I've been involved in a number of awkward situations at work recently, ranging from the mildly awkward, to the pleasantly awkward, all the way to what-the-fuck-were-you-thinking awkward. We'll start with mildly awkward, which might actually be mildly-but-job-hindering.
First off, my boss mentioned that there might be an opportunity for a lateral move in my company. Because these are the first questions that everyone asks, the answers are, no there will likely not be a raise (though I would try) and no, it will not be considered a promotion. At this point, my boss has told me of the position and mentioned to the other guy, Mike, that I'm interested in learning more.
I hardly ever see Mike because he is always on the go and I mostly keep to myself in my little box office, blasting super raunchy rap and Celine Dion songs. Every time I had seen him, it had always been pleasant and there may even have been some office-laughs shared (these are special laughs that happen sometimes when jokes aren't actually funny or when you almost walk into someone). Since this lateral transition was discussed between men behind my back, there have been some tenser than normal moments where Mike and I both know the other should say something. Should I mention something? What do I say? Just say something!
But by the time my brain gets to, "Just say something," the moment has passed and I'm wishing him a pleasant night as we walk from the elevators.
Last week, I was dropping my refillable water cup* off in the kitchen before I went into the bathroom (because I never bring anything into the bathroom that is not absolutely necessary) and I saw Mike there, alone, ripe for conversation. He looked up at me, widened his eyes and opened his mouth like he was about to say something very important. I panicked, let out a quick and especially breathy, "Hey," and spun around, nearly sprinting to the loo.
Now, I should mention Mike is a very dapper dresser; he always looks like he's just stepped off the pages of GQ which is just about the highest compliment I can give a corporate man. His suits are always perfectly tailored and his shoes are always shined. I will NEVER reach this level of togetherness but, this day, my outfit was extra horrid.
It was raining out and I didn't feel like wearing rain boots because I couldn't stand the thought of rubber that day. Instead, I opted to wear my absolute grossest flats - these suede flats that used to be a beautiful shade of emerald green but were worn into a filthy-seafoam color. These will be just perfect for today - they're so fucking gross, who cares if they get wet?
In another twist of fate, I hadn't done laundry in sea turtle's age so I was running pretty low on work friendly clothes. I threw on a blue, patterned tunic and a pair of leggings (which are banned in my office, though I don't respect the ban) and noted that the tunic and the shoes weren't even close to matching, and that the leggings sported a tiny hole in the knee. I briefly considered coloring the spot in with a Sharpie but decided no one was going to see me in my box anyway.
So while Mike looked like he'd just finished modeling Tom Ford's latest suit collection, I looked like I was one of those people who lives below the subway and was just happy to be above ground in the rain because I was going to use it to shower and wash my clothes later.
The worst thing that came out of this split second of frumpy idiocy is that I probably do not have a chance at the lateral move anymore. The best thing is that I vowed to look my best absolutely every day (known to most people as being a regular human who respects the way they look) and I have actually stuck to it. I know I said this happened last week but it was really like, two weeks ago so this is huge for me. I've even worn make up EVERY DAY. I mean, it's usually just mascara but still. I'm actually enjoying it!
And this week, my goal is to force myself on Mike - in that upstart corporate way - and get moved because I am already getting a little bored of my job. In my defense, I've been here for an entire year now which is practically a lifetime in my work life.
*I use a water tumbler like this plastic one, except that mine has red accents and a red straw, and it's a huge hit! People kept asking me where I got it and now I've seen at least four other people with it. Yes, even subway underworld people can start office trends.