My MiL says bad things always happen in threes and hopefully my current string of bad luck ran its course after I fell overboard during a work outing on my company’s boat earlier this week. Talk about embarrassing.
The company boat is a 30-foot cabin cruiser that’s used primarily to entertain clients but can occasionally be booked for small meetings (10-12 people). I’d never been out on it before and we had a beautiful evening for it. We were docked in one of the harbors on the island of Ven (that’s right, the boat wasn’t even moving) and I had been sunning on the bow with a couple of colleagues. Ironically enough, one of the topics of conversation was an incident two summers ago in which a co-worker had fallen overboard. I was probably still chuckling about that as I made my way down the narrow gangway toward the stern where we would be eating dinner.
Getting from the gangway to the stern deck involved going down three small steps, and had I turned around and gone down them like I was on a ladder I would have been fine. But instead, I tried to go down them facing forward, which required leaning back and lowering my head in order to duck under the roof over the deck. BIG MISTAKE. Once I was committed to the first step there was nothing to hold on to and nothing to grab when I lost my balance.
Once I realized I was going into the drink, my mind flashed immediately to the digital point-and-shoot camera around my neck and the cell phone in my pocket. And in another painful bit of irony, I received a text message just as I hit the water. So on top of potentially destroying both pieces of equipment, was pretty sure I was going to be electrocuted as well.
My colleagues say the the phone and the camera were the first things to break the surface of the water when I came up. They took them from me before I was even out of the water and began pulling them out of their cases, removing batteries and drying them off as best they could…laughing all the while, of course. At this point I’m hopeful that one or the other (especially the camera) can be salvaged after drying out for several days.
In the meantime, word of my misshap spread like wildfire around the company…to the point that I’ve had summer interns whom I’ve never even met before stopping by my office to hear the story. As of this afternoon, the gals who work at the reception desk still couldn’t prevent themselves from cracking up when I walked by…even if they were on the phone with clients at the time.
And the colleague who would most be most sympathetic to my embarrassment (the woman who went overboard under similar circumstances two summers ago) is on vacation and doesn’t even know that I’ve joined her exclusive club. And God the dues may turn out to be REALLY expensive.