Embarrasing, awkward moments

A Toronto TV channel conducted a sampling of how Canadians know their geography. The question was fairly simple – what is the capital of the province of New Burnswick? To make things quicker, a multiple choice option for the answer was thrown in : a) Moncton b) St. John c) Fredericton. The question was asked randomly at pedestrians, shoppers, commuters on the busy streets of the city. The results were sadly pathetic ; only 3 got the answer for the first 10 samples. The highlight of the show was this woman in her twenties who enthusiastically answered the question almost high-fiving the TV reporter shouting St. John! I know it because I am from there! The correct answer is Fredericton. The poor woman probably didn’t even know that she made an ass of herself in front of national television. Sometimes it is not the lack of knowledge but the illusion of knowledge that can cause us supreme embarrasment!

Last summer, while chatting and sharing cold beer and nuts over a campfire, my close friends and I had fun talking about awkward and embarrasing situations, especially those that have the semblance of payback moments , the satisfaction of getting back at people guilty of disrespecting and belittling his fellowman. It wasn’t that we were reveling at the thought of getting even and casting pain at someone. We were simply discussing the merit of giving an overbearing person a reality check or a dose of his own medicine with that awkward if not embarrassing moments that goes along with the encounter.

The scenarios :

A newly graduated engineer who was applying for an apprentice job at an electronics company wasn’t just scratched from the hiring list. He was told by the hiring supervisor that his knowledge was inferior and he won’t get anywhere with it. Four years later, the engineer and the supervisor had to meet face to face once again. The supervisor was promoted to sales manager and was promoting his product to the company where the engineer was working. It turned out that the engineer was the technical supervisor responsible for evaluating new products for his company. Imagine for a moment the sales manager’s facial reaction when he saw the young lad he dissed four years ago was now the guy who would make the decision on his sales pitch!

A couple had a nasty altercation with a bitchy cashier with an attitude problem at a local supermarket. This cashier is one of those characters who would serve Caucasian customers with a cheery disposition and suddenly switch to a robot, almost taciturn and mono-syllabic when dealing with her Filipino compatriots. The couple hosted a school reunion at their home and the cashier showed up at their door! It turned out that she was the girlfriend on one of their alumni friends. Imagine that greeting ritual at the door with the hostess saying Oh! I remember you ! You’re that … The meeting was indeed awkward but the opportunity to bury the hatchet was ripe. For all its worth the meeting ended up on a positive note as the cashier began treating the couple like her Caucasion patrons everytime they visited the supermarket.

A man had an altercation with a woman at department checkout counter because she protested at her trolley being moved by the shopper that followed her in the queue. No big deal but the lady was extremely touchy and sensitive told the gentleman to lay his hands off her trolley! Who would ever have the compulsion to argue with a berserk woman at a checkout counter? Anyway, this woman showed up at the man’s office the following day for a job interview! Darn awkward meeting for sure. A subtle payback moment for the man would have been a real simple question – do you remember me?

Embarrasing and awkward situations indeed and whether we are at the long or short end of the stick in the aforesaid situations, we all have something to learn don’t we? There’s a saying that you must not look down on anybody because you might meet him on your way down. How true. Strangely enough, our minds seem to be preconditioned that whatever status we enjoy today would remain the same throughout our lives. Far from being true.I am not a fan of Rev. Jesse Jackson ( why does this guy always show up on every major news event ? ) but he had one quote that makes a lot of sense – never look down on anybody unless you are helping them up! With his in mind, I wish everyone a Prosperous New Year and a bountiful 2006!


12 Responses

  1. What goes around,comes around.Indeed,sometimes people do stupid things,only for it to come back and bite them in the ass.

    As for Rev. Jesse Jackson,I think he is an opportunist.

    Happy New Year to you and your loved ones bw,let’s hope the year 2006 will be a better year for all. 😀

  2. This is the very same message I was trying to say to my girl friend about a couple of years ago when she had a spat with a lady at an elevator. Can’t remember the details now. I told her that she should have been nice to her because she just would not have known if they’d cross paths again and that lady could have been her future boss or future landlady. Right?

  3. Wag pakakasiguro. Bilog ang mundo.

    Btw, this also reminds me of a saying, “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”

    Happy New Year!

  4. Have a Blessed 2006, BW! All the best to you and your family.

    (Will come back later to read your blog post. I feel rather sleepy now. It’s already 1:30 a.m.)

    God bless!

  5. Thanks and Happy New Year to all of you. This time I hosted the New Year’s party at my house with our closest friends and their families. It was a lot of fun and a lot of cleaning up afterwards! The most important part was the celebration of friendship and caring and I could drink and not worry about driving ! May you all have a blessed and bountiful 2006!

  6. Happy New Year to you Dude. All the best for 2006!

  7. HAPPY NEW YEAR, BW! sorry for the late greeting…

    i like this post very much. we tend to forget sometimes. intentionally or unintentionally, we should never look down on people. there was a saying that goes something like ‘even the fools have their stories to tell’.

  8. Agree with you Bing. Sometimes as you said, unintentionally ,but it can cause the same awkwardness and embarrasment as well!

  9. Hi again, BW! Finally, I was able to read na your blog post. Seems to me you enjoyed the New Year’s celebration in your place.

    My reaction to your blog entry: if people would just follow the Golden Rule, then scenarios like the ones you mentioned here could well be avoided.

    It always pays to love your neighbor — be he/she the garbage collector or the CEO. Jesus, as a Son of Man, was never title conscious; he was no respecter of persons.

    Have a nice week! God bless.

  10. Hello Jayred.. I did enjoyed new year’s and the few pounds I gained during the holidays is a proof for this!

    Yes, the golden rule formula works perfectly all the time and Jesus’ humility typified this character. It also echoes what Abaniko posted, that you can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.

  11. peace, love and abundance to you and your family this new year 2006, BW. Huli man daw at magaling…magaling pa rin, haha. I got so busy and stressed with the holiday and with getting ready to transfer to a new place to stay (temporarily), I couldn’t blog sensibly and bloghop generously for quite sometime now. But I hope to be back in circulation soon…

  12. Same to you and all the best to you and your family for 2006! Take it easy and take care of important business first Teacher Sol and you’d be back sooner than you expect!

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