I stuck my foot in my mouth….

Have you ever said something with the best intentions, and realized as it escaped your lips that it was probably the stupidest thing you ever said?

I have done this many times, but I don’t think any of them have been as bad as this time.

A co-worker brought her four year old nephew into work with his mom (her sister) recently. Her sister moved to the area recently and I asked his mom if she was going to get him enrolled in school soon. She made a comment like “With all of his other issues, school is the last thing I want to think about right now.”

A few days later I was talking to my co-worker and I asked her if her nephew was having problems in school, referring to the comment by her sister. She wanted to know what kind of problems, and I asked if he was learning disabled.

I really was only going by what the mom said, and I asked with the best intentions.

I used to teach headstart… I was hoping to give the family some resources if this was a problem for them, especially being new to the area and all.

I have relatives who suffer from dyslexia and other various learning disabilities. I grew up around various learning disabilities and it never was something to be ashamed of. I never regarded them as stupid or dumb… I feel people who suffer from such disabilities are smarter than most of us without disabilites. Learning disabled have to overcome twice what I do in order to function in normal society. I have the utmost respect for those who suffer from learning disabilities.

My co-worker became seriously offended because she felt that I was referencing that her nephew was stupid. That comment actually offended me, but I was so busy trying to apologize that I never was able to let her know that I was offended as well.

I am very sorry for making the comment. I am horrified that people relate learning disabled to being stupid. Before today I never made that connection. Maybe I am the weird one.

Tonight our pastor had a sermon on Pride…. and I realized once again God was reminding me that I need to stop being so caught up in myself and serve others.

I will just hang out in this corner, sucking on my toes…. because my foot is deeply embedded in my mouth.

[image source: Diet Survivors Meditation]

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3 Responses

  1. Hey, Tall T, how’s that foot taste. ;) Maybe you could write your coworker a short note explaining the reason behind your question, and I’d just leave your feelings out of it, just for the sake not making it a “you” issue in her eyes.

    As for Author’s comment, I’m familiar with the book she mentioned, and it is very funny. Her situation was a really bad case of bad timing. I really do feel for her boss, but that is one of the funniest comments I have ever read. Poor cats.

    Back to your issue, don’t beat yourself up. It was a misunderstanding, and you know your intentions were good whether your coworker understands or not. ;)
    Luckily this co-worker says what she has to say and then never bring it up again… which is very nice of her. If we could all have such generous co-workers lol!

  2. Let’s be honest – we’ve all stuck our foot in our mouth at sometime or other.

    I once worked for a boss who loved cats (he had 3) and had a wacky sense of humour. On his birthday I bought him a silly fun present – it was book caled: “101 things to do with a dead cat” – it was fun silly cartoons suggesting crazy humorous ways of using the cats after death. It was funny, HONEST! No really it was!

    Anyway – I duly presented it to him on the morning of his birhday. His face fell, he gave me a “look” I will never forget and sped fom the room. He din’t speak to me for the rest of the day.

    Much later that day I found out that his cats slept in his boiler room at night – and his gas boiler had leaked – and they’d all died. It was tragic.

    Now you all know I’m a cat lover – and the book was meant to be a bit of fun – but it wasn’t so much “foot in mouth as whole body in mouth. I felt terrible.

    Things were icy for a few days despite my apologies.
    OMG This comment has me in tears…. thanks for making me feel better Jan! What a horrible sense of timing….

  3. Wow this reminds me of a time when I asked a parent on my kids baseball team if her little boy was autistic… LMAO you should have seen the look I got… TO this day I still think that kid has some autisim but I just avoid them at the ball park now… =)

    lol!!! Sounds like I got this hereditary wise…

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