Friday, 11 January 2013

A Fraudulent Slip

A Fraudulent Slip
11 January 2013

Yes, yes!  I know it's actually called a Freudian Slip, but just the other day, someone called it a fraudulent slip and I nearly wet myself, I laughed so much.

Many a true word is spoken in jest.  And sometimes by accident too.

If you are like me, it's happened to you too.  Please, please, please tell me I'm not alone in this?  That you have also accidentally said something inappropriate and uncalled for.  Never intentional.  Yet harmful and particularly painful once you've realized what little gem you've just dropped.  How no amount of back-pedalling and apologizing succeeds in leaving you feeling absolved of guilt.

Like the time I bumped into an old school friend.  And upon remembering that she was pregnant, asking her how long until her baby was due.  Feeling completely sure of myself that I had no need for worry.  That I'd got this one right.  Only for my self-confidence to go up in flames, once she replied "Oh, he's two weeks old already".  And please enlighten me.  Exactly how do you make a successful recovery from a clanger like that?  Any advice out there?

Or the time, I had arranged a photo shoot at my house when I still had my Toptots Franchise.  How a photographer would come in for a few consecutive days and I would book slots for clients to come and take family pics.  How I spent loads of time, acting like a clown, monkeying around, trying to get little kids to smile and pull cute faces for the camera.  How we used props from my workshop, to enhance the photos and create a bit of a vibe and a feeling.  How in my ploy to get a little boy to smile for the camera whilst holding a toy phone, I said to him "Say Hello to Daddy!".  Which would have been real cute and probably very successful had it not been for the fact that his Dad had died unexpectedly a few months previously.  How his death was still very much a raw wound all around.  To this day, my stomach sinks when I even just think about it.  Sooo mortifying!

How when a friend or family member has a broken relationship, and once they start dating again, you call the new boyfriend or girlfriend by the old boyfriend or girlfriend's name.  Awkward!  How you make a phone call and once the call has ended, somehow miss pushing the disconnect button.  All this whilst carrying on with a further personal conversation with someone else.  All audible to the unsuspecting person on the other end of the line.  Sometimes you're discussing something you would much rather they not be privy too.  How to escape that dilemma?

A very good friend of mine, has a cousin, whose boss and husband both have the same name.  How she was feeling terribly frustrated and unappreciated at work.  How she felt her boss was treating her unfairly and with prejudice.  How she absolutely hated his guts and severely disliked him.  And giving voice to her frustration, she put her thoughts onto an e-mail.  Intending to send it to her husband, to have a good long whinge.  But as these things sometimes happen, a technical glitch slipped in and she sent the e-mail to her boss by accident.  The very person she was whinging about.  No amount of explaining was able to fix that one.  And despite having fifteen years of employment with the company, they let her go and fired her. 

And then there was the time Amber was still in pre-school.  When Grant made her a little CD of all of her favourite songs.  Some of the songs, he'd downloaded off the Internet - a long time ago when there were still many free download sites available.  How he printed a little piccie of Amber onto her CD, identifying it as hers.  How she took such pride and joy in her CD.  And how she begged to take it to school the following day to show her teacher and classmates.  All in the hope that they could perhaps listen to some of "her" songs in the classroom.  Eager to please and happy for her to get a little shine at school and a boost to her self-confidence, we indulged her and sent the CD to school.  But here is the error.  We never pre-listened to the songs once we'd downloaded them.  Just put them straight onto her CD and because it had happened quite late at night, we never had a chance to listen to the CD either.  How I fetched Amber from school that same day, and she asked if we could listen to her CD in the car.  How I put the CD on, and instead of hearing Gwen Steffani's "Hollaback girl", instead the "song" was a clip of Bill Clinton's voice saying "I did not have sexual relations with that woman".  Over and over and over again.  Extremely inappropriate and no amount of explaining could quite fix it.  It took quite a while before I started feeling entirely comfortable with Mrs Le Roux again after that little slip.

In fact, sometimes over explaining has the opposite effect.  Digging a much deeper hole and making a harmless mistake much worse.

I try and be cautious and think before I speak.  But such is life.  These little things creep in.  If you're lucky, you get to laugh them off afterwards and perhaps learn from the experience.

But every so often, I mess up.  And I mess up good.  On those days, I feel like I'm heading for the cover of "Foot-in-mouth-magazine".  A big colour shot at that.

But then again, I always wanted a wee bit of fame fortune.  And a magazine cover is just the best.  But perhaps this would be a case of infamous.  Which I suppose is hardly the same after all.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, I think few escape this embarrassing phenomenon - and they remain with one for ever.
    Lombards are particularly good at this.