We all know them. These cringe-worthy moments we wish the earth would just part and swallow us up in an instant. The blushing moments of hot blood running through your veins when you have made a complete and utter dork out of yourself.
Well, it is often said some people attract these situations as manure does flies, but there are certain situation which, per se, are simply awkward and in which everyone involved is happy if they pass because the cringe factor is just too inconvenient to endure.
1) The Elevator
Being trapped with someone in a tiny, vertical space should definitely be forbidden as the proximity and awkwardness reach a new level of intolerable. There is really nothing worse than being stuck with someone in an elevator - even if it is just for one or two floors. Additional cringe factor is awarded if this someone who shares the lift happens to be your boss (which you probably don't like) or someone you have dated before and it didn't work out. Now, the question is always how to behave in these situations and THANKFULLY we have our phones. As soon as I am squeezed into the horrible little room with people, my phone becomes my best friend and my nose is glued to the screen as if my life was dependent on it. This way, I don't have to talk or do the awkward elevator glance (you know the one where you look up, even though there is nothing interesting to see in an elevator ceiling).
And if you get extra lucky, you're stuck with a little child who pushes ALL the buttons...
2) Missing the Bus
Another excruciatingly embarrassing moment in anybody's life is the matinal sprint to the bus, only for the doors to slide together in front of your nose, leaving you to be pitied and mocked by the people who were here in time. There is a sense of judgment and snickering - even a little gloating - in the air when the bus's fumes blow into your humiliated face as it slides down the road, the passengers' faces knowingly looking at you. There is no better way than to make a dork out of yourself, so my advice would be a) to never run for a bus, or b) if you miss it, keep running and try to pull it off as a jog which you intended to do anyway (which might be hard to sell if you're in your office high heels and sport a leather laptop satchel, but hey, every effort will be appreciated).
3) Being Late to a Lecture
University students will relate to that, but it also applies to being late to anything, actually. This notion of up to 200 people collectively turning their heads to scan you because YOU probably missed the bus (haha!) with a unison frown before slowly returning to their laptop screens while you are struggling to find a free spot in the very back of the lecture hall to avoid further scrutiny. But you already know the first row is the only one which isn't taken, so you're required to ask a demonstratively pissed-off student to get up during the lecture, squeeze through, settle with a loud plonk and - which happened to me actually - to peak the moment of embarrassment, your laptop will blare music as soon as you open it, as you were too much of a dork to switch off your Amazon Playlist before leaving home (supposedly to catch the bus you missed).
4) Going to the Toilet Next to Someone you Know
OK, this last one is a little intimate. Obviously, defecating in a public place is never a dream-come-true, but it may range from slightly irritable to absolutely, mind-blowingly inconvenient if you're stuck in a cabin next to your boss, your newly acquired girl/boyfriend or anybody you actually know and spoke to shortly before you frequented the unspeakable place. In short, next to anybody who will KNOW what you have done in this specific cubicle. Never before have bum cheeks let out winds so concentrated and slowly, never before did you cough as loudly as possible if you weren't sure your bum could muffle the sounds. Obviously, there is hardly anything you can do to steer the smells, but in the end, consider we all do it at some point...
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