Monday, November 28, 2005

Awkward

I had a moment of complete discomfort today, and no, it had nothing to do with my GI tract. Sometimes, we all find ourselves in situations where we wish we could flee but can't.

I had to discuss some matters of business with a suit today. I first checked in with the guy's secretary to see if/when he'd be in. She was talking on the phone and just said, "Sit down, I'll be right with you." I didn't have to be anywhere in a hurry, so I figured "what the hell" and sat. Just thirty seconds into my lounging, I started to notice that the woman's tone of voice began to warble a little. This shift in tone had a certain seriousness that got my attention. She was talking to someone that I figured was a close friend and the subject was the death of her spouse. Well, from there I thought that she may have just slipped a little emotionally and that she would right herself so she could attend to me--wrong. For the next fifteen minutes, I was treated to a total emotional breakdown that I could not escape.

"I'll tell you this Janice, he begged me to let him go. I didn't want to let him go. He begged me, Janice. I thought it was the right thing to do. He wanted to go. What could I do? I let him go Jan, and I've been paying for it ever since. Bob got what he wanted, and I got nothing. I'm so alone. I don't know what to do now that he's dead..." She managed to get that much out before the dam burst.

So, there I was watching this woman become completely wrecked. She cried so hard that her makeup was running down her face and she was making those hiccup noises and snot bubbles one makes when it crosses that line from water works to full-blown wailing. I felt really bad about what she must be going through. She had already finished her conversation with her friend and it was just me and her in that room. Never in my life have I wanted more to have my spirit leave my body, so as to spare me from that moment. I didn't know this lady. I didn't know what to say to her, so I didn't say anything. I just kept my eyes fixed on a plant. I mean, I wasn't going to just get up and leave. I thought that if I did that it would only be more uncomfortable to have to go back there again later. I then had an idea that I should ask her if she was okay, but figured I had already let too much time pass where I didn't say anything, and that window had closed. I'm so pathetic.

After some time had passed, she had gathered herself together, shuffled some papers, stared at the wall, and flexed her well practiced smile. She then turned to me as if nothing ever happened and cheerily asked, "So what can I do for you today, hon?"

9 comments:

Scott said...

Wow, that sounds like quite the experience. It is not like you can just walk out of the situation. Never ceases to amaze me what people are willing to do in public...haha.

D

The Grunt said...

Scott, everytime that I have to go to that department now, I'll be thinking about that experience. However, this time I'll be ready for it.

Scott said...

Get yourself a canoe... you will love it...
D

The Grunt said...

Okay, I've just thought of something very funny. The canoe thing was from your blog and the crying lady from this blog. What would happen if these two things were combined--kind of like a Reeses' peanut butter cup.

You're stuck on a canoe in the middle of a lake, no oars, with a strange lady who won't stop crying. I'll probably have a dream about that now.

maura said...

That's heartbreaking. Poor woman.
Talk about an awkward situation...

The Grunt said...

She is a rather mature woman, too. I don't think that she is the type that is prone to these kinds of outbursts either. I just happened to be there at an inopportune time.

Good to hear from you again, Maura.

Me Over Here said...

Geez...I hate that, when you let to much time pass by when you KNOW you should have done/said something, but now it's too late.

AWK-Ward!!!

Pokey said...

I hate situations like that. I never what to say when people are having a break down. I never cry in public, I just have issues about it, so I don't know how to deal with someone when they do. My family is not emotional at all and I was taught to only cry in private..lol. Kind of ridiculous, but that's how I was raised. I think you did the right thing though, I mean what could you have said?

The Grunt said...

Wow, I love getting comments on posts older than a year. Heck, this one is almost two years old, Pokey. I think you were around back then too.