The Definition of Awkward

1: obsolete
2a: lacking dexterity or skill b: showing the result of a lack of expertness
3a: lacking ease or grace b: lacking the right proportions, size, or harmony of parts
4a: lacking social grace and assurance b: causing embarrassment
5: not easy to handle or deal with : requiring great skill, ingenuity, or care <an awkward load>

There are a slew of things that can make one feel bad about oneself. Here’s one that wouldn’t typically come to mind: Try being on a technical writing project at an energy company after the worst storm in the state’s history.

Offer to help and folks look at you, as if to ask, “What is it exactly that you think you could do?” (They're kind-hearted folks, so they do try to hide it.)

Everyone scurries from one emergency to the next, talking on emergency equipment, manning control centers, sleeping on cots on rare breaks. Busy people. Critical people. Disaster recovery people.

So you look empathetic and show concern by periodically asking how people are doing, hide in the bathroom as much as possible, and post on a blog about how awkward and useless you feel. And remain on the ready to document shit.