Ever jam your foot in your mouth so hard that it was pretty much a case of shoving your foot out your own ass?
That was me today. Tug captain with a stern demeanor, a guy I've never had a problem with, but apparently with a dry sense of humor, goofed on me making a minor boo-boo, and yelled 'get yer head outa yer ass!'
What followed surprised even me. Total misread of the situation. I read it as him seriously being critical... and, stunned, said nothing, staring open-mouthed for about 5 seconds...and then absolutely EXPLODED. I cussed that captain up one side and down the other for a solid 30-45 seconds, saying some genuinely foul things... and he stares at me, open-mouthed, too, and says 'Jesus Christ, I was joking around with you! Didn't you see me smiling?"
No shit. Soon as he said that, I realized that this captain had a very dry sense of humor and could nail a deadpan delivery- and I responded by being an utter dick.
I wanted to light myself on fire at that point, but settled for apologizing profusely. What followed was about a half hour of hell, where I had to look at him, and his deckhand, who heard the whole thing, but tried to make me feel better by saying that he thought the captain was being serious at first, too.
I'm not autistic, at least I didn't think so until today. I'm usually pretty good at reading social cues. Don't know where the hell I missed it, where I didn't see that this guy was looking to kind of establish a new rapport in our working relationship, where we could goof on each other lightly... and I proceeded to shit on that by getting absolutely premenstrual.
Well, lesson learned. I told the captain later than they had to go, as I was too damn ashamed of myself to keep looking at them. To his credit he waved it off, saying that I wasn't going to live today down so easily.
Anyhow, that was my moment. I know I have a big damn mouth sometimes, and definitely Monday Morning Quarterback more than I should, but that was a new low. Thank God the captain was cool about it. There are other folks, guys very much like me, that could have taken a poorly-received joke and escalated it into a moment where things go downhill even faster. Thank Goodness cooler heads prevailed.
Obviously, after that I had to hide my face and not be seen in public. I went into full retreat, and still haven't poked my head outside, 8 hours later.
The All Powerful Machines
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