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Hiccups in the office

April 10, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Last Friday, I had a nasty case of hiccups in the office. I had to excuse myself and walk away from my desk, but they didn't go away.

And they weren't the mild kind of hiccups - these babies were blasting throughout the newsroom.

I was hoping people didn't think I was sipping on the sauce, "Mad Men" style, at my desk. They finally went away after about 20 agonizing minutes.

It got me thinking to other embarrassing moments that I've gone through while I've been working in the past at other jobs. Most of the time when it's embarrassing to me it involves some sort of clothing malfunction.

I think a couple of times I've popped the front button on my pants then left wondering how I would get through the rest of the day.

One time at a job in Illinois a scab on my knee from a softball slide the night before opened up and I was bleeding through my pants. It's always a shock when, in the middle of your work day, you look down and your pants have blood seeping through them. I think I was able to run home and fix myself before coming back to work. I'm don't remember if the pants survived or not.

Our families know just how embarrassing we can be at home, but for some reason doing these types of things are not as fun at the workplace.

Of course, we've all had lunch mishaps where stains like to gravitate to the front of our shirts. In my book, those don't count though. Any stain on your shirt after 1 p.m. you can get away with as a lunch accident.

If that same stain is on your shirt at 9 a.m. - then you accidentally wore a previously-stained shirt to work and deserve office ridicule.

I can say that has happened to me more than once, especially when I grab clothes in the dark. Then I try to find ways to cover up the splotch with my arm or hand when I'm talking to someone up close.

I could go through the whole day like I'm saying the Pledge of Allegiance or just be constantly itching that part of my shirt that has the stain so people can't see. It's not that flattering of a look, but anything to keep a low profile.

Then again, I'm not exactly the epitome of fashion in the office so people most likely aren't checking out my clothes in the first place.

In that respect, I don't mind just blending in.


Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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