Thursday, May 13, 2021

Awkward Introduction

Yesterday I went to orientation for my new job. 

Different people from different departments came to tell us about different policies and procedures. The facilities person talked about safety. The payroll person talked about payroll. The benefits person talked about benefits. Etc. It was a little boring, but it was fine. The organization provided lunch. There weren't many of us new hires. All in all, it was pretty uneventful.

Until HR came to talk about HR stuff. 

The guy came in the room, sat down, and introduced himself by saying how many kids he had.


That's what had been missing all day. I hadn't heard anyone talk about their children. How funny that it was a guy that was the one to do so. Anyway, so he went on about his kids, their ages, blah blah blah. It was easy to tune him out. 

Maybe I'm sounding callous, but he didn't say anything about himself. He only defined himself through his children. It's just a limited way of thinking. Ok, maybe I sound judgmental. I admittedly have very little patience when someone I just meet talks only about their children.

Then he turned to the rest of us. Asked us to introduce ourselves. But he didn't let us guide our own introductions. He asked us questions individually. He asked us if we had children. 

What in the world...

He got to the woman next to me and asked where she was from and what her job was going to be. He asked if she had any kids. She smiled, said yes, and listed off the ages of her sons.

Then he turned to me. The first thing he asked was, "Do you have any family?" I could have easily said that, yes, I moved here with my boyfriend and that we are very happy here. But I didn't want to give him that. So I just answered his question the best I knew how.

Him: "Do you have any family?"

Me: "Yes... I have parents."

(pause, a little awkward)

Me: "And sisters..."

(slightly longer pause,
a little more awkward)

Him: "Do you have any kids?"

Me: "No."

(much longer pause,

I didn't say anything else. No explanation. No elaboration.

He didn't say anything either. He seemed uncomfortable. He moved on.

I thought about how far I'd come. I thought about how his questions would have made me sad in the past, how they would have made me mad just a year or two ago, and how I found them absurdly funny in the moment.


I am so thankful for my progress in recovery.
I am so dang thankful for my healing.


  1. That is soooo inappropriate on his part! Hard to believe he actually was that clueless. I’m glad you answered honesty and directly and let the awkwardness fall on him.

    1. Yep. And that was HR! It wasn't the only weird thing that happened at orientation. I'm glad I'll be working in a different building. Thankfully, my boss and co-worker that I interviewed with didn't give me any weird or bad vibes.

  2. Love your answer, Phoenix! Well done ♡.
    I hope the man learned his lesson.

    1. Thank you. Unfortunately, I doubt he learned any lessons. He said a couple of things that made my jaw drop (though no one could see since I was wearing a mask... the only one wearing a mask... sigh...). Well, now I know, don't count on HR at this place!

  3. I am so proud of you.
    So cool.... No explanation. No elaboration.
    Well done, girl!

    1. It's not my fault that my life made him uncomfortable. Quite frankly, I thought he was pretty dismissive and rude.

      Thank you Klara! You have been an awesome teacher and friend over the years. <3

  4. Oh good grief. I think you handled that remarkably well. And I'm glad you won't be having much to do with him in the future...! Congratulations again on the new job!

    1. Thank you!

      That guy is a lawsuit waiting to happen... Good thing I'm not litigious! I will just avoid HR whenever possible.

  5. Huzzah for healing. Jeezum, an HR person should (technically) know better. It drives me nuts that people assume that's common ground. I'm proud that you gave no explanation. And let him sit in the discomfort that he brought upon himself. 😘

    1. Thanks! Yeah, it was a dumb moment. I just thought it was really cool that it amused me instead of pissing me off or, worse, making me sad. <3

  6. Argh, how frustrating. One day (ie in a year or so?), when you're feeling well established in your role, maybe you can tell your manager, or someone, about how inappropriate it was? Especially for HR.

    I love your response though. He deserved to be uncomfortable. What an idiot he was!

    1. A couple of weird things happened at that orientation. I told my co-worker about it and she urged me to tell our manager. But I told her I wasn't there to rock the boat or change the culture, but maybe I'll say something after I've been there a year or two... Or maybe not. I'll see how I feel. :)