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"You Big Dummy!"

by Randell Gresham 7 months ago in Embarrassment
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Mouths say the darndest things

Have you ever had a moment at work, when out of nowhere you caught a serious case of “word vomit” and thought you were going to get fired on the spot?

I won’t lie, there have been quite a few moments in my life where my mouth has spoken words without consulting me. Words just fall out of my mouth like the rainbow trail from Nyan Cat’s backside. The words can be quite as colorful sometimes too.

There was one time that stands above all others. I don’t know what my mouth thought it was doing but I believed, at the time, that it was going to get me fired.

It was so bad that I had to go home after my shift, sprinkle some rice on the floor and tell my mouth to get on its knees on it and think about what it did. I also took away its video games because I believe they had a bad influence on it.

Bad mouth, shame on you!

So what did my mouth do?

My mouth, and the rest of me for that matter, started working at Walmart in 2006. The store I was working at was brand new, not even open at the time of my starting, I was part of the crew that put the first products on the shelves.

Most of my time there is irreverent, so I will skip the boring details, and quite a few funny ones as well. I won’t tell you about the time my best friend flew a remote-controlled helicopter around the store, the time I watched a guy stuff a whole rack of ribs down his pants, or the time we watched a lady stick a pack of Smirnoff in her purse, us follow her, tell a manager, and her tell him “Oh, I thought I paid for it.”

No, the fun stories aren’t worth wasting your time with either. Let’s move on!

For my first three years at the store, I worked overnight in the dairy department (which is where all of those stories took place, fun times Donald, fun times.) In my fourth year, I moved to electronics, which is something I have always been passionate about, it’s also where I got to know my first (and unfortunately) late wife. Finally, in my fifth and final year, I moved to the backroom and became a supervisor.

This story focuses on an event that happened in my fourth year there, while in electronics.

The store manager at the time really liked me. He basically put me second in command in electronics and always had me helping the department manager do her stuff including setting mods (the layout of the items on the shelves that changes every other week just to confuse customers), keeping up with inventory, price changes, basically, anything she needed help with.

I didn’t mind, I loved my job, I loved helping her, I loved learning new things, and loved working directly with the department manager. She was awesome, she’s still awesome, although not in electronics anymore. I still love stopping and talking to her when I’m in the store sometimes.

One day, while walking to the backroom, I walked past the beer coolers and saw one of the assistant managers and a couple of other workers with a pallet doing the beer mod and thought to myself “that’s weird, I thought the vendors did their own mods,” but continued walking.

While in the backroom I was talking to the store manager and the assistant manager, “D” (I’m excluding his real name) that was working on the beer mod started walking toward us. When he got close the store manager asked him “‘D’, what are you working on right now?”

“D,” told him he was redoing the beer mod and the store manager told him just what I had believed “the beer people do their own mod.”

“D,” looked at him and replied with “oh!”

I then looked at “D” and said “…”

PAUSE!

To this day, over ten years later, I have no idea what I was thinking when I opened my mouth to say the three words that came out of my mouth next.

Oh wait, that’s right, it was all my mouth’s fault, I had no control over that, ignore the last paragraph!

UNPAUSE!

I then looked at “D” and said “You big dummy!”

Time stood still.

What. Did. I. Just. Say.?

Did I really just say that?

Who said that?

I immediately thought to myself, “oh crap, I’m fired!”

Then the store manager busted out laughing, which made it worse in my mind, “D” and I just looked at each other, both in shock at what I had just said.

Honestly, I don’t remember what happened right after that. I was so embarrassed that I think I blacked out for a little bit, but I think the store manager told me to get back to work. He might have been scared that “D” was going to throttle me and wanted to save my life, I really don’t know.

I do remember however that I did find “D” not long after and apologized. I messed up, I didn’t mean to say it, and I wanted him to understand that.

Luckily, he was cool about it, he understood it was a slip-up and I meant no harm by it. He just said, “Don’t let it happen again.” It didn’t.

Out of all of the time, I have worked, four years at McDonald’s, five years at Walmart, and eight years at a casino this was easily the most embarrassing and character-building moment. I messed up, I said something I shouldn’t have and apologized for it.

I think, by apologizing, I gained a lot of respect from “D” and he appreciated the fact that I was man enough to admit I messed up.

It also taught me a lesson; pay more attention to what I say. Something that I often do still struggle with, I have slip-ups all of the time but I have gotten better.

Look at me, I keep saying “me” when I clearly had nothing to do with it, it’s all my mouth’s fault.

There is something I'd like everyone to take away from this story. Firstly, to everyone in general. You will make mistakes! Don't be scared to man up (or woman up) and admit it. Making a mistake, admitting it, and apologizing for it can gain you respect. No, it won't always work but you are a better person for admitting it nonetheless.

On the flip side of that, we all (I’m talking to bosses too) need to remember that everyone else makes mistakes too. People will have slipups and say something they should have kept behind their teeth. If they apologize recognize it is for what it is, they are trying to be a bigger person by admitting they screwed up. It takes a lot of courage to do something like that. Really consider accepting their apology.

That being said; this is not an excuse for racial or outright hateful remarks or actions. Those should never be tolerated, nor excused, especially repeatedly.

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If you enjoyed reading this and got a chuckle or two out of it, please consider hitting the heart, subscribing to read my future articles, and leaving a tip, all of which would be greatly appreciated. If you know anyone that would find value in this article, please share it with them. Thanks so much for reading.

Embarrassment

About the author

Randell Gresham

It is my mission to help spread awareness about substance use disorders so that together we can save lives because SUD is one of the most stigmatized mental disorders that anyone can suffer from.

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