update: I accidentally threw condoms all over my interviewer’s desk

Remember the letter-writer who accidentally tossed condoms all over his interviewer’s desk? He had mentioned in the comments that he had been contacted for a second interview, and here’s the update.

I’m so thrilled to already have an update for you about the infamous Condom Throwing Incident.

First things first: I GOT THE JOB! The second interview I was called in for was not in fact a Mandated Anti-Deviancy Seminar but rather a Meet the Whole Team and Welcome Aboard situation. It all went so well that I couldn’t believe it; everyone was thrilled to have me get started, and I was so excited to be there (and so relieved that the condom situation was apparently behind us) (hah).

I spent the week shadowing / training with my initial interviewer (the condom incident eyewitness), and we hit it off so well that I almost wondered if I should bring up what had happened in my interview, just to clear the air. But she didn’t mention it, so I didn’t mention it. I figured everyone involved had just chosen to quietly look the other way, and my story would just live on via first date conversations / embarrassing story competitions for the rest of my life — or something to finally fess up to at my retirement party in forty years. All’s well that ends well, right?

Now here’s the real fun part: a few days after my official start, I was invited to a post-work happy hour with all my new colleagues. After a few cocktails and a long hilarious one-on-one chat with my new BFF, my interviewer/trainer/new colleague, I had to get it off my chest: I brought up the incident. I brought up the incident!! I had barely gotten the story (confession?) out before she started laughing so hard she had to sit down.

TURNS OUT: she did in fact remember the Condom Incident, but just barely — because as soon as we had concluded our initial interview, she had gone to the restroom and realized she had had lipstick all over her front teeth all the way through our conversation. News to me: I hadn’t noticed the lipstick because I was so mortified about the condoms; she barely remembered the condoms because she had been so mortified about the lipstick. My Condom Incident was her Lipstick Incident!

So despite the fact that I seem to have stumbled into some sort of workplace Three Stooges episode, we’re all good. After we picked ourselves up off the floor, we swore each other to secrecy, and I think I’m going to fit in just fine. The end!

PS — because a few commenters brought it up, the new job (and my industry) does indeed involve a lot of writing; I had certainly been feeling rusty after such a long long spell of unemployment, so reading positive feedback about that in particular was a great confidence booster. In fact, all of the supportive comments here were so uplifting as I staggered through a humiliating and agonizing post-interview period; I felt like I was being supported by a whole bunch of new friends!

{ 173 comments… read them below }

  1. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

    What a great update! I’m so glad the interviewer saw the funny side of it all.

    1. Heidi*

      It’s difficult to imagine that anything known widely as “The Condom Incident” in a workplace setting could end well, (or that anything involving Hawaiian rolls could end badly, for that matter). But here we are! Congratulations on the new job, OP. Sounds like you have a cool team.

      1. Thin Mints didn't make me thin*

        And enjoy your new position in the knowledge that your interview experience has given joy and enriched the work lives of thousands. Respect to you, sir.

        1. SarahKay*

          Google “coworkers say we shouldn’t attend a work party, I feel insulted by my new job, and more”. For me it brought up the correct AAM on the first link, and then OP2 is the relevant story.

    2. Artemesia*

      And a classic of how we are all obsessed with the impression WE are making and often they are focused on themselves. I do wonder if a woman had flung condoms all over the interviewers desk if it would have gone so easily.

      1. Shanderson*

        Interesting! I’ve been picturing the LW as a woman the whole time – or did you mean to say if a man did it may have come across differently?

    1. Cendol*

      Mine too. I can’t stop chuckling. Congratulations on your new job, LW!

      And let us all remember from now on that one person’s Condom Throwing Incident is another person’s Lipstick Incident.

    2. GammaGirl1908*

      This is absolutely in the top 3, along with Go Get Your Dog. I am seriously guffawing in here.

      Congrats to the condom-flinging LW AND the lipstick-eating interviewer!

    3. kicking_k*

      Yes, it is the sweetest update and has made my week.

      It is also SUCH a good demonstration of how your mortifying moment probably looms much larger for you than for anyone else. As a clumsy person I try to remember this.

  2. A Poster Has No Name*

    Ok, there needs to be an Update Hall of Fame with this one as the first inductee.

    Best. Update. Ever.

    1. Batty Twerp*

      Seconded! With bells on!
      This update has made me irrationally happy.
      Congrats OP – may all your writing be as amazing as this.

  3. F.M.*

    This is exactly what I needed to read right before my first day of teaching in person again. It’s uplifting, hilarious, and a good reminder that we all tend to be more aware of our own hiccups than anyone else’s. When trying to project confidence at a room full of anxious students, that’s a very soothing thought.

    Congratulations on the new job and excellent colleagues, LW!

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Congrats about making the best lemonade you can.

      Enjoy the new job and the coworkers who understand that we are all humans.

    2. EPLawyer*

      YES. Absolute perfect reminder that others are thinking about us a lot less than we think they are.

      OP, I am so glad you got the job and seem to fit right in. I’m glad the Condom Incident didn’t keep you from getting what sounds like a great situation for you.

  4. Neon Dreams*

    Good for you! Glad everything worked out in the end :) you’re a great writer, your story telling in your letter is proof of that.

  5. Botanist*

    My whole day got a lot brighter just seeing the headline for this update! Yay yay yay! Congrats, OP!

      1. SomehowIManage*

        Just like the person who didn’t know the origin of the Wakeen character and was worried that it might be a little racist.

          1. Policy Chick*

            I don’t have a link but I can tell you the story (vaguely, it was a while back).
            A mortified LW wrote in with a foot-in-mouth dilemma. At LW’s new job, she had a coworker named Joaquin. She didn’t recall meeting him in person, but knew his name (maybe via email?). Meanwhile, other colleagues would mention ‘Wakeen’, who LW took to be a completely different person.
            She didn’t realize ‘Joachin’ was pronounced ‘Wakeen’.
            So for months she’d be saying things like, “Does Wakeen need to know X?” and I think at one point IN FRONT OF JOACHIN. Once she figured it out she was so embarrassed.
            That may not be exactly how the story went, but that’s the upshot.

    1. Laure*

      Yes, Nora, you are perfectly right. It seems like a great mantra to remember when you feel you messed up something horribly.

  6. freddy*

    OP, you are a delight – is there anywhere we can keep up on your writing (Twitter?). Thrilled to hear this update, and congrats on your new job!

  7. Tessie Mae*

    Congrats on getting the job and thanks for the great update!

    To me, this comes across as an example of how something Monumental and Mortifying that happened to you and might potentially scar you for life can really just be Monumental to you. When it happens to you, you are certain that everyone noticed and you want to just curl up and fall into a hole. Sort of like when you are a teenager and you have a huge (to you) zit on your face, but most people don’t even notice it.

  8. ophelia*

    OMG OP, this is the greatest update of all time; congratulations on what seems like an excellent new job!

  9. Caaan Do!*

    I’ve been having a pretty crappy couple of weeks at work and in life and I just want to say the original letter and this update made me really crack up laughing. Thank you :)

  10. Jennifer*

    Hahahahaha! This is a good reminder that most of us are self-centered creatures focused more on our own problems to notice what other people have going on. Don’t let minor embarassments like this hold you back from reaching your goals. Happy for you, OP!

    1. KateM*

      I have heard it as “don’t worry about what other people are thinking about you – they are too busy worrying what you may be thinking about them”.

  11. The Prettiest Curse*

    Wow, this just goes to show that half of the time people when you do something mortifying, people are too distracted by their own stuff to even notice.
    Congratulations, OP! Sounds like you are a great fit for your new job.

    1. SheLooksFamiliar*

      That is righteous. I’m totally stealing this.

      OP, congratulations on your new role! Sounds like you’re with the right kind of team.

    2. knitcrazybooknut*

      Most of the comments on this site are amusing to me, and I chuckle or laugh and think it’s funny. But you have me in tears and gasping for breath.

      But I’m still trying to figure out who put condoms and tooth-lipstick on their wish lists for Santa!! (And more importantly, why??)

  12. Gerry Keay*

    Such a good reminder that, usually, no one is paying as much attention to us as we assume they are :)

  13. Michelle Smith*

    Great story! Congratulations on getting the job!! This is also a great reminder for the rest of us that the things we ruminate and agonize over may only be a tiny blip on the radar of other people.

  14. ecnaseener*

    Oh, fantastic!!! Best of luck to you. I’m sure you’ll be safe from workplace mishaps for a few years at least, what with all the good karma you must’ve earned making us all laugh so much.

  15. Em*

    This is the wholesome content I needed as I head into a (virtual) job interview in…oh, about 24 minutes. Thank you, OP. May the condom gods shine down on me and prevent me from having a Condom Incident of my own (which would be…weird…because I’m 7 weeks pregnant. But anyways!).

    I hope you love your new job. Cheers to you!

  16. anonymouse*

    So by sharing your story prophylactically you saved yourself future embarrassment.
    I’ll see myself out.

  17. Abogado Avocado*

    Yay, OP! Congratulations on landing the job and thank you for the O. Henry-like twist in your update! (If you ever write a book, let us know; you are such a good writer that I know I would enjoy reading it.)

  18. PolarVortex*

    Congratulations on the job and I am so happy to read it is working out well!

    I adore that you both had “embarrassing” SNAFUs that you both worried endlessly about when it all didn’t matter.

  19. Dream Jobbed*

    Thank you for this update and laughs! Needed an antidote to last week’s “I don’t want to get a vaccine or be tested” genius, that I am just getting caught up on. :)

  20. WFH with Cat*

    Best. Update. EVER!!!!

    LW, I am laughing my socks off. Thanks for the v. funny follow-up.

    And congratulations on the new job, new friends, and all of that. Sounds like you’ve definitely fallen in with the right crew.

  21. Moocowcat*

    Love it! This is like some interview themed episode of Scooby-Do or an Afterschool Special Moral Lesson. It turns out that the Interviewer is Just as Nervous/has Botched Things/ as human as you are!

  22. UKgreen*

    Thanks GOD I’m still working at home because I have just whooped with joy in my office at this story!!

  23. bunniferous*

    This made me smile, and also made me think of my friend’s Multitude of Tampons incident (which will not be shared here, not work related but equally horrible/hysterical) …..congrats on both the new job and the award winning update we all needed but didn’t deserve!

  24. Wine Not Whine*

    Everything about this update is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. Congratulations, and thank you so much for letting us know how it all turned out!

  25. ZSD*

    I know every update begins by asking us if we remember the writer, but in this case, how could we have forgotten? :)

  26. An American(ish) Werewolf in London*

    As I was reading this, I was convinced this sentence “After a few cocktails and a long hilarious one-on-one chat with my new BFF” was going to end with ‘and they opened their bags and in them were dozens and dozens of condoms of every shape, size, colour and flavour.’ That would have been amusing – but the actual outcome even beats that.

    Well done Onward Prophylactics. Well played. I salute you!

    1. Storm in a teacup*

      This is exactly where I thought this story was going too!
      Loved the lipstick twist at the end

  27. Regina Philange*

    I read the preview text as “I accidently threw up all over my interviewer’s desk” (which is way worse then throwing condoms) and was very pleased to see that was NOT the topic. Congrats on the new gig (and new work BFF).

    And if you decide to use this incident as a kicking-off point for a hilarious novel, let us know…I’d read that in a heartbeat!

  28. Noblepower*

    First of all, congratulations on getting the job! Secondly, I will now forever hope that anyone wanting to indicate that they’re interested in me (or sexually harrass me) will throw wrapped condoms all over the room (but not say a word).

  29. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    Hey, you got your condom incident in my lipstick incident! No, you got your lipstick incident in my condom incident!

  30. Imaginary Number*

    Best update ever.

    And just goes to show that sometimes the social faux pas that you agonize about for days has very little impact on anyone else.

  31. RedinSC*

    I’m glad you got the job! I’m glad your condom incident is someone else’s lipstick incident! All is in balance in the universe! YAY!

  32. Bookworm*

    LOL. I’m so glad this update not only ended up with a positive conclusion, but is also genuinely hilarious. Congrats, OP!

    Also always a good reminder that sometimes our own mistakes aren’t that big of a deal because the other person is too preoccupied with their own mess ups.

    Good luck in your new position, OP!!

  33. Purple Cat*

    Oh my gosh, I had missed the first post, so I read that first and then came back for the update. Ah-mazing! I’m so glad you got the job and for once and for all proving what’s been said so many times: our greatest embarrassments are SO much bigger in our own minds than in others.

  34. pagooey*

    I was struggling with post-vacation re-entry into the whole Work thing, but this update made me so happy, I think I can buckle down and forge onward. Congratulations, OP–I hope that everything continues apace, and that maybe someday this will be the best story told at your luxurious retirement dinner!

  35. TimeTravlR*

    OP, I am so happy for you on so many levels and if I were hiring, I would offer you a job without even seeing your resume because 1) we need great writers on my team and 2) you are a hoot and the whole world needs more hoots!
    All the best to you!

  36. Lizzo*

    I have had a terrible day and now I CANNOT STOP LAUGH-CRYING TEARS OF JOY.

    Congratulations OP!!!! Wishing you oodles of success at the new gig!

  37. mreasy*

    Just agreeing with everyone that this is wonderful. Honestly OP I thought you would get the job, because qualifications / all things being equal, I couldn’t imagine interviewing you and not wanting to work with someone so delightful!!! Congratulations and thank you for this magnificent update!

  38. WoodswomanWrites*

    This is such a fantastic update, and just as well-written as the first post. Congratulations!

  39. Mae Fuller*

    Thank you so much, this is my favourite update on so many levels. (Seriously – this is my second or third comment ever on a site I’ve been reading faithfully for several years – that is how happy your story made me!)

  40. Cherie*

    This is my favorite story for a thousand reasons, not only did it make me laugh at first [though I felt for you!] but also the update shows that all that awful embarrassment is usually wasted since people are more worried about their own stuff than yours! That said, I wish you ALL the best at this new job it sounds like a great start!

  41. Elle*

    This is a great update – I’ve been thinking (and laughing about) that one a bit! It really goes to show how much the “people are not thinking about you the way that/as much as you are thinking about you” concept is true. I hope your writing continues to shine!

  42. AnotherLibrarian*

    Congrats on the job, OP, I hope it is wonderful. I will add that The Condom Incident caused much hilarity in my own workplace and we all agreed it would be utterly mortifying. I find it somewhat comforting (as someone who suffers from social anxiety and therefore always thinks everyone is paying far more attention to me than they actually are) that the interviewer basically forgot about it in light of her own mortification over her lipstick. We are all, as my therapist has to remind me on occasion, all much more aware of ourselves than other people are aware of us.

  43. I'm the Phoebe in Any Group*

    I’m so happy things turned out well for you, and that everyone had a sense of humor about it. You are going to be the hit of your next dinner party with this story.
    It is so awesome that you have a new job with great collegiate and are getting paid to write.
    From one writer to another

  44. Bowserkitty*

    Fantastic!!! A good reminder to me with my own mortifications, that maybe someone else is having their own nearby…

  45. Edwina*

    What a great update! And I particularly like your “certainty” that the second call back was in fact for a “Mandated Anti-Deviancy Seminar.” You sound like a hilariously wonderful new addition to that team, and I love how you’ve hit it off with everyone! They’re lucky to have such a funny, talented writer. Keep us posted!!!!

  46. DesertRose*

    This site needs a “like” button!

    Congratulations on the new job and awesome new coworkers, and thank you for the update, OP!

  47. I'd rather be snuggling my cat*

    I love this update so much! You seem delightful, OP, and well suited for a writing job indeed. All the best for your new job!!

  48. MCMonkeybean*

    There are two tv bits I think about a lot when I’m stressed about how people perceive me: 1) the “people aren’t thinking about you the way that you’re thinking about you” from Schitt’s Creek and 2) the much harsher but spot-on speech from Buffy in the episode Earshot where she tells someone that no one is thinking about their pain because they’re all too busy with their own.

    This is apparently a great example of those. I love it, and I’m so glad it seems like the job and the environment is a great fit!

  49. Becca Rosselin-Metadi*

    This is not only one of the best updates but also flat-out hilarious and extremely well-written. Good job, OP! I think you’re starting out about as well as you possibly can after the condom incident.

  50. Mimsie*

    Wonderful update. Your first post was so entertaining and well written I read it out loud to my partner.

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