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Thread: Did I embarrass him in front of everyone??? I feel terrible :(((

  1. #1
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    Did I embarrass him in front of everyone??? I feel terrible :(((

    Hi

    So I decided to bring a "thank you" cake on my last day with an incredible team that I've worked with for few months. But there is this guy from the team who helped me big time during my training at this company. I liked him and I guess he liked me too because I used to see him around me EVERYWHERE I go. He liked to chat with me and show me stuff and after some time he asked me for my number. Anytime I would tell him, "Hey you should try this thing it's great", next morning he would tell me that he did!

    Anyways, this guy found a better job so he resigned and was leaving the company today, a week before I will. So I decided to bring the cake the last day he will be at the company because I wanted him to be there, I thought he really deserves a thank you as well.

    And so I did. I brought the cake to the office and I thanked everyone and said "I actually wanted to do this on my last day here, but since today is (his) last day, I decided I will do it today because I want (him) to be here with us. He helped me a lot and was really supportive, so thank you!". Then I complimented him saying how smart and passionate he is about his job and how the new company is so lucky to have him!

    However!

    I was expecting him to be more cheerful, but in fact I could feel that he was reallllyyy uncomfortable as he kept a poker face the whole time. He just ate a tiny bit, stayed for around 3 minutes, told me "thank you" and left... like he didn't even care!

    He is not a shy person at all, he is verrrryy social, that's why I found it weird!

    It was really awkward, kinda ruined the moment too and made me feel I made a mistake. Did any part of this upset him in any way? Did I do something wrong? I just wanted him to be happy and give him an extra nice memory to remember on his last day, but apparently I gave him a bad one :(

    I know you will tell me that I should ask him directly but I know he will tell me that nothing is wrong.
    Please help me understand what I did wrong. And also, should I apologize?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    I dont think you did anything wrong. Maybe he felt embarrassed? Who knows. Being kind is never a bad thing.

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    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Some people may be very social and outgoing and at the same time don't like being made the center of attention or otherwise fussed over. Kind of like lots of people will donate only on condition of anonymity.

    Anyway, you didn't do anything wrong or bad so don't beat yourself up for it. You meant well and no doubt he knows it. It just seems like you might have discovered his shy side. When you choose to do these things, just do it because you want to do it and don't carry personal expectations on how others should react to it. He came, he had some cake, he left. It doesn't mean he didn't appreciate the effort you made, just not in the way you wanted it. Focus on the whole team, because I hope it wasn't just about him. I'm sure plenty of others in the office enjoyed the cake and your gesture.

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    I would have told him in advance of your plans. You have no idea what he would have wanted on his last day, whether he's had a bad experience with being gushed over on a last day, whether he actually resigned and found a better job or was fired, etc. Some people just don't like being the center of attention. Also he may not want others to know all the details he shared about how he helped you/was supportive. Maybe he wasn't supposed to be doing that. Maybe he confided in people that he had a crush on you and your gushing embarrassed him, who knows. When I've been in his situation -leaving a company, a life transition -my coworkers or boss always asked me what I would like whether a lunch or a cake or nothing. And anyway you weren't his boss -I can see where a boss might plan a "surprise" for her employee who is leaving - surprise baby shower or bridal or bon voyage, etc.

    I know you had good intentions. I would just take this as a minor lesson.

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  6. #5
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    I think you did a lovely thing.

    Why not ask him out for a cocktail if you like him.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hollyj
    I think you did a lovely thing.

    Why not ask him out for a cocktail if you like him.
    I second this. Some people don't handle goodbyes very well. Not your monkey. He's out, so he's free to pursue now if you want to.

  8. #7
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    you should ask him and apologize if you made him uncomfortable.

    The lesson learned here is: out of COURTESY, you should've told him your plans beforehand and asked if that sounded good to him - since you were going to make him a central figure in front of the group as well. If you are ever going to do somethign that EFFECTS anybody else - it's always courteous and best to make sure it's okay with them first.

    What you did was very thoughtful and terrific! BUT AGAIN, it affected somebody else. Therefore, to surprise him out of the blue without making sure with him first was probaly the mistake here.

  9. #8
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder

    I second this.
    I third this (that you did a very thoughtful and lovely thing).

    No need to apologize you did nothing to apologize for, plus you don't know that you made him uncomfortable.

    What you did was such a thoughtful gesture, to me he sounds ungrateful/unappreciative, a bit rude tbh.

    I'm very shy about receiving this type of attention, always have been, I simply don't like a lot of fuss being made over me.

    However, when someone goes out of their way to bake a cake or do something else that's thoughtful, I am very gracious; I don't put on a sour face, act like a big stick in the mud and then leave! Good gawd.

    I'm sorry that's just rude and has nothing to do with even being uncomfortable imo.

    Say nothing and move forward knowing you did a very lovely thing that apparently this man did not appreciate, for whatever reason.

    catfeeder is right, NOT your monkey!

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by katrina1980
    I third this (that you did a very thoughtful and lovely thing).

    No need to apologize you did nothing to apologize for, plus you don't know that you made him uncomfortable.

    What you did was such a thoughtful gesture, to me he sounds ungrateful/unappreciative, a bit rude tbh.

    I'm very shy about receiving this type of attention, always have been, I simply don't like a lot of fuss being made over me.

    However, when someone goes out of their way to bake a cake or do something else that's thoughtful, I am very gracious; I don't put on a sour face, act like a big stick in the mud and then leave! Good gawd.

    I'm sorry that's just rude and has nothing to do with even being uncomfortable imo.

    Say nothing and move forward knowing you did a very lovely thing that apparently this man did not appreciate, for whatever reason.

    catfeeder is right, NOT your monkey!
    I agree he could have done a better job of reacting and we don't know what is going on with people. It could be he has a disability which the employer knows of and accommodates and it could affect his ability to react in a socially acceptable way to being thrust into the center of attention by surprise. For example some people hate being touched or tickled - hypersensitive to it - typically it's ok since social etiquette is to ask someone before touching them especially someone you don't know very well. That hypersensitive person might react rudely - because he or she is highly startled and impulsively reacts. Same here. He apparently acted very professionally and socially appropriate in all other interactions you had with him -in fact, you wanted to highlight that to your team! So that tells me that you struck a nerve and that he impulsively reacted and not as professionally as one would expect.

    This is work not a social outing and so while people have to act professionally they shouldn't be expected to get personal at work without advance notice. You made this personal - you certainly highlighted his professional accomplishments but you did it in a gushing/center of attention way which made it too personal/intimate for him. I know your heart was in the right place. He likely did his very best in his reaction and he fell short.

  11. #10
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    Perhaps were there people who did not know he was leaving as well? Maybe this spilled the beans, so to speak
    You kind of stole his thunder sort of making his last day about you. That was *not* cool.

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