Came to office early yesterday... just because. I happened to wake up early so why not? It was Friday so I was in my jeans, tees, and sneakers. I got to the office at 8:30 (I usually come in at around 9 or 9:30) and did some work, made some coffee, contemplated the meaning of life. You know, the usual stuff.
At 9:30 or thereabouts, the phone rang. Hello?
"Jeg, it's me. Im sorry I won't be able to go with you to the interview at [big multimilliondollar independent power company]."
"That's OK," I said. "I can go alone. That's April 1, right? 10:00? I have it right here in my notebook."
"Jeg, today's April 1! Did you forget?"
Quick check with my calendar and true enough, it was. I thought it was March 31st. Holy crap! "Is the car coming?" Im so screwed. Im in jeans and tees and Im interviewing the President of [big multimilliondollar independent power company].
"Yes, the car's on its way."
"OK, I'll be here." As soon as I get off the phone, I rushed over to Greenbelt to get a decent shirt at least. Maybe a tie. I'll probably be sitting behind a huge conference table so I wasnt too worried about the jeans and sneakers. But I HAD to get a shirt and tie.
Let me take a moment to clue you in first. I got myself a writing gig for a corporate group. Or more accurately, for the socio-civic arm of said corpoprate group. Their 20th anniversary is coming up and they wanted more than the usual annual report this year. (I did their annual report last year plus a few other publications for them and they asked me to do it again this year.) For this year, we lined up a few corporate head honchos to interview. We'll get their impressions on what it was like working with said socio-civic arm of corporate group and how it ties in with their own corporate social responsibility programs and suchandsuch.
So there I was half-running and half-walking to Greenbelt, the car that was to take me to Ortigas Center was coming from Buendia, my questionnaire far from ready, my research on interviewee spotty at best. I got to Greenbelt and wouldnt you know it? The stores were closed. Clock was ticking. It was almost 10. I rushed back. I ran into AM in Legazpi park chatting with a friend and told her of my predicament. She told me I could go to Makati Square where there was this... I dont remember. All I could think about was the time. I knew I couldnt make it. I thanked her and ran. I mean I RAN, saying goodbye to her pal on the fly. If anything Im not rude.
Car was already there and off we went. SMSed my thanks to AM again, telling her I didnt have time anymore and that the head honcho would have to be interviewed by a guy in a t-shirt. Looking back now, I dont think he wouldve minded but for me it was a serious breach of etiquette and I can't have that. I have standards. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. I called the office of socio-civic arm of said corporate group and told them to tell [big multimilliondollar independent power company] head honcho that I'll be late. I gave up thinking of an excuse. I was prepared to offer only apologies.
Now I was stuck in traffic, and was late, and was in a t-shirt. How much worse could things be? An interview couldnt have gotten off to a more horrendous start. We arrived at their offices 30 minutes late. I took a deep breath, walked in, and introduced myself. The receptionist said "Ay! Kayo yung sa..." and looked like she didnt know what to do. That didnt look like a good sign. I am so doomed, I thought. "Please have a seat first sir, while I call his secretary."
I sat. And prepared for the worst. Im sure the secretary would bawl me out. I didnt even merit to be bawled out by the head honcho. He's sending his secretary, who's probably a middle-aged woman who looks like the Principal of my elementary school who had me stand in the sun for an hour just because I sneezed too loud in class. Getting these head honchos to commit an hour of their time was difficult enough, and here I am, arriving late, not even dressed... Secretary came out.
And she was smiling! A smile of chagrin. To coin a snigglet, she was chagrinning! What gives?
"Youre Mr. Jego? Im [secretary]. Im so sorry. I made a terrible mistake. I forgot to schedule your interview with head honcho.* He's in a meeting right now and would be going to the plant this afternoon. Im so sorry. Can we reschedule?"
I didnt even pretend to be annoyed. I was so darned thankful! What are the odds of that happening? I smiled my benevolent of-course-I-understand-we're-only-human-and-we-make-mistakes smile. "That shouldnt be a problem. Let's reschedule it for next week. Tuesday?"
The secretary still wasnt finished apologizing. And I kept reassuring her that it was OK. And finally she said, "Head honcho would be out of the country Monday and Tuesday. How about Wednesday?"
"Sounds good to me. Call [the other secretary at the socio-civic yadda-yadda] and confirm it with her. She'll get in touch with me."
And the secretary still couldnt stop apologizing but she said yes she will in the end. I got out of there feeling so happy. Happy that the interview didnt go on as planned which might push back my timetable. I couldnt believe how lucky I am sometimes.
Looking back at the life I had, I have been lucky, on the whole. Ive beaten the odds on several occasions. 'Blessed' my boss told me once when I was talking about the luck Ive had over the years. Yes, I have been blessed. I have so much to be thankful for. (I found out that my boss reads my blog, so to you boss: Nagpaalam naman ako, diba?)
*Of course she didnt call me Mr. Jego and she didnt call her boss Head Honcho and if you havent figured that out by now...