I am a Creator of Awkard Moments. There was that time one of my bosses said he was going to invite some of us from work over to his house, and I threatened to lick the kitchen walls. (He puts the phobe in germophobe, and I was attempting to mock him, but it just turned out, well, not so funny as much as really, really awkward.) There was the time when after watching an extremely boring video onwith other new employees, and I stated that the video of a guy reading to us would have been better as an *interpretive dance.* (Those asterisks represent the jazz hands I displayed while saying "interpretive dance." Some staring ensued.)
But one of my favorite awkward moments, one that I saw coming for three months or more, occurred at my old workplace. To get to my office, I had to walk by the ground floor receptionist, use my key card to get into the staircase, go up several flights, and use the key card to exit the staircase onto my floor. Every morning, the receptionist would say, "Hello, there!" or alternatively, "Hi, there!" and I would respond nicely and appropriately. After having these exchanges for about three months, she switched it up, saying, "Good morning, there!" FOr some reason this struck me as odd. Hello, there? Fine. Hi, there? Normal. Good morning, there? Whaaaa? I thought about it for two seconds and realized that she had said, "Good morning, Deb." Which means that EVERY morning she had been saying, "Hello, Deb." And my name is not Deb.
What do I do now? I had already entered the stairwell, so I could not walk all the way back and respond 30 seconds leter, "My name is not Deb," after accidentally pretending that my name was Deb for three months. So I considered the chance of her figuring out on her own that my name was not Deb, decided this chance was slim, and decided to just go with it. For another few months, my name was Deb every morning, and I liked it. That is, until I forgot my key card.
I could check one out from the ground floor receptionist, but I would have to sign it out, and she would see that my name was not Deb. Nor is it even close to Deb. I tried to take the public staircase and get in through the third floor reception area, but the third floor reception area was dark and locked. (In a little twist of irony, kind of, the third floor receptionist was actually named Deb.) I trudged back downstairs, and lo and behold, the woman sitting at the reception desk was not the usual receptionist. Instead, there was a substitute receptionist I had never seen before! I checked out a key card and went about my business.
When I left that night, I tried to return my borrowed key card, but the substitute had already left. I had to turn it in the next morning, and of course, the usual receptionist was back. I handed her the key card. She said, "Thanks, Deb." I asked her if I needed to sign anything, and she said no. I was home free! Until about 15 minutes later when she called my office, saying, "I thought your name was Deb!" She must have had to mark on the sign out sheet that I returned the key card. "Ummm... nope, it's not."
And almost every morning, for the next 153 mornings or so, I heard, "Good morning, R."