What do you do when somebody recognizes you and you have no idea who they are? Nod and smile? Admit that you have no idea who they are? Walk quickly the other direction?
Somebody recognized me at work the other day. I was in my own little world, minding my own business as I wandered out of the ladies room, when I heard “Hey!” from the vicinity of the elevator. I looked around and saw a guy I never saw before in my life.
“Do you train at Vanguard?” he asked.
“Sometimes,” I said, wondering what the heck was happening. “Uh…do you train there?”
Now, we’re not talking about a huge academy like Gracie Barra or something, where you don’t necessarily know everyone who’s a part of it. I should know who I’ve been in a BJJ class with, right? I thought I did know everyone who trained there. I suppose I stick out of the crowd a bit as the only girl who trains BJJ there regularly, but geez. I don’t know whether to feel flattered to be recognized or feel like an ass for not recognizing him. I managed to babble my way out of the conversation, but I forgot to ask his name so that I could ask my teammates who the heck it was.
I’ve realized coworkers can also be a source of irritation and awkwardness, especially when you have a really quiet office and low cube walls. Just the other day, I had a run-in with a coworker who is one of those really loud, somewhat obnoxious womanizer type guys who turns everything into a sexual innuendo. He’s also a former wrestler and coach, and of course, when he saw the BJJ picture at my desk, he started in about that. The conversation really doesn’t bear repeating, because it was pretty standard stuff that comes from guys who hear that a woman grapples. “Ooh…I’d better not mess with you!” Even though he totally thinks he could beat me. Or, “I’d better behave or you’ll kick my ass.” Even though he doesn’t have any intention of being any more polite or any less obnoxious.
The awkwardness came in, though when my boss came by and tried to talk about something job related…and dude wouldn’t leave. And he kept going on about me kicking his ass and hurting him, and he’s going to bring in some wrestling mats and let me show him a thing or two…ugh. My boss looked pretty uncomfortable, too, and eventually got him to leave. Not sure how to deal with that guy. I’m sure he’s all talk, but I just don’t want to deal with the crap. You know?