I wrote several months ago about my most embarrassing moment, the three-way call gone wrong from 7th grade. I've always known there would be a day that would top it, especially since I'm so far removed from the shame and pain that it doesn't bother me anymore.
Well, folks. That day was today. Something topped it.
This may be one of those things that doesn't actually sound that bad, but it was. It was that bad. Just trust me, ok?
Some backstory: There was an urgent motion I had worked on that needed to be filed with the court. We had already missed our deadline, and we were waiting to hear from the attorney if he wanted to press his luck and file it anyway or just let the court dismiss our case. It was a really stressful situation we had been dealing with all week, and I just wanted it do be done.
My team lead had been emailing the attorney all day trying to see if he wants us to file the motion or not, but he wasn't responding, and we had only 30 minutes to figure it out. So we assembled it, and I volunteered to take it to his office and throw it in the bin, assuming he wasn't there.
I've corresponded with this particular attorney many times via email, but I had never actually talked to him in person. He has a bin outside his office where he put things that need to be signed since he's rarely in his office. The blinds on his office windows are always closed, too, so I've never actually seen him in his office; I just toss stuff in the bin and keep walking. But for whatever reason, I thought I knew who he was. In fact, I knew that I knew who he was. I don't know how I figured it out or why I thought this man was Bob, the attorney in question, but I would've bet a substantial amount of money that I knew who he was.
So imagine my surprise when I walk into Bob's office, and well, it's not Bob. At least I thought it wasn't Bob. But who was this strange man sitting in Bob's chair?? Why would he be here, doing this? What's going on?
A normal, intelligent person who has full possession of their faculties would think hmmm. Maybe this is Bob! Maybe I had him pegged wrong the whole time.
But I'm not a normal person! I was stressed and tired and frazzled, not to mention my outfit was the result of a rushed morning and made me feel like a self-conscious fool. So really, I had already lost home field advantage, you know? I was a mess, and I was still holding onto the image of Fake Bob (Fob) and grappling with the fact that someone was sitting in Bob's chair! In his office! The nerve!
So I held out the folder to Fob and said sometime to the tune of "Sally and I have been emailing Bob about this case and haven't heard back from him. It's urgent and needs to be filed and can you give this to him to look over?"
Meanwhile, Fob looked at me like this:
I thought, what is this guy's deal? I thought he didn't understand, so I continued my diatribe of how Bob hasn't been responding and we need to get this figured out so please can you find Bob or look this over yourself? He kept giving me the Don Draper look like he had no idea what I was talking about, and all I could think was if you're going to cover for Bob, you should probably know what you're doing.
Our conversation went on like this for awhile, and finally I handed him the folder and walked out of his office. I rushed over to my team lead and said "hey who's covering for Bob? Why is he in his office??????????? Why????????" And she looked at me like I had lost mind. Bob? Are you...sure it wasn't him? What are you talking about, Michelle?
I described Fob's appearance, to which Sally said that sounds a lot like Bob. But it's not! It can't be! So we pulled up the firm directory and scrolled through pictures. I quickly saw Fob and said that's him! The guy covering for Bob! I looked for his name to prove my point, only to see that his name is Bob.
That's right! Fob = Bob. BOB = FOB. THEY ARE THE SAME PERSON.
My legs buckled beneath me and I fell into a chair like a snowflake melting into a puddle. I felt my face grow bright red and as hot as the sun as Sally laughed hysterically while trying to calm me down, but failing because she was laughing too hard and I was too busy muttering "I want to die" over and over.
I tried to gather myself by thinking back to the conversation to prove to myself that it really wasn't that bad. But it was. It was that. bad.
Me: "Sally emailed Bob about this."
Fob/Bob: "So she emailed me?"
Me : "No, she only emailed Bob."
It pains me just to write that. I mean, what kind of idiot doesn't figure this out?
Oh! And it gets better. THERE WERE PEOPLE IN BOB'S OFFICE TO WITNESS THIS ENTIRE SITUATION.
You would THINK that some connection would be made in my brain that this guy was SITTING IN BOB'S CHAIR, at his desk, in his office, and signing his documents. BUT NO. I continued to think there was an imposter. NOT ONCE did the thought that I had the wrong Bob these past SEVEN months cross my mind. Synapses were misfiring. That's my excuse. It's a scary day when your brain betrays you.
I clocked out early to go home and hide under the covers, leaving a trail of shame behind me. Partially because I was so mortified I couldn't focus, but also because I had to pee, and I was too scared to walk to the bathroom in case Fob/Bob saw me. (ISSUES.) But before I left, I shot him an email explain my deep embarrassment and begging him to forgive my moment of idiocy.
And then I went home and was so frazzled I dumped the wrong ingredients in my homemade enchilada sauce, and then I accidentally threw a plastic bag and twist tie in the microwave along with a stack of tortillas. Did you know twist ties have aluminum in them? I never thought about/noticed until my apartment smelled like it was burning down and the twist tie was smoldering in the microwave.
I'm having some problems right now.