Situation #18 – The sneeze

29 06 2008

The situation: You are sitting in a meeting, trying to look important and smart. You’ve got that puzzled look, the chin resting in one hand and you are twirling a fountain pen in your other hand. Then you feel it. Its coming. You are about to sneeze.

Now, the first piece of awkwardness to avoid when sneezing is the audibility of your sneeze. You don’t want to be too quiet…quiet sneezers seem like they’ve got something to hide. You don’t want to be so loud some people think you are practicing your best Chewbacca moan. This is something we advise you to practice home, not in front of the mirror.

However, the foremost awkward event that can arrive from a sneeze is, dare we say, when your launch a rocket, of the snot variety. There is no pretty way to put it. You sneeze, you got nose contents in your hands. What are you going to do?

Solution: The solution to this quandary involves multiple steps. All steps must be completed in order and none are to be left out.

  1. Clasp your hands together, nose contents within, and regain your puzzled yet interested look.
  2. Count to 10 in your head (with those Mississippi’s!). Maintain your interested look.
  3. Ensure all nose contents are shuffled over to your right hand. Do so without unclasping your hands.
  4. Now, oh, it seems your ankle is itchy! Reach down with your right hand and scratch your ankle (so it seems to the public eye). While doing so, wipe former nose contents onto your sock.
  5. Clear! Congratulations, you have avoided awkwardness!



4 responses

3 07 2008

worse yet: what if you have one of those sneezes that is just on the verge? and you make that awful pre-sneeze face that freezes until the sneeze is released? or the sneeze never comes and you just end up looking ridiculous for 10 seconds with no (sneeze) explanation?

how do you get outta that one, journal of social awkwardness?

6 07 2008

Or when you try to stunt the sneeze and it just comes out as a magnified snort.

25 07 2008

I must partially disagree with your analysis of the situation. The unfortunate result of your advice is that your right and will still be sticky and snotty when the end of the meeting (and hence hand-shaking time) rolls around. While this is extremely funny around subordinates and colleagues, it is not so much so with a VP. Therefore, I would advise that sneezers shuffle all snot into their *left* hands.

28 07 2008
journal of social awkwardness


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