At times, I have a tendency to be a smart aleck… particularly with people who I know share that sense of humor and can take it and usually give it right back.
But most of the time, with people I don’t know well, I tend to be really quiet.
These two worlds met a couple of weeks back.
At work, most of my coworkers are people that I am at mostly comfortable with… and a good number of them tend to be good humored and into teasing and such.
But the people who work in the building that I don’t see much, I still don’t say much to.
So, with some recent remodeling, the upstairs break room had been removed… making the nearest fridge for lunches downstairs and a long walk away. And so my head supervisor had put a small mini-fridge under the counter in the office… out of sight, but easily reached.
Apparently, this hadn’t been run by another, higher ranking manager. Because they expected him to protest and say it wasn’t needed. This part I wasn’t aware of.
So towards the end of the day, one of my managers was on the floor, cleaning the fridge, when this higher manager comes into the room and asks “Why do we have a fridge?”
The first thing that comes out of my mouth is “To keep things cold.” In a sort of “duh” tone.
He just stands there a minute… sort of makes this grumbling…. and only then does it really hit me that this might not have been a good response. I look to the manager cleaning the fridge, and she’s having a hard time not laughing.
Without having come up with a response, the questioner turns around and leaves the office.
I figured that was the end of that awkward moment.
But, in about 4 different instances, I’ve had various managers and coworkers laughingly mentioning the reply. Word apparently got around fast… and the whole office appears to be amused.
One said that it was pretty much the perfect response, because any of the rest of the staff would have gotten into trying to justify not walking downstairs and probably failed. Another laughed that it was probably the first time since my interview that this manager had actually heard me speak to him in person instead of just giving a message over the phone.
In any case, the fridge has stayed… and apparently, he has yet to bring the topic up again.
Sometimes unexpected awkward smart aleck moment is a useful tactic I guess!