Thursday, November 12, 2015


As someone with chronic foot-in-mouth syndrome, I really appreciated this roundup post of awkward moments shared on Twitter. One story in particular, about having a laptop hooked up to a projector for a work meeting with execs and receiving a colorful email, reminded me of something kind of similar that happened to me, so I had to share.

I had to facilitate a meeting with a group of folks that included board members of the association I work for, and we had a shortage of work laptops, so I took my own. It was not until after I had connected it to the LCD projector that I realized that maybe I should have changed my desktop background, because up on the screen was this picture of Carlos Bocanegra, then captain of the US Soccer Team. Obviously I think it's a beautiful shot of a very attractive man, but probably not the most appropriate image to have displayed on a screen at a meeting with executives not involved in sports. Thankfully, since I was just setting up, it was just me and the AV guys in the room, and I could just laugh it off and change the background. The part that made it awkward for me was that after I started laughing and said "oops, I better change that before anyone else gets here" one of the guys said "oh, it's no big deal, you could just say it's a picture of your brother." Because a picture of my brother naked and dirty looking all sexy is somehow less objectionable than a picture of a total stranger.

The meeting went very smoothly, but I kept my interactions with that AV guy to a minimum. And I've never used a personal laptop at a work meeting again.

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