Perhaps surprisingly many of my most embarrassing moments have occurred at work. A few examples come to mind.
When I first went to work at a New York ad agency, I very much wanted to make a good impression. My first presentation to one of the departments was arranged, but for some reason the meeting room we had reserved was not available. We decided to make do with a lesser used room. As I positioned my chair at a comfortable angle to the audience, I realized one small flaw with the room design. Power outlets located on the floor meant there were gaps large enough for a chair leg to fall into. Imagine the delight and surprise for all parties when my chair leg fell in a hole, leading me to do an almost perfect somersault. I did not land on my feet, but the speed with which I attacked that dismount resulted in a blur that could have led the judges to believe I scored a perfect landing. It certainly was an ice-breaker!
My next attempt at an ice-breaker was less successful. I was hired at another company to participate in an unpopular organizational change. No one was in support of this change, meaning I was in a constant battle for resources. During one of these "negotiations" I hopped up from the table to write something on the white board. Upon returning to my seat I noticed a rather odd piece of fabric at my place. Yes in fact at the start of the meeting I was wearing a cute little convertible bra with detachable straps. And yes one of the straps had detached. And yes one of my colleagues (all men by the way) had placed it on the table for my retrieval and their amusement I suppose. No graceful recovery on this one.
In case my colleagues were not yet impressed I gave it another try. During one important presentation, I was feeling a bit stressed and even uncomfortable. I found myself trying to rearrange the designer top I was wearing, one I had no issue with in the past. At one point I touched my collar and felt the tag which should have been inside and on the back. Yup, inside out and backwards! Designer labels should be displayed I guess.
So, question of the day: are embarrassing moments more common during stressful situations, or simply more memorable?
See also Embarrassing Moments