An embarrassing story
One of my coworkers is on maternity leave. She sits in the back, pretty quiet. I don't see her or talk to her unless I happen to bump into her in the kitchen or hallways. I usually just say "hi" to her and maybe a few words after that.
My coworker is a larger woman. She is very tall, and a bit heavyset.
Now, I'm not the most observant person when it comes to other people's weight. I don't notice when other people seem to lose or gain weight, unless it's really obvious, but I can't even remember the last time that happened. When other people comment on how other people have lost or gained weight, usually I have nothing to say because I didn't notice a thing.
Should I care more? I don't know. I've just got blinders on.
Anyway, earlier this year we started interviewing for a position in her department. I had no idea what was going on. Was someone leaving?
So I asked her.
"Hey, we were interviewing for this RMA position. What's going on?"
"Oh," she said, "It's no big deal. We're interviewing for a temp for me."
"Huh?" I responded, clearly confused.
"Why do you need a temp?"
"Oh, it's for my maternity leave." She responded, and then she smiled a little and patted her stomach. "I guess you can't really see through all this. I'm pregnant."
I was mortified; I didn't even want to look down at her stomach. I don't remember exactly when our conversation took place, but she must have been decently into her second trimester.
There was no way I could recover from that, except to pretend like my oversight was no big deal, and to congratulate her. She was gracious about it.