Unforgettable Lunch

— One mortifying moment

While I was visiting New York one summer, I decided to meet up with some former coworkers. It was the summer after my first year of business school and I was figuring out what to do. Considering on going back to the same industry, I wanted to ask advice from managers I worked with.

Before business school, I'd been working at a media company. There was one manager that wanted to hire me out of the group I was in. I got along with him and his team but because of politics, it didn't work out.

When we scheduled lunch, I asked if I could bring another coworker along who happened to be in town. He said it was fine and suggested to bring an additional coworker we both knew. She was currently working with him and they often took lunch together.

We all met, three women and one man. At the end of the lunch the waitress places the check down. At the same time, the manager I worked with receives a call and quickly motions to see the bill. I mistakenly thought he was going to pay for all our lunches and thanked him. Profusely.

He was just motioning to pay because he had a meeting to run to. I misunderstood and tried to clear it up buy clarifying: 'oh thank you so much again, for making the time...'. He paid his share as we all did and left.

This memory stays in my head. What does that say about me? I'm the type of person who expects the guy to pick up for everyone's lunch? I am horrified thinking that my former coworkers would think that. I'm horrified to have put someone in a position assuming they'd pay. My coworkers have seen me in multiple instances and their perceptions of me are based on multiple encounters: why am I giving myself such a hard time about this one instance?

It's embarrassing to be a person who assumes that someone wanted to pay for everyone's lunch and they weren't intending to. It makes me cringe.

Perhaps I want to control other's people's perception of me so much that I feel deep mortification when things get out of my control.

Perhaps I'm very NOT okay being that person. But why not? Why is it so bad? Why can't I be the fool that made the mistake in assuming someone would pay for lunch?

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