Etiquette School is in session! > "Have you tried the bean dip?"

Awkwardness at the Conference Lunch

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mspallaton:
I'm so happy I found this site - I had precisely none of the tools for dealing with awkwardness before I started reading the discussion boards.  Since I beandipped successfully for the first time (tried once with family but it made things worse - different story on a different thread), I thought I would share.

I went to a conference for work the other day where there was a sit down lunch.  One of those 'network with your peers' kind of things.  So about half the people were people I knew and the other half were people I was meeting.  I was sitting next to one of the new people and we were trying to make conversation. 

The first thing I got asked by the new person was "what does your husband do?".  Granting that's a little pet peeve for me because aren't there 100s of other, work related questions you could come up with?  But okay, it is in the realm of polite, basic questions to I answered -- he stays at home - he'll be a stay-at-home dad when we have kids and he takes care of me until then.  To be honest, it is a pretty sweet deal.  He's very nurturing and we aren't tied to a place because of two jobs.  I love it.

The guy's immediate response?  "Oh, haha, it's like having a wife".
...
...
...
I tried complete silence because I was bothered, but didn't want to show it.
Then he says "Oh, well, you know how there are more and more non-traditional families..."

I blinked a couple times and made a comment about how lovely the desserts looked and what kinds of sweets does he like?  That took it back to better topics and things stayed smooth for the rest of lunch.

I know I'm probably a bit more sensitive about this than I should be because people have made judgments about our choices, but I was pleased I didn't show the guy I was upset.  I wouldn't have thought to bean dip before coming here.  So... thought I would share.

Ceallach:
I agree silence was a good choice.   His comment was sexist but sadly I suspect well meaning eg he didn't intend to imply that staying home is woman's work, he was just attempting wit.   In a business context you probably don't want to rock the boat, but I'm sure your silence gave him a hint!

As SAHD becomes more common attitudes will start to change.   Every family should be able to make the choices that are best for them.

TeamBhakta:
He asked "what does your husband do", just randomly assuming you were married ? I've heard that is sometimes a pick up line attempt

mspallaton:

--- Quote from: TeamBhakta on March 06, 2014, 03:48:34 PM ---He asked "what does your husband do", just randomly assuming you were married ? I've heard that is sometimes a pick up line attempt

--- End quote ---

My ring finger was fairly prominently displayed and I have both a ring and a tattoo on the finger so... it is possible he wasn't observant... but I think it was just an awkward conversation attempt.

BeagleMommy:
Sounds like a case of foot-in-mouth disease.  He was expecting something like "Oh, he runs a dog waxing business" not "he's a house husband".  Therefore, he didn't quite know how to respond and inserted his foot in his mouth and chewed vigorously.

Silence always works.

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