I never would have imagined my introduction to the CEO of [the company I work for], would involve me making an inappropriate joke and simultaneously one-upping him while being recorded on camera and lapel mic. Yet here I am.
The biggest Freudian slip my tongue will ever make occurred at [the company I work for]’s 50th Anniversary luncheon on January 25th, 2019. I was sitting around a table with my fellow co-workers chowing down on some incredible carne asada quesadillas when a tall, warm gentleman dressed semi-professionally walks up to our table and politely gathers our attention.
At this point there was a cameraman just out of my peripheral vision, vehemently recording every move this man makes. The still un-named, clearly important man begins by thanking us all for being a part of the company and tells a heartwarming story about how the company had survived for 50 years. Then he went on to ask my table that if we had any questions, to please not be afraid to ask.
The tension was sweat inducing by now, people were caught off guard with mouths mid-chew on succulent beef, terrified to say anything to this man who has the power to close down a whole branch with a single phone call. The CEO grew impatient and decided to crack a harmless joke at an attempt to ease the nerves. “Well, if anyone has any suggestions for our 100-year anniversary luncheon, please speak up and we can try to arrange something.” hardly a giggle was heard at that table.
Unbeknownst to me that this man was our CEO, my brain decided to eject the first thought that popped into my head: “How about Coffins?” The entire table erupted in laughter. Everyone except for him. His face perfectly expressed the feeling that pierced my gut as it immediately constricted itself into knots, realizing what I had just said on camera to the CEO of our company.
This event will be seared into my memory forever. It will probably be waking me up at 3am in a cold sweat periodically throughout the rest of my life, cringing my body into paralysis each time it enters my mind. I can only pray that the video footage and audio files get obliterated into cyberspace by an EMP or a spontaneous database facility fire.