Did I Just Hear That Correctly?

A little while ago, a friend of mine brought a take-out lunch to American Jewelry and Loan to have lunch with me. I had told her we’d be able to sneak into the back office, but it was crazy busy and the TV crews were filming, so we had to eat out on the floor. We were sitting and chatting in between customers, and I overhear one of my employees bitching and moaning to another.

Someone here is seriously the major cause of my hangover right now. Ugh I’m just like dying over here with this headache.

I crane my neck around, like a full 180 degrees, to look at her. Did I just hear that correctly? I had to ask myself. Whoa. Obviously I had apparently heard it accurately, because she said to me in (what she thought was) an assuring tone, “Oh don’t worry – it’s not you!” Oh honey, I think you missed the point of why I was upset.

Quite frankly if you’re hung over while you’re at work, and you’re admitting that to your boss inadvertently, and you were drinking to that level due to a coworker’s actions, I couldn’t care less if I WAS the cause of your hangover. Because sweetie, if that’s the case, you’ve got much bigger problems with me. Let’s get real. Real fast.

I was still dumbfounded and turned to my friend, saying to her, “this is apparently what I deal with. This is how I’m repaid for treating employees well.” She just laughed, not even sure how to respond, in between bites of her Greek salad.

Driving home that night after work, I was still reeling at what this woman had said, openly, in front of her boss, in front of customers, just as if she had mentioned the weather. And it hit home with me. What am I perhaps too open about? What do I share while on the phone inadvertently to strangers while I grocery shop? Who is dumbfounded by my comments without me perhaps realizing it?

The hard truth is that I really just don’t know. Everyone is running around in their own little bubbles, with their own problems and exciting news bits – and hangovers. And just like everyone else, sometimes I don’t realize when my “bubble” of existence bleeds into someone else’s – perhaps causing someone else to question if he heard that correctly, just as I did.

So, before you start gabbing, consider your audience – both your intended one, as well as any unintended listeners. Make sure you wouldn’t be embarrassed if your mother-in-law heard what you said. If you would, find a different spot to chit chat… or, even better, just keep your hangover to yourself.

Ashley Gold