24 Days ’til 40: Occupational HAZARDS

28 Jan


This post is dedicated to and inspired by my partner, who claims that I write too many, “go take a bath and feel good about yourself” posts and do not write enough about real life and the predicaments I sometimes manage to get myself into.  So, here is that blog – the entry that shows how utterly human I am…. don’t laugh too hard, okay?

Today I am going to talk about occupational hazards, or rather, highly embarrassing moments within my career.  Being that I am in education, you may assume I am talking about things such as basketballs coming at my head, disgruntled parents in my office trying to punch the staff (that happened in the inner city, but never in my current position), or broken bones or bleeding skin (that we have seen).  What I am going to mention today are three little incidents that only really hurt my ego in the long run.

As a leader in a private school, recruitment and retention of students is a big part of my position – we need to make sure we are meeting the needs of our students and that they are happy and we also need to make sure that we remain attractive and competitive in the local market.  It is my hope that most people who come to visit the school will see how dedicated our staff is and how happy our students are and they will consider placing their children with us.  Normally these visits run like clockwork and are very pleasant moments, but on occasion they do not go as I would have hoped or planned.

The first one of these bad tour moments occurred about three years ago.  We were walking along our gorgeous campus, full of trees and buildings and I was explaining the efficacy of our program when – SPLAT – a bird pooped on my shirt.  Let me clarify – a bird POOPED on my shirt – and it was white and green and chunky and runny and BIG and running down my shoulder onto my arm (I had on a short-sleeved shirt).  The parents laughed, and I was rather disgusted.  The rest of the tour I tried desperately to maintain my focus when all I really wanted to do was take a hot shower, or at least raid the stash of old PE shirts so that I did  not have to wear the bird poop all day.  Thankfully, the family enrolled in the school, in spite of the bird commentary re: our programs.

The second bad tour moment occurred as I was walking a family to see the pool on campus – the steps are stone and can be slippery (no, thankfully, I did NOT fall into the pool) – I did, however, trip on a slippery orange peel I did not see and go face first down multiple stairs, hitting my knee and tearing my pants.  I had to give the rest of that tour with torn pants, trying not to limp, and pretend I was okay.  My ego was bruised more than my knee.  This family also enrolled in our school and I am now always on the lookout for renegade orange peels.

The final incident occurred just last week.  I was giving another family a tour of the school, which always involves seeing the classrooms and then heading up a staircase and down the road to the pool.  I was walking up the staircase when suddenly my skirt was no longer on me……. yes, I am serious….. my boot caught my skirt (which had an elastic waist) and it was now down below my bottom, at least on one half.  Thankfully, I had leggings underneath, but they were thin, so I am fairly certain the family saw underwear beneath (note to self, be thankful you never liked G strings, good call!)  I tried to be cool, pretend it did not happen – I pulled up the skirt while still talking…. it took a while because a lot of it had been pulled down…..  and I held on to that skirt for the rest of the tour….. trying to ignore the fact that I had practically flashed this new family.  Clearly I must be more careful with stretchy skirts that have elastic waists…….  that family did not enroll – although I am not 100% sure the skirt incident factored into their decision, I was highly embarrassed nonetheless…… perhaps I need to stick with pants at work.

The nature of our humanness is that we will always mess up and we will always have those moments that embarrass us so much we want to crawl under a rock and hide.  If this does not happen at work, our kids will help humble us at home.  I suppose the key is how we choose to deal with these situations.  If we are able to find humor, step back, and not take ourselves too seriously, we are likely to get through without the experience being too traumatic….

Today, 24 days ’til 40, I think I will try to avoid birds, orange peels, steps and skirts… at least for a while!



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34 responses to “24 Days ’til 40: Occupational HAZARDS

  1. walkwiththerabbi

    January 28, 2013 at 00:20

    It is sooo good to reconnect. I never doubted your humanity for one moment! That’s what makes you real! I’ve been the catalyst and target of enough faux pas for the both of us for several lifetimes. Are you still getting my Sunday posts? Hugs to you and blessings to the family.

    • 400daystil40

      January 28, 2013 at 23:45

      I am so glad that you found your way back to my site again – yes, I am receiving and enjoying your Sunday posts! 🙂

  2. behindthemaskofabuse

    January 28, 2013 at 01:44

    i so tried not to laugh but….i’m sorry….bawhahaha!

  3. tuttacronaca

    January 28, 2013 at 02:07

    Hi! There’s an award for you!
    I hope you will enjoy it! 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      January 28, 2013 at 23:44

      Wow, thank you so much for putting a smile on my face today!

  4. veggiebentolove

    January 28, 2013 at 02:08

    The story of a stealth “attack apple” slice in the hallway… it’s full of students, I have my bin full of teaching supplies on my way to a regular classroom from my resource room and office, and I slip, somehow falling forward on some apple on the floor, so my learning materials go everywhere, so the attack apple caused more chaos than had my arms been empty.

  5. thelastsongiheard

    January 28, 2013 at 06:46

    Perhaps you should consider not leaving the office? 😛

    • 400daystil40

      January 28, 2013 at 23:43

      Yes, this has been taken under consideration – I have also considered only leaving the office in some sort of padded suit….. 🙂

  6. sapphospeaks

    January 28, 2013 at 06:53

    Or you could have someone else do the tours. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    • 400daystil40

      January 28, 2013 at 23:42

      hmmmm……. I actually like doing them, it helps me to get to know incoming families better!

  7. Spider42

    January 28, 2013 at 16:58

    …ah those sneaky orange peels… damn their renegade hearts!

    I understand what you mean at the end – some might say it’s melodramatic but I don’t because I find that both things big and small can be included on the list of “it’s not how we fight that matters, but how we get back up after getting knocked down and what you learn from it.”

    And regarding the skirt thing, feel not too bad and be not ashamed. Also it occurs to me that depending on the childs… orientation… he/she might have been even more inclined to join because kids are kids after all, even when they don’t know why! 😛 😀


    • 400daystil40

      January 28, 2013 at 23:39

      Very good point! It is all about persevering, particularly when our ego is slightly bruised!

  8. Gardengirl

    January 28, 2013 at 20:21

    Excellent attitude! If we take ourselves too seriously, life becomes a trial instead of a treasure. 🙂


    January 28, 2013 at 23:43

    Thanks for your support, Life at times seems to drop, slip, and trip us all up at times. Nice recovery!

  10. knittingwithheart

    January 29, 2013 at 23:41

    Oh my goodness, this post has me LOL-ing! A bird once pooped smack dab atop my freshly washed hair… which caused my husband to laugh, as he tried to tell me it was a sign of good luck! … ‘guess bird poop is always funnier on someone else 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      January 30, 2013 at 00:18

      I am glad that others can laugh with me! 🙂

  11. Another Thousand Words

    January 30, 2013 at 01:53

    Sorry, 400, I had to laugh…and the hardest at the last episode! Just when we’re the teeniest bit ‘full of ourselves’, we are brought back down to earth again. Don’t ask me why it works that way, it just does! In all actuality, I’ll wager those parents more than likely appreciated the fact that you ARE human…and not just another ‘robotic’ educator!

  12. sharonhughson

    January 30, 2013 at 02:30

    A seagull pooped in my mouth once when we we at the beach. Yep. In my mouth. My kids believe this is the funniest moment ever at the beach. I still close my mouth if a seagull flies by.
    I’m sure your flashing the family had nothing to do with their decision. If it did, they need to get a sense of humor.
    Thanks for sharing your humbling moments. We all have them. It takes a mature and secure individual to share them.

    • 400daystil40

      January 30, 2013 at 23:53

      Oh, that is so gross! Now I feel much better even taking into account the issues I had to deal with….

  13. Lucianus Mauricius

    January 30, 2013 at 05:54

    This was fun to read. These are things that make life fun at times, though we might feel embarrassed and sometimes (like the bird incident) disgusted :).
    So here is one of my most embarrassing moments which occurred a few years back. I was riding the bus home which was my favorite form of transportation since it took longer and I had a great view of different neighborhoods. While on the bus (as most times ) I fell asleep. I was sleeping so deep that the only thing which frantically woke me up was a sound, a big deep sound. Yeah, I unfortunately had just passed a huge amount of gas and since I was facing four people seated in the side seats I woke up to see them starring at me in disbelief. You have no idea how I felt at that moment and tried my best to keep a straight face and not blush, though I know I did.

    • 400daystil40

      January 30, 2013 at 23:51

      Thanks – at least my heartache can be helpful as entertainment for teachers!!! 🙂

  14. The Quiet Borderline (back in hospital)

    January 31, 2013 at 20:34

    Oh dear oh dear. So embarrassing.

  15. simon7banks

    February 7, 2013 at 21:22

    I’ve often felt unfavourable about people who laugh at their own jokes. On one of the very few occasions I committed this offence, I was punished. I was on a birdwatching walk along coastal marshes with three other people. We’d stopped to eat, sitting on the seaward side of the concrete sea-wall. I said something I evidently found very funny and threw my head back in laughter. I hit the back of my head quite hard on the corner of the protruding top of the wall. I was shocked – maybe stunned – for a moment. I had been eating a corned beef sandwich. A moment later corned beef came out of my nose. This was embarrassing, but of course I wasn’t sure at first it wasn’t part of me.

    I failed to even break my skull (which appears to be pretty thick), but I thought: I could have killed myself and if so, imagine the conversation:

    “Simon’s dead.”
    “No! How?”
    “He killed himself laughing at his own joke.”

    • 400daystil40

      February 7, 2013 at 23:06

      I am not sure why, but this really made me giggle and smile 🙂

  16. Christy Petty

    February 8, 2013 at 01:18

    So glad I am not the only one who has had clothing failure. I found out that the thing I was stomping on in the rain as I was trying to open the car door was my skirt– again leggings saved the day!


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