Hug It Out

14 Dec

As is typical within any company, there are often major reorganizations of programs. The company I worked for was no different. What was different; however, was that the new Vice President of Operations now sat across from my office.

In an uncharacteristic move, I decided to go over and introduce myself to him. After all, he was kind of a big shot. A man like that can make or break your career.

Now, for normal people that would mean walking up to someone, extending your hand and introducing yourself as you welcome them to the office.  But this is me we’re talking about.  Instead, I recruited an office mate to come with me in hopes that she would do all the talking and just introduce me along with herself.

It worked! Success!!

The next day he came to my office and thanked me for taking the time out of my busy schedule to introduce myself and make him feel welcomed. He commented that being new to a company was made harder by the fact that no one ever wants to talk to the big boss.  I hadn’t actually said a word to him that day, but I wasn’t about to say that I had just stood next to my friend smiling and nodding my head. Instead of pointing that out, I smiled warmly and said “you’re welcome”.

There. I spoke to him in a calm and collected manner. That wasn’t so bad. I actually pulled it off rather nicely {patting self on back}.

A week later, a very good friend of mine was in town for a visit. I had discovered a restaurant near me that mixed excellent mojitos. They included an actual sugar cane in the drink and everything – lovely. We had decided to sit at the bar and get drinks in lieu of dinner, because drinking on an empty stomach is always a good idea.

As I was starting in on mojito #3, I saw the VP walking by me out of the corner of my eye. Naturally, I jumped off my stool and flung my tiny body at him in a bear hug.

At this point, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “WHAT was she thinking???” Well, I’ll tell you.  This is the exact sequence of thoughts that went through my mind:

Do I know that guy?


What do I usually do when I see someone I know?



I immediately regret this decision

WHY are you hugging the Vice President?

You’re definitely getting fired.

Let go of him!

But if I pull away so abruptly it’s going to seem more like an attack then a hug.

Should I commit to the hug or let go?

Hug or let go?

This hug has gone on entirely too long.

I’m lingering.

It’s getting creepy now.


{paralyzed with discomfort}

My arms aren’t working!

Someone help me!


Oh good he pulled away from the hug first.

When I got back to my seat at the bar, my friend gave me the what-the-{bleep}-were-you-thinking-hugging-that-old-dude-you-total-and-utter-spazz look. I knew it well since she had given me a variation of that look many, many times before. I shrugged and explained that in my mojito daze, I had recognized a face and assumed it was a friend.  Before I could stop myself, I hugged him. It was only AFTER initiating the hug that the full realization of who he was hit me.

Most people who drunkenly hurdle themselves at their senior leadership may suffer some consequences, such as getting fired or suddenly getting all the worst shifts at work.  But it had the opposite effect for me.  Not only did he not punish me for my untoward behavior but he came by to comment on what a wonderful and compassionate person I am. Mmmm. Yes. I am, aren’t I?

And that’s how you win someone over with awkwardness.


4 Responses to “Hug It Out”

  1. Ursula December 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    HA!!!!!! Love it!

    • awkwardcharm December 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

      I’m glad you loved it, Ursula!

      • saramo... December 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

        Ahhhh, Only You can do something like that … 🙂


  1. I’m An Awkward Hugger | Awkward Charm - May 1, 2013

    […] This should come as no surprise to my readers who are aware of a previous awkward hugging incident. […]

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