Dealing with Awkward Situations at Our Workplace  


Regardless of our work here in Singapore, awkward situations happen to us all. If it is our first day at our workplace, we have this goal of impressing everybody but it turned out that we did nothing but to be practically part of the furniture. It is crucial that we know how to react to these embarrassing or awkward social situations because it will determine how people see us.


Here are some awkward situations that may occur in the workplace and how we should deal with them:

  • Forgetting someone’s name: Forgetting someone’s name especially the new ones are natural but it will greatly reflect us. So, we toured our new team members and showed the health and safety manual but when we were asked for introductions, we went blank. Instead of saying “I think your name is Dave. No, it is Neil. Oh, it is definitely Sam”. The safest thing to say is “I’m sorry I’m terrible at remembering names good thing I have here a nametag”.
  • Overwhelming scent of a co-worker: Whether the scent is natural or otherwise, the overwhelming scent of a co-worker should be dealt accordingly. They deserve the respect. We all know that fragrance is subjective but if we find it too strong and overwhelming, it is time to get it out in the open. If we are particularly close to that co-worker, we have to approach them directly, honestly and discreetly. They will thank us in the long run. We should not say “can you please open a window because your fragrance is too strong”. We can instead say “I’m sorry bit I think I may have an allergy to your perfume. I’m so sensitive”.


  • Sending text messages to the wrong person: There are some awkward situations attributed to technology. For example, we sent text messages to the wrong person where it should be intended. Accidentally sending text messages to the person we do not want to see it happens. When this happens, the best course of action is to come clean and express our regret in making the mistake. We can say “I am very sorry. This will not happen again” instead of saying “don’t you get it, this is a joke ha ha”.
  • Alone in the elevator with someone we are avoiding: There are people that we try to avoid in our workplace as much as possible but sometimes fate has its own scheme and suddenly we are left alone in the elevator with someone we are avoiding. If we do not really get along with that person, a nod or smile will do. Our reaction will depend on our personality. We can just keep quiet.


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