Here’s one that ends happy, everyone!
I’m an Industrial Hygiene (IH) Consultant. IH is a subset of Safety that focuses on preventing long-term health effects of things (i.e., chemicals, noise, radiation, ergonomics) people are exposed to in the workplace.
As a consultant, I work in a lot of different businesses. This time I was in a laboratory getting ready to do some air monitoring by setting up an air pump on a scientist (Scientist 1) while he did an experiment. This lab required extensive gowning which covers pretty much your whole body (Full Tyvek coveralls with built-in booties and a hood, safety glasses, N95 respirator, nitrile gloves) and I was fully gowned in so I could observe the experiment.
Scientist 1 had left to get prepped and while I waited I started to walk around and look at the science stuff in the room. Suddenly a different scientist walks in.
Scientist 2: “Oh, hi! Glad to see you!”
Me: “Hi! Glad to be here.”
Scientist 2: “We’ve all been stressing a little trying to figure out how we might be able to modify the experiment to accommodate what you need from us…”
Me: *that’s pretty uncommon that people would consider what I need, but very sweet* “Hey, no worries! Just do what you guys usually do, that works best for me.”
Scientist 2: “Oh good, that’s good to hear. Scientist 2 should be back in soon and they’ll be ready to start.”
Me: “Great!” *Goes back over to my cart of pumps, samples, and papers to finish my prep*
Scientist 2: *seeing the cart before I start to mess with anything on it* “….. is EHS (Environment, Health, & Safety department) monitoring you guys today?”
Me: *stares at her* “….”
Scientist 2: *stares back* “….”
Me: “….. I’m… with EHS.”
She processed that for a moment, then looked so embarrassed, and then she laughed so hard!
Scientist 2: “I’m so sorry!!! You were all gowned up, I thought you were Scientist 3!!”
We both laughed about it for a minute, then Scientist 1 came back in and Scientist 2 started telling him all about this whole conversation where she thought I, too, was a scientist.
Laughs were had, I did my job, and left. 🙂