Monday, April 17, 2017

"The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate." ~ Douglas Engelbart

You thought that sound was an air compressor cooling down, didn't you? Nope. It was just me taking a breath of air after being on the run the last few days. Welcome back. It is Monday, April 17, 2017, and it's time to get a new start on a new day. I traveled to Louisiana last Friday and I am glad to say mom is some better in some ways. She is getting good care from my wife, my sister, and dad. I came home Saturday afternoon and I enjoyed teaching a Resurrection lesson Sunday morning. Now it is on with this week where I will be finalizing plans for the wife's 70th coming up this weekend. That will be followed a week later by our middle son's 49th, and then mom's 93rd on May 3rd. How does the old saying go? A Poppy's work is never done. Ladies, don't write me. Just making a little joke. You know. Play on words. I heard someone say recently they had never been so embarrassed. They had run into a friend in the mall and offered enthusiastic congratulations on her being with child. One problem. The friend she had not seen in a while was not pregnant. She had gained some weight. The person telling this ended it with those famous words, "I could have died!" That got me to thinking about embarrassment. It plagues us all. There are times when we no doubt are embarrassed for the wrong reason, but, there are also times when that desire to go and hide is warranted.

This specific situation has never happened to me but I've been present and observed it. A major business dinner was held at an exclusive restaurant. It was a big deal. We had about a dozen of our people and had taken the Company jet to be at this research facility for a few days. In addition to our group, there were probably the same number of technical research people along with their senior management. The bill was enormous, but, my boss, as was his inclination, said he would pay. His American Express card was declined, sending shock waves through the room. It was flagged because it was so high. I saw my boss's face turn from red to purple and then that potted meat look. We ended up taking up an offering of sorts and paying in cash. I'm not sure he ever recovered from that one. But, one good thing came out of it. It became a legendary story for all of us who happened to be there that day.

I've done the pushing of the door when it was supposed to be pulled, with people behind me. They thought it to be a lot funnier than I. I've spoken to someone in response to their greeting on the elevator only to find out they were greeting someone behind me. No. That's not a short people joke. I'm sure my face had quite a colorful response on that one. I, as a young man, mentioned to a cafeteria worker that she had some kind of black mark on her forehead. Very politely she told me that it was her religion. Yikes! I've come out of a restroom and met someone at the door just as the most foul odor ever smelled comes wafting through the air. I wanted to scream, it wasn't me, but that look of disgust on their face haunted me for at least a couple of minutes. I still remember forgetting to put a plastic cup in the little holder and pouring coffee all over the counter and the floor. It was one of the first big manager meetings at our Company that I was invited to. I was petrified. A blessing from above, however, as it was only seen by one person, a dear lady who was the assistant to our department vice president. She looked at me, smiled, and said, "Don't worry about it. I will clean this up. Go sit down and enjoy the rest of the meeting." I think maybe I had started breathing again by then, but, I can tell you, I thought then and still do today, "Yes, there is a God in heaven!" Amen. .....More later.

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