Friday, 20 December 2013

In which I have an awkward conversation in a lift

I was sorely unimpressed. Like, finding someone's stirred your Earl Grey with a teaspoon that's been used to make coffee unimpressed. Like, seeing the world and his wife wearing wellies in a city at the merest suggestion of drizzle unimpressed (seriously: what the hell do these people do when they encounter actual mud? Or are their lives conducted entirely within a concrete realm?).

It wasn't meant to happen. He was meant not to realise that it had ever happened. After all, it must have been a good four or five years ago (damned never being brave enough to change my hair) and who can remember every date that they've been on in five years? I don't have enough extremities to do that sort of counting.

And even if, by some awful stroke of chance, he did remember, he's British. He's meant to Keep Calm and Carry On and Absolutely Pretend That The Awkward Thing Didn't Happen And Never To Reference It Out Loud, Ever.

What my brand new colleague who sits at the desk directly behind me is categorically NOT supposed to do is to a) remember that we once went on a date, and then b) acknowledge it. Out loud. TO ME. IN A PLACE WHERE I COULDN'T GET AWAY.

It was during the middle of last week when I was still so new that I was waiting for my security pass, and needed to be escorted by a member of staff to be able to get into the building.

Down he came to reception to wave me and my temporary visitor badge into the building. We made polite chit chat as we waited for the interminably slow lift. All fine.

We then got into the lift, just the two of us, and the doors shut.

"I, er…" He was shifting his gaze hastily between my eyes and his shoes. "I, er, don't know if you…"

My stomach fell as the lift rose.

"Do you remember that, er, we've met once before?"

MAYDAY. MAYDAY. Visions of Disney characters in old-school flying goggles hurtling towards the ground, smoke issuing from behind them. MAYDAY.

There was nothing else I could do. I could hardly say no and make the poor chap spit it out in all its excruciating, middle-of-the-road, fine but there was no spark, neither of us ever called the other after it happened detail. I had to 'fess up.

"Oh, er, hah, yes, I do actually..."

"Hah, er, yes."

The lift arrived at our floor. We both got out. We've not spoken of it since.

I may yet have to quit.


Marcheline said...

Nah, I bet you guys get over the hump (pun alert) and move on to smoother pastures immediately. I think he just wanted to get it out of the way, acknowledge the elephant in the room and have it done with. Now there's nothing left to avoid, so the air is clear. Damn, that was a lot of cliches, but still.

Mike said...

Blonde...the worst of it is over. Hardly worth a job change. You'll probably be his boss before you know it. Eat some Christmas cheese, realize he helped you get to the point where you were ready for TW and enjoy the holidays.

And hello from Gyeonju, Korea where I am visiting my son, who is teaching here this year.

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