Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Inappropriate Touching:
An Awkward Moment with a Coworker

A few weeks after Abby moved back in with my mom, a co-worker had car problems and wanted a favor from me by giving him a ride to work. He only lived a block off of a street on my route to work, so I let him carpool with me. The only glitch to the arrangement was crossing a very busy Wade Ave. on a left turn to his place. Even worse was getting back onto Wade Ave. Not only did I have to deal with congestion, but I had limited view because of the curvy road there. When I pulled out, I had to really gun it to make it across the street. It was like playing a life-sized version of Frogger.

On the first morning I picked up Tom, it seemingly took forever for a gap to open up so I could gun it to the other side. I don’t know what happened, but an old habit of mine resurfaced when I did make that crossing: I put my right arm out across Tom’s chest to keep him in place. I had ingrained myself to stick my right arm out to secure Abby that I automatically did it when a person was sitting there.

Tom’s eyes got big and froze, blankly starring ahead. The poor guy must have felt like he entered a scene in Oz after I touched him. Tom’s not a big guy, and I’m built like a running back. I can’t read minds but I’m sure he thought “Why is he touching me? What the hell is he going to do next?”

I immediately realized what I did and apologized to him. I tried explaining to him about how Abby sat in the front seat and how I put my arm across her to stabilize her. I had developed a habit and when I saw something in that seat, I instinctually put my arm up whenever I made a turn.

Did he buy it or did the think I was making a pass at him? He should have seen all the dog hair and realized that dogs spend quite a bit of time in my car. Of course if he ever stumbled across this blog, he’d know for sure that my arm-bar meant nothing and was supposed to be for Abby.

The next morning as I was about to pull out to Wade Ave, Tom said “You don’t have to touch me this time.” I didn’t.

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