One of the frustrating aspects of life is to say something to be taken at face value, then have it completely misinterpreted. I have a story along those lines that I’ve been relating to friends and they enjoy it, so I’ve decided to repeat it here.
During my Air Force career, I worked mostly in the procurement career field, which means I visited a lot of defense contractors’ plants. During one such visit, I needed to write up my report at the end of the day, so I found a vacant office and got to work. The lights were off, but there was plenty of sunlight coming through a west-facing window, so that was no problem.
After several minutes, a secretary noticed my presence and came in, “Here, let me turn on the lights for you.”
I was almost finished, was concentrating on my conclusions, and didn’t want her to go to any trouble, so mostly to get rid of her as politely as possible, I answered with the first thing that popped into my head: “That’s okay, I do some of my best work in the dark.”
Her reaction surprised me — big smile and a cheery “Oh, good for you!” That exuberance gave me pause — could that have another meaning?
Oh, yea, I guess it could.
It always pays to be careful what you say.