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

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    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.
    I don;t think we need to jump to someone having a disability when they don't react the way someone wants them to

  2. #12
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    Okay B, but just to clarify, I was talking about work; we celebrate birthdays, awards, last day, etc., with cake, sometimes ice cream, no one tells the person in advance it's usually a surprise, and frankly a fun surprise!

    Like I said, this sort of attention normally makes me very uncomfortable, however as I said, when it happens, I am gracious, I would never dream of putting on a sour face and acting like this guy did, no matter how uncomfortable I felt.

    Again, I just think it's rude to behave that way, jmo. I respect your opinion though, as always.

    Touching is a completely different thing, people should not be touching/hugging in the office, period so agree with you there.

  3. #13
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    Originally Posted by abitbroken
    Perhaps were there people who did not know he was leaving as well? Maybe this spilled the beans, so to speak
    Yes, this was part of my point. Work should be a safe place in this particular respect where you're not expected to get personal or be the center of personal attention in the way described. It resonates because yesterday one of my bosses asked me a personal question during a one on one meeting. First time this has happened at this job (I've been there almost 2.5 years). This is how he did it. First he asked if he could ask me a personal question. I trust him so I said yes. He asked (and honestly I would have been fine with the question and loved that he asked first) . Then we discussed my answer - and again because this was one on one it was ok. Had he asked me that sort of personal question in front of a group - it really might have been awkward. Makes all the difference.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    ..... A reserved reaction, as opposed to gushing gratitude, is not cause to start speculating that the guy has some kind of a disability or a social disorder.

    No, I don't even agree that he was rude. He came, he briefly participated, he THANKED the OP personally, and then he left. Just because he didn't react in some bubbly gushing way like the OP imagined he would, doesn't make him rude or a bad person in any respect. This is an office. He did what was required and no more, he was perfectly polite about it, and that's fine.

    The only thing is OP's expectations weren't met and her ego got bruised as a result and she took it way too personally when she shouldn't have. So I'll say it again, when you do something, be sure that you aren't doing it for the sake of a certain reaction. If you do things expecting a certain reaction, certain behavior, certain level of gushing gratitude, then you will be bitterly disappointed more often than not. Lesson learned and next time, check your motivations.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    It's ok. You did a nice thing. Perhaps he was a bit taken aback. Some people are uncomfortable around fanfare. Are you planning on staying in touch outside of work? Are you on his LinkedIn?

  7. #16
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    It may be that he was trying to hold back emotion... sometimes good byes are hard if you have grown particularly fond of your team. Not everyone likes showing emotions in front of others.

  8. #17
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    ..... A reserved reaction, as opposed to gushing gratitude, is not cause to start speculating that the guy has some kind of a disability or a social disorder.

    No, I don't even agree that he was rude. He came, he briefly participated, he THANKED the OP personally, and then he left. Just because he didn't react in some bubbly gushing way like the OP imagined he would, doesn't make him rude or a bad person in any respect. This is an office. He did what was required and no more, he was perfectly polite about it, and that's fine.

    The only thing is OP's expectations weren't met and her ego got bruised as a result and she took it way too personally when she shouldn't have. So I'll say it again, when you do something, be sure that you aren't doing it for the sake of a certain reaction. If you do things expecting a certain reaction, certain behavior, certain level of gushing gratitude, then you will be bitterly disappointed more often than not. Lesson learned and next time, check your motivations.
    No I do not think he has a disability or a disorder based on how he reacted -not at all! I am just making the point that she does not know him personally and she did not ask him whether he'd be ok with this situation, a situation he is not required to be ok with at work, particularly on his very last day. It's not required to be made the center of attention by a coworker (not his boss even) on the last day of work. I meant it completely hypothetically to make it perfectly clear. I do not think he was as cordial as he could have been -I don't see his reaction as simply polite and reserved - he went beyond that and I think his reaction was perfectly normal and typical and all of that - and I do not think he was rude or unprofessional.

  9. #18
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    I think some people just donít like being the center of attention and gushed over. Doesnít mean he didnít like what you did.

  10. #19
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    ..... A reserved reaction, as opposed to gushing gratitude, is not cause to start speculating that the guy has some kind of a disability or a social disorder.
    I agree. That is a pretty big leap.

    OP, I don't think you did anything wrong. For all you know, he might be worried that people would tease him for being such a "big help"...nudge, nudge, wink, wink. He might be seeing someone else at work and hopes she doesn't take your gesture the wrong way. He might just have been having a bad day in general. I wouldn't stress it, in any case.

    In the the future, I would run it by the coworker who is leaving and check if it's cool that you acknowledge the occasion in such a manner.

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by MissCanuck
    I agree. That is a pretty big leap.

    OP, I don't think you did anything wrong. For all you know, he might be worried that people would tease him for being such a "big help"...nudge, nudge, wink, wink. He might be seeing someone else at work and hopes she doesn't take your gesture the wrong way. He might just have been having a bad day in general. I wouldn't stress it, in any case.

    In the the future, I would run it by the coworker who is leaving and check if it's cool that you acknowledge the occasion in such a manner.
    I agree too. I did not make that leap and sorry if it was taken that way. It was a hypothetical. I agree with the rest of what you wrote.

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