss band practice. All for a tiny cut that I probably would have just ignored. I had to tell the really lame story to the doctor and nurses (and REES) and it was truly ridiculous.

    One time (ok, more than one time), I sat down in my office chair and fell off. Once I leaned too far backward and fell over. And yes, I had a cubicle-mate next door who would laugh at me.

    The first time I went to a client’s office, I left my computer in the car, and then the partner told me I had to run and grab it. I hurried over to the underground parking garage and promptly fell down the concrete stairs. I had to have the secretary help me with first aid in the bathroom and call the team of partners, senior managers, and clients to tell them what had happened. Of course, they all rushed downstairs to see if I was OK. So embarrassing.

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