Friday, August 17, 2012

Well That Was A Little Awkward

Two times each week, our office cleaning staff come in to vacuum the carpet.  They are nice Mexican women with a somewhat limited understanding of the English language, but generally do a very good job.  Given the language barrier, we aren’t able to interact with them a whole lot beyond exchanging simple greetings and thank-you’s, so we usually go about our business, and they go about theirs.

The cord to their vacuum cleaner is not particularly long, which means as they move from office to office, they must find an electrical outlet to plug the cord into.  In my office, the most convenient outlet happens to be on an extension cord that lies underneath my desk. 

That means twice each week, one of the cleaning ladies gets down on her hands and knees across from me, and crawls partway under my desk to reach the extension cord.  If I’m not in my office at the time, it’s not a big deal, but when I am at my desk, it creates quite the awkward moment.  I can do nothing more than pray that nobody walks by my office right then and gets the wrong impression.

As she was under my desk today, fumbling around with the extension cord, I thought to myself “This is ridiculous, there’s got to be a better way”, as I’m sure she must find this even more awkward than I do.  So I offered a suggestion, and said “You know, you can pull it out if you want to.”

There was a momentary pause, then she slowly backed out from under my desk, and stood up with her cheeks rosy red.  It was right then that I realized what I had just said.  I immediately clarified “THE EXTENSION CORD!!  YOU CAN PULL OUT THE EXTENSION CORD!!!”  I laughed out loud at the misunderstanding.  She did not, and an awkward moment just became a little more awkward.

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