How to handle an awkward situation at work…

Picture this. Yours truly had just received a managerial promotion a short while ago, and Administrator Professional’s Day rolls around. The organization holds a grand breakfast for the Admin Professionals in the office. There is fruit and granola and yogurt (oh my!). I’m still doing administration work alongside my employees, so I’m under the impression that this day is still my day! I’m pigging out on parfait and the time comes for HR to hand out gifts.



I yell this to myself, in my head, because I’m at work and need to be profesh. Instead, I choose to say, out loud, with tact, “Am I not an administrative professional? I didn’t get a gift.” (I got called into HR for this, btw. ^_^)

Turns out that the answer to that question was a big, fat, resounding “No.” I am not an Admin Professional. I’m a supervisor now. I rule over those whose day we are celebrating. So I break the tension with a light-hearted, “Well, I’ve had my breakfast. I’ll be leaving now.” Exit stage left.

awkward face
My not-so-attractive “Well this is awkward” face

Side Note: If everyone else knew I wasn’t an Admin Professional, why didn’t anyone say anything to me when I was loading my plate up with Honey Morning Crunch Granola? Office politics, maybe?

We have all been in an awkward situation. It can be hard to recover. But what if that awkward moment happens at work? Or worse, in an interview. You can’t just “awkward turtle” your way out of the situation.

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Awkward Turtle.

Sometimes, I make jokes (that are hopefully funny) at my own expense and let that save me, even though it mostly fails.*See above story*

Other times, I just honestly say “This is awkward, but let’s move past it and on to something else.”

My favorite thing to do in most situations is just smile and walk away.

My friend told me that the best thing to do is put aside your ego and everything will work itself out. You will figure out the best course of action from there.

If you’re a Friends fan, you know how Rachel handled the situation: with courage, integrity, courage (yes, twice, because as Rachel puts it, “you gotta have courage”), and she was not litigious. (I swear, there is a Friends and Seinfeld and Office episode for everything you’ll ever encounter in life.)

How did you handle it? Let me know in the comments!


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