My 3 Idiots Memories.
Every year on my birthday, I go over the highlights of the past year, the highs and lows as I am sure most of you do too. This SWOT appraisal is to help me to rock more on the coming year than what I did the previous one. To do that I have found that analyzing my goof-ups of the past year makes for an enterprising start for the new year, because I can always tell myself “oh God, that’s the pits, I am never gonna embarrass myself to that extent again” and you know what, I sometimes excel in beating my own foot-in-the-mouth moments the next year. So this year I have decided to share some of those experiences with you all, in the hope that all of you brilliant readers of this blog will help me out with your suggestions to avoid such events again. Will you? After reading these? By the way, this is not an exhaustive list, I have just selected three of my best cringworthy “OOPS, there, I put my foot in my mouth again” moments :
1) Think Before You Talk:
We are all creatures of habit and we stick to our tried and true habits even in everyday things, like visiting the canteen at specific times, during the break or opting for a specific table. Like everyone else, I too have my favorite spot in the canteen, a place at a corner table, where I sit regularly in my tea break. This spot is adjacent to the table (quite accidentally) where a team of girls from the pediatric medicine department sit and gossip about other departments, so I get to hear a lot of incidental information about how vulgar those girls from gynecology are and all that kind of trash talk and back biting. This one time, I was deeply engrossed in my own thoughts, speculating on the meaning of life and such things, while I accidentally (again) overheard the conversation going on at the next table where one of the worst of the gossip mongers was bitching about how much her life sucked “Three years” she said with a look around to see who was overhearing “for three years my parents are looking at alliances for me and no one is marrying me because of the dowry problem. All men are such blood suckers they will marry only for dowry”. I felt insulted at hearing this general putdown of men and without thinking about what I was saying, I waded right in and put my foot in my mouth “I don’t” I said “I will marry without dowry” and suddenly realizing that I had spoken aloud, which I had not intended to, I blushed with embarrassment and turned to look at the group nearby which had gone all silent all of a sudden. And then came the hammer blow. One of the wags in the group, the only one who was a married woman among all those girls and with whom I had previously had a run in for some reason or the other, chose that moment to take her revenge on me. “Ok, that’s it, your problem solved di, he is ready to marry you without a dowry, congrats lets all order a Pepsi to celebrate” she said and looked straight at me. Oh my god, I am screwed, I thought. How am I going to get out of this and explain I just made a general statement and not intended for anyone in particular? Fear gives a loose tongue they say and my sudden brain freeze evaporating (thankfully) I chose to wade right in “i was just saying about my general no-dowry belief” I said emphatically and on the basis of in for a penny, in for a pound I went the whole hog “I wasn’t proposing or anything. I don’t even like you” I stammered and turning around to the other woman said “don’t order anything, I am not paying for it” and I ran out of the canteen accompanied by wholesale laughter. For the next two weeks, I hunkered down in the department, took no break at all and worked continuously from morning to evening without getting up from my seat. Till the storm in a tea-cup passed over and calm came back to my life.
Lesson learnt- don’t talk your thoughts out aloud.
2) Look Back Before You Talk:
The problem with having a great sense of humor is when no one gets your jokes. And especially when your superiors are women with no sense of humor and look on all men as predators of the female race. One fine morning, as I was passing by the notice board, one of my colleagues called my attention to a notice freshly pinned there. Everyone else was standing around there and gossiping so I went over to see what it was all about. It was a set of orders couched in government legalese about the new sexual harassment guidelines to be implemented at the working place. I, as usual, tried to wisecrack about it “no more sexual harassment? For a single guy like me, that’s the only sex I ever get, so even that’s gone now? I mean how can you know that your work is appreciated if your boss doesn’t pat you on the butt, every now and then and say what a fine job you are doing for her” I said to what I expected would be a general laughter but in reality received with a deadly silence. Astonished at this lack of response I turned around to see why no one had got the joke, to find my HOD (an elderly lady) standing frowning right behind me. I could see that her hand was itching to smack my bottom, but it sure wouldn’t be an appreciative pat. She somehow controlled her hand and walked off after giving me a frosty glare.
Lesson learnt: before cracking a joke, turn 360 degrees.
3) Outdated Pick-up Lines:
Well, this one just about made it to the top-3 list on decimal points. I have this great (patented) pick-up line of addressing any hot girl I meet for the first time as “Mrs”. If they don’t correct me, I take it they are taken and leave them well alone. But if they do offer that “No, I am Miss So & So” I take it as my cue to ask them out for a cup of coffee. But not anymore, the last time I used that line, I learnt to my cost that the news had somehow got abroad and girls were now wise to my tricks and this pick-up line was not going to work anymore. So there was this one (last) time where I addressed this girl as Mrs and she corrected me by saying …well, thats a story for another day and better told face to face over a cup of coffee, so if you want to hear the rest, you know what to do.
So that competes, the three most embarrassing incidents of my last year. I hope you all have lots of advice to give me for the next year.