Many of you have suffered social indignity at one time or another while at work. Spilling food on yourself. Wardrobe malfunctions. Moments of clutzitude. The blood rushes to your face and stays there for undetermined amount of time, your co-workers snicker, and talk behind your back for a while, but eventually you get over it. Usually because you do something else embarrassing.
Over at Grantland yesterday, there was a list of the most embarrassing moments to happen in the workplace and naturally the top spot went to an accountant. It comes from "Bobby" in Birmingham, Alabama who readily admits that he "fit[s] the 'ill-equipped to deal with people' generality to exquisite perfection."
[M]y first job out of college was working for a fairly renowned public accounting firm in Birmingham, Alabama. Within my first month on the job, I had already been bestowed with the nickname “Creep-A-Saurus Rex” for my general out-of-the norm, off-putting social behavior. This seems like sufficient transition to state that "My Worst Workplace Embarassment” took place in the men’s restroom.I had just finished using the facilities, and washing my hands. As I was drying my digits, I somehow lost balance while standing in place. It was probably due to the transition of wearing flip-flops 90 percent of the time in college to wearing tasseled business shoes at my new job that caused the incident, but I digress. Suddenly, I find myself in one of those unnecessarily long slipping and falling motions (like when a cartoon character slips on a banana peel) and am heading headfirst into the entrance/exit door of the restroom.So you’re probably thinking the thrilling conclusion of this story is that I ran my noggin into a closed door and concussed myself alone in the bathroom during my first month on the job. Well, that would have been about 40 times more preferable to what actually happened.You see, at the exact same moment in time that I was stumbling face-first toward the door, the partner over our entire audit division opens the door to walk into the restroom. I can only imagine his sheer terror as all 6-feet of me is engaged in what would have had to have appeared to be a headbutt battering ram aimed directly at his crotch.So, I headbutt my boss’s, boss’s boss in the groin … cute story, right? If only I had been so lucky.Instead, I miraculously regain my balance centimeters away from his zipper. I have replayed this moment over in my head thousands of times since the incident, and still haven’t thought of a smooth way to have addressed the situation with my now-bracing for a shot to the junk superior. However, what I concocted to say ended up being without a doubt the worst possible combination of eight words in the English language to ever articulate in a men’s restroom. Looking up from his zipper, I stammer:“Sorry about that, got a little excited there.”