We've all done it. Whether it's something we can now laugh about or are still horribly defensive about, it's oh so easy to make a slip up in front of our colleagues and then suffer the humiliation of being constantly reminded about it for the next few weeks.
The article below has some fairly extreme examples - giving an enema to the wrong patient would be something you (and they) would never forget.
In our office, where we're talking to candidates day in, day out, it's very easy to say something without thinking it through first. My colleague - who shall remain nameless - was speaking to a candidate who found had found out - via the national news at Christmas - that his employers had gone into administration with all staff at threat of immediate redundancy. Her question was 'so...did that ruin your Christmas?' She didn't mean it flippantly, she was actually really sorry for him - but the way it came out left me fleeing to the other side of the room with hysterical laughter.
In fact, I'm still laughing remembering the horrified look on her face as she realised what she had said.
I could go on and embarrass her further by showing a picture of the whiteboard where we wrote down all the clangers she had come out with whilst talking to candidates - but that would be cruel! But it does go to show that people have long memories when it comes to this kind of thing...
My best advice? Either front it up and admit you made a mistake or style it out and pretend it was intended! And take what comes back with good grace :-)
The workplace is one of the worst places to have an embarrassing moment. You know the ones we're talking about: you might break an expensive piece of machinery, snog Geoff from accounting at the Christmas party or wander around the cubicles with your shirt tucked in your pants. When you slip up and embarrass yourself in public at least you can get away from the scene sharpish. That's not the case at work; you have to spend most of your waking hours there, with the same people, and there’s nowhere to hide.