So I was thinking back about times that I embarrass people, and there is one that stands out in my mind completely. Not that she’s the only other person that I embarrassed, but probably the one that was embarrassed and/or horrified/humiliated most often.
She was my boss, and she had to have regretted immediately having hired me. Actually, I know she did. Before I even started, we left together on a business trip. I talk when I’m uncomfortable (and bored, and happy, and sad, and…) so I must have talked her ear off. When we got to the hotel, it was brand new and had just opened. They booked us in a room and we went to get ice, and that’s when it happened; she walked into a pane of glass that was so clean you couldn’t see it.
Now, if you’ve ever been with me when I’ve been pulled over, you know that I also laugh when I’m uncomfortable, and it’s completely, 100% uncontrollable.
And it was that day too. I laughed so hard, and so loudly, that I was bent over gasping for breath. She turned to look at me wide-eyed with a completely bloody nose and instead of being able to compose myself in front of my very new, very intimidating boss, I completely lost control of myself. Have you ever watch a Tickle Me Elmo where he’s rolling on the floor? Picture that. Only HORRIFYING. It was like I was hovering over myself, this out of body experience where I wanted to scream “OMG WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”
I apologized while I was laughing and tried to explain, but the amusement was lost on her. And rightly so. She deserves a trophy for not punching me in the face, because I totally deserved it. Truth be told, over the next 18 months, she’d have a ton of practice with controlling any violent urges, as I would continually earn them.
Another time, on a different business trip, we stayed in a loft, and my bed was in an enclave in the hall, hers in a room.
I should take this opportunity to say that I talk in my sleep too. This night, though, I screamed.
Like someone was killing me. It woke her from a dead sleep and she came charging out of the room thinking someone was killing me (I am confident that had this happened later in my career with her, she would have locked the door and let me die; again, probably rightfully so). I wasn’t being killed, but I scared her by sitting straight up and asking her why she was standing there.
I should also mention that I also have no recollection of that, but she told me the next morning that she’d run out, asking if I was ok, and I asked her what she was talking about. She was dumbfounded that I had no recollection of it. She’d nearly had a heart attack over it.
The next day was no better. She was teaching a class, and I had put my stuff in the room with her while I walked around, and after the class let out, she informed me through gritted teeth that my phone had been ringing for quite some time, loudly, and no one had any idea whose it was.
That’s bad enough, even further compounded by the fact that my ringtone was Disturbia by Rihanna, full blast, of course. In a room full of clients. And I had a few missed calls.
And before you think I’m stopping because I’m out of stories, unfortunately that’s not the case; shoot, all three of these happened a mere month into that job. I’m stopping because the rest are even more unflattering towards me, if you can possibly imagine. I really was just not a great person.
You see, there are attributes that are considered quirky or charming when you’re younger, but not so much when you grow up. Unfortunately, it took me a long time to realize that, so I went a long time exhibiting the maturity of a small child and honestly having no idea. I can say that I am a completely different person now, but it wasn’t until after I left that job. That’s perhaps the worst part, too, because looking back, the changes I’ve made for the better can be mostly attributed to her refusal to allow me to operate as a petulant child.
On the other hand, I bet if she knew how easily a black pants-hanger scared me, I’d have been more well-behaved on business trips.