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8 Awkward Office Moments and How to Avoid Them

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We all have days when things just don’t go to plan, but make sure it’s not your own fault. Here are a few ways to avoid those awkward office moments:

1. Accidental emails

If you’re sending a personal message, or having a gossip about a colleague, make sure you check the recipient before you send the message. It takes all of two seconds to check so there aren’t really any excuses and a mistake could cost you your job. Use your work email for work only and get into the habit of typing in the recipient’s name last – just before you click ‘send’. If the unthinkable does happen, there’s not much you can do to recover.

2. Wardrobe malfunctions

You’d hope that by the time you find a job you will also have learned how to dress yourself, but for some people this isn’t the case. A hideous jumper can be forgiven and passed off as a personality trait but some things can’t be forgiven: a missing button on a shirt or a ladder in your tights will surely provide you with unwanted attention. Check your clothes the night before you wear them and carry a spare pair of tights in your handbag at all times girls!

3. Lunch on your shirt or in your teeth

The only way to avoid embarrassing yourself is to check your teeth and shirt after each and every morsel you consume. Yes, you may have to run out and buy a new jumper to cover up a mess but it’s either that or give that presentation to a crowd who don’t listen and spend the whole time wondering what the stain is.

4. Spilling coffee

It’s one thing to end up with a coffee stain on your tie, but quite another to break an office PC. If you’re near anything electrical make sure that the lid is securely on your cup so you can avoid that awkward conversation with your boss.

5. Forgetting names

Some people just can’t remember names. You can use a few memory tricks like repeating it in your head when they introduce themselves and saying it out loud in the conversation the first time you meet, but other than that you’re on your own (unless you can ask someone else in the office who won’t let your secret slip).

6. Falling over

We all have a moment where we misjudge just how high a step is, or miss it all together, but wearing uncomfortable shoes or six inch heels isn’t going to help. If you do fall over there’s only one thing to do: laugh. You don’t want to look like the office cry baby, and if you pretend that a minor trip was a jog or jump, you’ll just look silly. Fall, laugh and move on.

7. Bathroom blunders

We’ve all been there: toilet paper stuck to our shoe, zips left open, skirts tucked into tights. Actually, come to think of it, I have never been in that situation. The simple answer is to check yourself in the mirror before you leave. Give yourself the once over to make sure nothing is out of place and if you don’t, you have no one else but yourself to blame.

8. Never assume

Scenario 1: Your co-worker looks pregnant, you tell her congratulations. Turns out, she’s just put on a bit of weight.

Scenario 2: You comment on the lovely photograph on your boss’s desk of him and his daughter. He replies that, actually, it’s his wife, or worse, his son.

Make sure you know all of the facts before you speak and please, for the love of God, think before you speak.


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