Other Things # 7 – One of My Most Insensitive Moments

The initial part of this story might be hard for you to believe, but it’s the truth. My first place of employment was at one of our city’s tourist attractions. I was a receptionist, and there was a restaurant in another part of the building. People would come into the reception area, and if they wanted to go for a meal in the dining room and hadn’t made a reservation, the receptionist would phone the dining room and see if there was room.

One particular evening during tourist season, a rather short, chubby couple came in and wanted to go to the dining room for dinner. Since they didn’t have a reservation, I told them I would check to make sure we could accommodate them. I phoned the hostess.

”Hello,” I said, “do you have room for two?”

The hostess assured me that they did and said, “Could I have the name please?”

I turned to the couple. “They have room, Sir. Could I have your name please?”

The man looked at me, and I started to sense a certain level of hostility as he stared at me in a somewhat threatening way and said, “Pigg — P — I — G— G.”

With the phone at my ear, afraid to even smile, I said into the receiver, “Pigg — P — I — G — G.” As Mr. Pigg and I continued to lock eyes solemnly, I listened to the hostess laughing uncontrollably. I ended the call with a “Thank you”, and the Piggs were soon on their way to dinner.

Of course, after the couple left the reception area, I laughed a great deal that evening, and I have often laughed since about the memory. In fact, it’s been one of my favourite stories to tell classes because it always gets a great reaction.

One day, I was with a grade 9 class and pulled out the Pigg story. The students, naturally, loved it, and as laughter filled the classroom, I noticed one of my students staring at me, no hint of amusement on his face. Our eyes met, and at that moment, I remembered his surname was Hogg.

6 thoughts on “Other Things # 7 – One of My Most Insensitive Moments

  1. * Gasp!* Oh no! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or both. I guess you have to know your audience. Hopefully you recovered and gained forgiveness.

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    1. What’s funny, Herb, is that at Costco this summer, a young man said hello to me, and sure enough, it was Mr. Hogg. We chatted for a while and then I said, “I was actually thinking of you last week (that was no lie) and I actually have thought of you often. I then asked him if he remembered the Mr. Pigg story. He said he did and then I told him that I hadn’t thought of him when I told the story and had felt awful about my insensitivity when I realized the connection.. Anyway, he dismissed my insensitivity and told me his name had only caused him issues in elementary and that beyond that, it wasn’t much of an issue. He’s such a nice young man. I was so happy I had the opportunity to apologize.

      Liked by 1 person

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