Saturday, April 21, 2012

Terrifying Awkwardness- A picture story.

This is a true account of real events. Some names have been changed.

 A couple weeks ago at a Sales meeting, there was a moment so awkward I felt like I was on candid camera or somehow found myself employed by a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Right now, Hadley is 38 weeks pregnant and this is her last day at the dealership. This particular Friday there is a Sales Team meeting held with the entire Sales team, Sales management staff, me and Hadley.

The general manager uses a kind of "wake up" exercise to get everyone involved, paying attention, smiling, and ready to participate. It is intended to go something like this. Manager stands for exercise and says, with a big smile, "Good Afternoon!" Everyone else stands up and repeats, "Good Afternoon!"  Manager: "Welcome to Courtesy Acura!" everyone else:" Welcome to Courtesy Acura!" (Big Smiles!)

What is said and repeated is different and at the discretion of the person leading the...chant, but its normally something along those lines.  It is a mild exercise. Simple. A bit uncomfortable, but not unbearable.

On this particular Friday, however, things were different. Perhaps something was in the air; crazy particles floating all around us.

Regrettably, Andrew*- a fairly new Salesman, has worn tennis shoes with his dress pants, shirt and tie. This is not condoned footwear at the dealership. However, rather than calling him out in private,  it is early in the morning and there are 18 men and 3 women feeling high on crazy air.

Andrew is called to the front of the room, not for an angry scolding, but in a silly manner. He is jokingly told to stand on a chair to show everyone his fancy shoes.
Andrew, slightly embarrassed but going along with it, laughs as he stands up on a chair in front of everyone. He is slightly too tall for the room so he is is just a tiny bit slunched over. And too bad for Andrew, he is inconveniently standing directly below a light that reflects off his shaved head.

After a good laugh about his shoes the managers and sales team keep talking to him,  their voices a little too loud, and simply because he has not been told to get down, Andrew stays standing on the chair. I breath a sigh of relief when the awkwardness ends and Andrew is told he can step down. As he is about to retreat to the safety of his chair, he is invited to lead the morning smile chant. You can see the unwillingness in his eyes. He does not want the focus on him any longer, but does not want to be the one who doesn't do it. He says, "Okay. I dont know what to do..."  Already, I wish to save him. The general manager then stands and give an example "Like 'easiest part of my job!' or 'How can I help you?"' He then moves to the side of the room as everyone else stands, ready to participate.

Andrew stands alone and decides to to go for it. He calmly, a bit quieter than normal, says "Good Afternoon!" Everyone else repeats, "Good Afternoon".

Suddenly, without warning, Andrew lowers himself into a sort of squat, throws his head back, his arms flex by his side, his hands make fists. He begins screaming pre-game football chants into the air. "WE CAN DO IT! AAAAAAAAA LETS GET EM! EAEEAAAAAARRAAGH!"

He squat stomps toward the salesmen, where everyone is standing in shock, and begins pounding his fists on the tables. Coffee cups immediately fly into the air and spill their contents everywhere! A couple men jump back with coffee all over their clothes. A few steaming mocha puddles shake on the table and continue to splash in unison with Andrews continued table pounding. The unexpected turn of events has most people frozen in shock.

Andrew continues screaming into the air as people run about trying to clean up the coffee mess. Simply out of shock, another coffee cup is knocked over in the back of the room as its owner is unable to look away from a moment that has spun wildly out of control!

After a few more yells into the air, Andrew finally sits up and awkwardly laughs/smiles. Instantly he looks as though he is not sure what happened. A group of men are laughing, most people sit in shock. Hadley begins having contractions.

Slowly, the mess is cleaned up, and Andrew sits down at the table next to his fellow salesmen and tries to ignore that their clothes reek of coffee.  One of the managers remembers this was supposed to be a meeting and says "Well......with that.......uh,  lets just go over numbers." The meeting continued as normal, the crazy air had all been used up. Poor Andrew awkwardly sat at his chair, so full of adrenaline that his tennis shoes bounced up and down nonstop, shaking his whole body the rest of the hour. In all honesty, I felt horribly bad for the guy. It was as if this was out of his control. It was a downward spiral and he had too much momentum. It was horrible and amazing all at once.
 Who knew the Hulk was among us? We were unprepared.

That night, Hadley had her baby two weeks early. Welcome to this crazy world.


Brett said...

Out. Of. Control.

Srsly, I'm laughing in hysterics right now. Probably almost as hysterical as Andrew...

Kento and Vanessa said...

Haha No Kidding!?!
That's just to funny!

Rachel said...

I love it when I live moments like these. "Did that really just happen??"

Hilarious! I even read it aloud to Ryan. And my favorite of your illustrations was the one with him squatting and banging the table.