Most people look back at something lthey’ve written five years ago and think about how they’ve grown and matured, but I look back at this and think: I haven’t learned one damn thing! I’m still the same stupid ass I always was, if not worse because I’m now older and more set in my ways. The one thing I do know for sure is that I still always think people are kidding with me and it still gets me into trouble every time.
One would think after the countless times that I’ve embarrassed myself that I’d have learned a lesson or two, but the only thing I’ve learned is that of the senses I have – common sense isn’t one of them.
One day at work, my boss ambled in to our morning meeting looking scattered and disheveled as usual, so I didn’t think anything of it. He looked up and paused before he said “Sorry I’m late, we had to have my wife committed last night.” Take that in and think about what a normal response to that should be. Now think what my reaction was. Apparently, its bad form and not the correct response to start laughing hysterically when someone shares that kind of personal information, but I truly didn’t realize he was being serious. He wasn’t a jokester or anything like that, but everyone has their moment now and then. Everyone was staring at me as if I was the crazy one, when I said “Oh right, my wife is nuts, should I commit her too?” Come to find out – the wife really was all sorts of crazy and he really did have her committed the night before. Of course I felt terrible when I realized he wasn’t kidding, I’m not an animal…but he did have to tell me three more times because I really thought he was playing around on a Monday morning. I mean, who says personal things like that in front of a moron like me? Thank God he was used to being around crazy at home so he didn’t hold a grudge against me.
I won’t even get into the time that I didn’t believe that my uncle had committed suicide because it was April First. I got the call and was like “April Fool’s Day? Sure it’s real. Ha ha, jokes on you.” Never once did it occur to me that no one in their right mind (even my crazy, crazy sister) would ever joke about something like that. In my defense, I was also really wasted so my sister had to repeat it to me more than ten times before I took her seriously. I’m not proud of that, but it was April first and I was wasted and I mean, come on, it was April Fool’s Day – I’m not counting that one. I will admit though, it wasn’t a shining moment for my highlight real…
Worse than that, if you can believe it, was the time I was at work and we had a new assistant named Miriam who was on her second day of work. Her second day of work and there she was, doubled over in pain at her desk. I’m pretty sure we can stop here and safely say that any person in the world with absolutely any sense whatsoever would have immediately stopped and called an ambulance, but of course, not me. I thought for sure that she was messing around. No joke, I was a hundred percent convinced that she was screwing with me. In hindsight, who in their right mind would kid around about that on their second day of work, but at that moment in time, I could have sworn that she was kidding. Here she is doubled over kneeling on the floor next to her desk and I was standing there grilling her – trying to “catch her” in the joke. She’s groaning in pain and says “Tony, I need an ambulance…I’m not sure what’s wrong with…” and I cut her off and I was like “Oh right…you’re not doing well…what happened? Did you eat in the employee cafeteria?” and was laughing to myself. She nodded yes and then I thought for sure she was kidding. It was right around then that she had started to attract a crowd of other people around who thankfully had a lot more sense than me and called an ambulance.
I was trying to tell her to stop playing around because if they call the ambulance, there’s no turning back and they won’t think it’s funny if she’s fooling around, but all I got were confused looks and icy stares…it wasn’t until the paramedics finally showed up and as they were loading her onto the stretcher, they asked her who she wanted to go in the ambulance with her, that I started to almost believe that she might not be kidding after all. She looked at them and then at me with fear and concern, and then she shot me the look that told me very loud and clear that there was absolutely no way she wanted me to go with her, and she chose Lauren instead. Obviously a smart move. I wasn’t officially offering to go, but if she would have requested me, how could I say no. Even I’m not that mean.
I’m not proud to say, that even after seeing her rolled out on that stretcher moaning in pain, that for some odd reason I still didn’t really, one hundred percent believe that she wasn’t kidding until Lauren called from the hospital a few hours later to say that Miriam was being prepped for surgery. Apparently, it was really serious and she needed to have her gall bladder removed because it had ruptured. Picture me with egg on my face as everyone was mad at me as if it were my fault and I was the one that ruptured that gall bladder. I did feel terrible when I heard that and then I felt even worse when her husband called me to apologize because she’d have to be out of work for a week or two and he wanted to tell me how sorry she was for this happening at work on day two. I could not apologize enough and reassure him that it was OK, but I’m sure he was thinking what an ass I was the whole time.
After that incident, we actually had to institute the use of a safe word at work which I will circle back and talk about another time. I would like to say that a lot of people that I worked with needed the safe word to know when something was serious, but I’m pretty sure it really was just for me…I bet a lot of people have this happen to them, but since I was in charge of the department, apparently, I should have been an example and come to find out – it’s frowned upon when the boss is an idiot and can’t recognize that someone in distress obviously needs medical attention. I’d like to say that I have learned my lesson, but I wouldn’t hang around me if you’re not feeling well. After all, I am the same idiot my wife had to tell ten times that she was in labor after her water broke, because I thought she was kidding around. In fairness to me, it was during a hurricane where we had no power and it was storming like mad outside, so I thought for sure that she was messing with me. Apparently, a lot of women don’t really play jokes when they’re in labor…Point taken.
Hopefully in five more years, I won’t be revisiting another debacle I caused because I didn’t believe someone, but odds are pretty set against me learning any lessons or gaining any insight into the inner workings of a normal mind. Be careful folks and if you’re friends with me, be extra careful as my stupidity knows no bounds…