Welcome back for today's installment of "On Assignment: The ADD Challenge." Click the button to learn more and find out how to join in on the fun!
As the three of you who read this blog recall, the assignment for this week was to document an embarrassing or awkward event, either from your own experience, or from someone else's. However, please use discretion if you're writing about someone else - the goal is to reminisce about an embarrassing moment - not create a new one. Alrighty?
So, on to my own anecdote for the week....
The Setting: a large home improvement store, where I was working at the time of the Incident.
Enter stage right: Me - I was patrolling my "zone," looking for customers to assist. I stopped briefly to chat with two of the store managers.
Enter stage left: Female customer: rather on the heavy side.
Seeing the customer enter my aisle, I dutifully broke away from my co-workers and began a beeline down the long aisle towards the customer.
Enter stage left: the DILEMMA.
As I headed towards the customer, she turned slightly away from me, and that was when I saw IT.
How to put this delicately...?
I noticed something engulfed in her corpulent rotundity.
At some point before arriving in the store, my customer had apparently sat down on a stack of mail. The angle was an unfortunate one, and, alas, a piece of her mail had gotten wedged where the sun don't shine, and now it was proudly waving like a distant banner in the wind.
As soon as this registered in my mind, I felt a nearly-irresistible urge to turn and run. Especially when I heard the sharp intake of breath of my two managers, and realized that they had seen it too. However, at the same moment, she turned back towards me and made eye contact.
There was no going back now...
As the distance between us quickly disappeared, I was faced with a dilemma of epic proportions: DO I TELL HER OR NOT??? If so, how do I tell her?
Unfortunately, in all of my imagined worst-case scenarios requiring delicacy and tact, I had never lighted upon this particular situation. How does one nonchalantly inform a complete stranger that she has an envelope sticking out of her hiney? I tried a few lines out in my head while the gap between us closed....
"Excuse me, ma'am. You've got a piece of mail stuck in your hiney." - no
"Excuse me, ma'am. You sat on your mail, and something got wedged." - no
"Have you been missing your electric bill?" - no
"You've got mail." -NO!
"Did you put the flag up?" - NO NO NO!
Sigh... why do things like this always happen to me?
It didn't help anything that I could hear my co-workers attempting to stifle their snorting behind me. By the time I got to the poor lady, I was drawing a blank. I couldn't think of a single delicate way to inform her of her predicament. I
After a short eternity, I reached her, and brilliantly I blurted out:
"Can I help you find anything?"
Something exploded deep within me as I heard the inadvertent double entendre coming out of my mouth - too late to stop it, impossible to retrieve it. Poor lady - she probably wondered why I was choking and sputtering over the most basic of customer service questions. I'm pretty sure I strained every muscle in my face and several in my stomach in my attempt to act normal. Little did she know...
No, she didn't need any help (at least that she knew about) - thank you...
I began the long, long walk back down the aisle - looking, and yet not looking, at my two co-workers. All three of us managed to make it out of that aisle and into the safety of another. I'm pretty sure I collapsed on the rail of a ladder for some time.
I have since been informed by my good friend, who is infinitely more tactful than I, that the proper thing to say in that particular situation is:
"Excuse me, ma'am. You have a piece of paper stuck to your pants."
This line seems pretty obvious in hindsight, but it was miles away when it was actually happening.
At any rate, I don't know what happened to the poor lady.
I hope a braver, tactful person found her after I left her...
and I hope her electricity didn't get shut off.
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Next week's Assignment:
If you have a funny home movie of yourself or your family that you'd like to share, post it! If you don't have any movies of your own, link up a clip from youtube that makes you laugh. (Please keep it family-friendly!) Thanks for joining in! Anyone can join in at any time!