For those people that don’t know me, I can be a little bit socially awkward at times. Don’t get me wrong, I know how to socialize and in a lot of situations, I have been the life of the party. However, when there issues dealing with peoples emotions, I have a tendency to clam up or say all of the wrong things. For this story, my intentions were good. HOWEVER! Things took a turn for the worse when i finally decided to be apart of a conversation. I will try to explain the best I can:
I went to a work function not too long ago and the entire time there was an elephant in the room. One of my co-workers asked me why I was just sitting there not saying anything. I being the terribly honest person that I am said “Cause we don’t have anything to talk about.” I kept telling him over and over again that I’m basically just keeping to myself until I can leave.
In my mind, I start to think maybe I was being a little rude so maybe I should engage in the conversation. Why? Why did I do this? If I could turn back the clock i would. I finally find an opening in the conversation. There was a guy and a girl talking about his former roommate and they go back and forth a bit but what I hear from the tail end of the conversation is roommate, partner, and an ugly situation. Me being me, I turned to the guy and say “You and your partner had a bad break up?” Needless to say, the conversation took a nasty turn very quickly.
The guy at the table went completely and utterly ape shit! The more I tried to clean it up, the worse the situation became. One of my other co-workers was sitting across the table shaking his head. He said he was signaling me not to ask him if he was gay or or to imply that he was gay. I didn’t ask him directly. I just heard them talking and decided to jump right in head first. I didn’t call the dude gay, I only apologized for implying that he was gay.
Now after realizing that I stepped in it I apologized profusely and then excused myself I left the restaurant under the impression that it was a dead subject. When I got to work that following Monday, it was part two of the drama. I had to tell my chain of command what took place just in case dude wanted to open a case on me.
I’ve had some time to reflect on the situation and I’ve come up with what went wrong.
1. I broke my own rule #1 of socializing with my co-workers.
2. I broke my own rule #2 of becoming socially involved with my co-workers. I have found over the years that we can talk about work. I can help you with your issues (Part of my job) but my life and family are off limits. I know that shipboard life requires me to have that camaraderie but this new Navy there are too many pieces of red tape every where.
3. I assumed. I made an ass out of myself.
The jury is still out on #3. I have a lot of openly gay friends and after rolling with them for the last 20 years I still don’t think I was wrong in my assumption. However, for today, since I don’t want someone to log on and read this and I really catch a case. I’m just going to keep my opinions, on the down low.