Not every day can be sunshine and reporting credits—sometimes, instead of dazzling our bosses, we smack them in the face. These are true confessions from brave ASME interns who shared their most embarrassing work moments.
Once I got up to go a meeting, and I was just very flustered that day, I reached out and accidentally smacked the editor I was sitting next to.
Once day I was at my lunch table and my boss walked by and so I waved at her and she waved back. And this is in the second week of my internship. So I waved to her and was super smiley, and someone else came over, I think the web developer, and I waved to him. Then the editor-in-chief came by, and I was in a waving mood, so I waved at him very enthusiastically, and he gave me a confused look and just kept walking.
I bought this shocking neon dress—it was on sale—and I was like, I’ll wear it today, it’s super hot out, it’s summery. So I was sitting at my desk and everyone was making these comments like, ‘Oh my gosh, your dress is so bright!’ And then this one editor was like, ‘Hey, I like your dress.’ And I just said thanks without turning around, and she said, ‘Look.’ I turn around and she’s wearing the exact same one. This random neon dress! So we had to take a picture together and then she Instagrammed it—from the Ladies Home Journal Twitter account.
I had to go to this showcase of Broadway performers and it had fancy hors d'oeuvres. One was a poached egg sandwich, so I took it, obviously. It’s possible I just don’t have good table manners, but I bit into it and suddenly had yolk coming down my arm and all over my notebook that I was writing on. People gave me looks. Someone made a comment about my class status.
I interviewed this guy and we were talking about Nelson Mandela’s lung infection. I'm not sure if he wanted to even talk on the phone in the first place—he was being really short with me. I guess I misheard him a couple times, except for the one or two words where I got one letter wrong. He sent me a very angry email saying, ‘I did not say this or this or this.’ And I thought, ‘This is it. I’m done.’ In my defense, I misspelled two or three words—the scientific words are almost exactly the same and have almost the same meanings. I switch one little letter and that’s the end of it. So I thought I was going to die, I thought this was the end, but my editor was like, ‘Okay, we’ll just fix whatever he said.’ And that was it!
My chair is really high, so I have to jump into my seat every day.
I was invited one day to assist our style director on a photo shoot, which was about cheese. It was especially exciting because I had never worked with the style director before, who is sort of a guru in our office—she’s really talented, and she’s quite high on the masthead. I was really stoked about being with her for the day. We were working in our photo studio, and she asked me to bring her a corkscrew. I was so excited about getting to pick out the corkscrew that we were going to use that I gave it to her and while walking off I tripped over a cord. I fell—I totally ate it—and fell flat on my face onto our concrete floors.
By Lucy Feldman, Brown University, Vanity Fair
Edited by Adam Pincus, University of Florida, Field and Stream