Embarrassing Moments

Greg England was kind enough to share some of his Beet Red moments in life, and asked if we had any to share.  Mine was a bit long for the comments section on his blog, so I thought I’d share it over here instead.

It was the Adam’s Mark Hotel in St. Louis, MO, at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference in 1989.  I think this was the first time I’d ever been to the conference (this was a BIG deal for me – the company only paid for the Certified Industrial Hygienists to go to the conference, but for some reason, we were allowed to go that year).  There are a couple of good industrial hygienist stories from that year, but this one is universally amusing…so I’ve been told.

Anyway, Mine Safety Appliances always had a HUGE cocktail party on Tuesday evening of the conference – free drinks for anyone registered at the conference.  I think they still do this, but I haven’t been to the MSA party in a long time – besides the lack of interest, who wants to fight with 5,ooo or 6,000 other people for a drink?

So, as we were leaving, there was a v-e-r-y long escalator from the ballroom floor down to the lobby.  At the bottom of the escalator, I could see one of my co-workers talking to our supervisor.  The co-worker – Tom* – was facing away from me as he talked to Rick.  When I reached the bottom of the escalator, I reached out and pinched Tom on the butt.  He turned around with a VERY surprised look – and to my great surprise, it wasn’t Tom.  It was someone I’d never seen before.  All I could say was “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were someone else.”  I quickly walked away – and then the real Tom walked by.  I said “Oh man, I’m so embarrassed.  You won’t believe what I did.”  To which Tom said “What did  you do Joe Bob, pinch somebody on the a**.”

Wait – it’s not over.

Next day.  Big meeting of the industrial hygienists who worked for like-minded companies (we had a name for this “working group,” but I can’t remember it).  As I was getting settled, my boss walked in, along with the guy I’d pinched.  He proceeded to introduce him to me as the Industrial Hygiene Manager for [major competitor], who said “Yes, I believe we’ve met.”


*names not changed; they don’t need the protection, and I’m pretty sure they’ll never read this post.


About Joe

Writing on the things I'm passionate about: my family, my faith, and my work. View all posts by Joe

5 responses to “Embarrassing Moments

  • Greg England

    Good story … thanks for sharing! It’s all in context … out here in CA, most people would not give a second thought to a man pinching another man on the tush.

  • Dee Andrews

    That’s a great story, Joe! We’re just glad you’re still around to tell it. I’m surprised the guy didn’t deck you or something. 🙂


  • Alyssa

    as many times as ive heard that story its still hilarious!!

    i love you daddy!!


  • whitney

    i have to agree with alyssa on this one daddy! and I find it funny no matter how many times i hear/read this story!! (along with all your other stories like the one about your cousins cats-which is my favorite) i love you bunches

  • Milestone « Parapet Safety

    […] dancing in front of a mirror, only to realize it was a window.  That reminded me of another of myembarrassing moments.  Several years ago (while attending yet another one of those conferences) in Atlanta (Georgia, […]

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