Was fortunate to recently reunite with some former colleagues of 15 to 20+ years ago . Unfortunately, it was a memorial service for one of these cherished colleagues.
Reminiscing, stories and laughter like old times . Two people independently told me stories of how embarrassed they were in a meeting or conversation with me 20 years ago.
We were colleagues with different responsibilities and titles and I was intrigued as they told me how embarrassed they were in pretty vivid detail back then.
One was walking and talking with me down the hall on some topic . I normally walk at a pretty brisk pace and she remembers catching her pant hem on her shoe heel and falling on her face .
OMG , did I trip you back then ? Of course , I hadn’t , she said .
I was trying to make light of it . I am sure I helped her up then and we continued our conversation and walk as if nothing happened.
The second said we were meeting in my office at my table and a newly minted finger nail from a recent manicure fell off her finger and landed in front of me , so I nonchalantly let her know what had happened and she picked it up and we continued our conversation.
So , the interesting part is I have no recollection of either of these events then or now.
We had a lot going on back then and doing things in a hurry and on the fly , so we didn’t skip a beat when something like this happened.
This strikes me as fascinating in that the things we think are big deals in our minds , embarrassing and unusual , are not often on anyone else’s radar.
These events loom large in heart pounding , shine a light on them ways , in our minds , yet others don’t notice, don’t care or quickly move on .
Neither of these events apparently bothered me or affected me , other than making sure these two individuals were OK after , the fall , in particular.
Once assured , I didn’t give it another thought , yet the details of these were so clear to these two individuals 20 years later.
Now , I probably need to work on my empathy skills and be more sensitive to what others are experiencing and the way it makes them feel , but that’s a blog for another time.
We make much ado about nothing many days or worry too much what others think of us .
Here are two examples , as a reminder to not stress or worry about little things that loom large in our heads and no one else’s.
BUT ..... there is a continuum of embarrassing.
One of these same colleagues was sitting next to our new high profile Chairman who had orchestrated an acquisitions of our company and a couple dozen of us were having a welcome dinner at the local country club.
Big juicy steaks were served with all the fixings . As everyone began to eat , our colleague cut his steak and proceeded to slide all the contents of his plate into the lap of our new Chairman , making a move to clean it up and catching himself before it made matters worse .
Made quite a mess , but no harm no foul .
Now that , I am guessing , they both remember quite well to this day !