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Background:

This situation is a little bit sensitive. Few days ago I was in restroom at my company, and just went about my business. Then one guy came in to the next urinal (restroom is kind of small, but we have a divider between them). Everything was silent as normal, suddenly he, well, farted so loud. And I just bursted into laughters, like hysterical laughter. I know it's not nice, it's bad, but it was funny at that moment I couldn't help myself. (It is like some Just For Laughs Gags episode)

So I looked up to see who this guy was, and to make it worse, this guy happened to be my big boss. And to make it even 'worser', he is around 20 years my senior. If he was my age, we could make a joke about it and shake it off. But he is my boss, I didn't know how to react. And you know how it is, when you are laughing so hard but you try to stop. So I said 'Sorry' and I walked out of the restroom real fast.

Situation

Now, my boss is very nice and all. But since the incident, he is kind of tense and uncomfortable around me. Like, when we have meetings, his answers to me are short, not rude or anything, but not like the way he usually is. And for me, after that incident, I just talk to him very normal like before (as my colleagues describe about me like an easy-going, friendly and respectful person).

I don't know how to shake this thing off with him. I can't and don't want to come up to him and say 'I'm very sorry about the embarrassing situation the other day ...'. Should I just let it like that and hope with time, it will eventually go away? I just don't want my boss to think negative about me just because of, well, this awkward situation.

  • So is it the only the two of you (and now us) that know about this incident? – user8671 Apr 3 '18 at 12:15
  • @Kozaky yes, it was only two of us there when it happened – Ragnarsson Apr 3 '18 at 13:34
  • Can you add the country? Some countries I can imagine this being a BIG faux pas compared to others. – user8671 Apr 3 '18 at 13:48
  • @Kozaky I added the country – Ragnarsson Apr 3 '18 at 14:10
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    @KingGraham It's not that I don't want to apologize, on the contrary I really do want to. But as you said and it surely is that he is embarrassed, so I am not sure if it is good idea to bring up this incident again with him. Because I don't want to make it more awkward and uncomfortable for both ... – Ragnarsson Apr 3 '18 at 15:41
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Don't bring it up.

While it may have been a little immature to laugh at a loud fart in the bathroom, your boss isn't dumb enough to not get it. He knows why you laughed; farts are funny. At worst, he rolled his eyes about the situation. Remember, he's a big boss. He has far more important things on his mind than some dork laughing about a fart in the bathroom. If he's petty enough to hold it against you, you have far bigger problems with your boss than this.

I should add that the worst thing you can do is tell others about this. Don't ask advice from coworkers, or tell anyone because it's funny. Doing that crosses the line from innocent laugh in private, to spreading hurtful information about your boss. If you were to tell people he would have every right to be upset with you.

If for some crazy reason he brings up (he won't) and is upset, absolutely apologize.

If it was me, I would do my best to act extra professional around him for a bit.

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    Thanks for your suggestion. Yeah, I didn't tell anyone at work about this, considering who he is :) – Ragnarsson Apr 4 '18 at 7:19

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