10 March, 2007


Note: I was going to write this post last night, but I was tired (and lazy). I'm glad I waited a day, because now the entry will be much fuller!

I have found a new ailment associated with being born without a mental stop sign: Foot In Mouth Syndrome, or FIMS. The symptoms are so similar it took years for me to be diagnosed with FIMS. But alas, there is no denying that I have it. Watch out - scientists aren't yet sure whether or not it is contagious.

FIMS, much like hemorrhoids, flares up without warning. One minute, you're just sitting there doing your job, and the next minute you are on metaphorical fire (facial or ass-al).

Yesterday, I had quite a flare-up. Background: my boss has mentioned on multiple occasions that his adult son (in his early 20's) is messy and that his wife (boss's - not son's) cleans up after him and it is a pet peeve of my boss. Yesterday afternoon, there were four of us in the office - boss, under-boss, me, and GT - when the boss announces that his son signed up for the Marines over the weekend and that he'd be leaving for boot camp in the summer. Of course, the first thing to pop into my head was the first thing out of my mouth: "does he know he can't being his mom to make his bed?" And unfortunately, under-boss and GT laughed a little too hard.


I temporarily forgot that there is a WAR going on, and that the Marines are the first ones to go anywhere bad or scary. Plus, he's going to be driving (piloting?) some amphibious assault thing. And those amphibious guys are usually the first of the Marines to go anywhere bad and scary. And the boss is stressed because his wife can't seem to stop crying for any major length of time.

I decided the best way to handle the situation is to keep my mouth shut until after my vacation. No jokes. No antics. Just behave myself, speak when spoken to, and make sure I have a job to come back to!

Unfortunately for me, my job requires that I talk to people, even during these FIMS flare-ups. Tonight, for example, I called a couple who will be having dinner at the restaurant during my vacation. I got the wife on the phone, identified myself, from the restaurant in the city (because sometimes the out-of-towners have no clue what I'm talking about if I don't mention the city) and told her I was calling to confirm their reservation. She laughed, and said she would need to check with her husband.

It took two minutes for the husband to get to the phone.

This did not bode well.

Especially when he got to the phone and used the "I'm really mad at you" voice.

I thought perhaps the reservation may have been a surprise, based on the wife's reaction. It was. Not only was the dinner supposed to have been a surprise - the whole Florida vacation was. And I single-handedly blew the whole thing!

The husband was really unhappy, and I apologized about every ten words, but the damage had been done. When our uncomfortable conversation ended, I called his hotel concierge (who had booked the dinner reservation) to give them a heads-up in case he called them hootin' and hollerin' about it. The concierge looked in his folio and couldn't even find any notation that the reservation was a surprise. This means it's not really my fault. But if it's ok with you, I'll believe that it was my fault.

And my boss is treating the situation like it was my fault as well. Well, the restaurant's fault. We're sending them a gift basket - one of those fancy champagne and cheese and cracker ones - to their hotel room. Ordering it is my first priority when I get to work tomorrow (woo... corporate card!). And I'm sure they'll get hooked up somehow at the restaurant as well.

So look out for symptoms of F.I.M.S. in your own activities. Don't let it go untreated. And please share your own embarrassing F.I.M.S. moment in the comments to make me feel better!
Special thanks to random people I found on Photobucket for the use of their pictures. I don't know them... just thought they would help illustrate my plight!


Janette said...

It was so not your fault! (The screwing up the surprise thing, not the mommy/Marines thing.) And I don't see how your boss can hold it against you if the husband didn't tell the concierge that it was a surprise. It's you're job to call and confirm and you were just doing what they pay you to do.

My entire life is one endless F.I.M.S. moment. Just pick any occasion that we've been together since we met and I'm sure you'll find proof to back me up on this one.

Oh and consider this a blanket apology for all of them.

That's part of the reason I hide in my cave. These days I just feel so socially inept that it's really better to inflict myself on others as little as possible.

The ParkHopper said...

oh pish posh...

be loud and proud.

LET them think you're strange... it's liberating once you get the hang of it!

However, I should have added an update to this post when I got home from work last night because 45 minutes into my shift yesterday I ruined another surprise - a 40th anniversary dinner no less - again, not my fault. But the bitter irony taste still hasn't washed out of my mouth!

Janette said...


"Parkhopper aka The Surprise Crusher" Well at least you have a hobby!