Dear J.T. & Dale: I recently started a new job and made a huge faux pas. I was introduced to an employee from another department at a company luncheon. She was talking about baby toys when I walked up, and she looked quite pregnant. I said, “When are you due?” Well, turns out she was talking about a baby shower she had just hosted, and she isn’t pregnant. Needless to say, I was mortified. Now she won’t even look at me. Should I write a card? Pull her aside and apologize? Just hope it blows over? – Chris
J.T.: Oh dear. I don’t think a card is the answer, nor is ignoring the situation. I think you need to accept responsibility for what you did and apologize.
DALE: You’ll have a solid excuse to hide behind, saying that you came in when she was talking about a baby shower and you thought it was for her. Hey, it happens. Give her a way to stop being offended, and I bet she’ll take it.
J.T.: To do that, invite her to get coffee. Focus the time you spend together on finding points of commonality. It will be hard for her to stay angry at you if you are both, say, huge dog lovers. The key is to bond through that shared interest so you can put that first awkward moment behind you both.
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Workplace pregnant image from Bigstock